George Washington Papers

Enclosure: Minutes of the Committee for Supervising Expenditures, 17–18 August 1756


Minutes of the Committee for Supervising Expenditures

At a Committee held. August 14. 17; & 18. 1756

Col. Washingtons Accounts were examined

The Article of £50 stolen from Cap. Peachy referred to the Assembly1

3. 19. due from G. Hedgman to be got from him2
6. 10. paid to Jenkins to be got back3
11. 18. 8. due from Francis Triplett to be stop’d out of his Pay
5. 7. 6 paid by N. Smith to Carlyle & Dalton to be got from them4
6. 15. due from Geo. Gordon to be stop’d out of his pay5
10. 13. due from Henry Harrison same
219. 3. 8 due from Geo. Mercer6 same
12. 18. due from Joseph Stevens7 same
6. due from Bryan Fairfax same
24. 14. due from John Ashby8 same

Patric Flougherty to be allowed a reasonable price for his Horse if really killed.9

The stoppage of 2d. per day for Clothing and 2d. per Month to the Surgeon to cease.

The Surgeons pay to be augmented to 10/ per Day.

The Surgeon to be paid £50. to reimburse his extraordinary Expence for Medecines & to recruit his Chest.

Col. Washington is desired to hire a House at Winchester for an Hospital for the Sick and to purchase Necessarys for them

To pay Chris. Gists balance of £95. 3. 5
Lieut. Baker 20.
Ensign Fleming 10.
Doc. Shepherd 5.
Cap. McKenzie 1. 2. 6
Edward Snikers10 4. 14. 3

Also to pay Ferry Keepers such Allowances as he thinks reasonable.

D, DLC:GW. The copy of the minutes was probably written by the clerk of the committee, John Palmer.

1GW described the circumstances of the theft of £50 from William Peachey in his letter to John Robinson, 5 Aug. 1756.

2GW’s military accounts (DLC:GW) which John Kirkpatrick presented to the committee show that George Hedgman received £26 6s. on 6 Oct. 1755 for recruiting and had reported the expenditure of all but £3 19s. by 1 June 1756. The amounts shown here due from Francis Triplett and Capt. Henry Harrison also represent the deficits in recruiting accounts. For a description of GW’s military accounts, see GW to John Robinson, 5 Aug. 1756, n.1.

3Kirkpatrick noted on the William Jenkins item in GW’s accounts: “Resolved by the Committee that the Governor pay this Accot & that Colo. Washington apply for it” (DLC:GW). Two pounds 10 shillings was due Jenkins on 28 Nov. 1755 and £2 both on 31 Jan. and on 23 May 1756, for carrying letters between GW and Dinwiddie. Dinwiddie wrote GW on 8 May 1756 that he had paid Jenkins until November 1755 when GW “was order’d a Military Chest” out of which he could and should pay such charges.

4Nathaniel Smith of Alexandria received this amount for recruiting from the mercantile firm in Alexandria.

5Ens. George Gordon had been overpaid this amount at the time of his murder in March 1756.

6As Kirkpatrick noted on the accounts, George Mercer had not claimed his salary as captain in the Virginia Regiment since 1 Dec. 1755 and as aide-de-camp since 1 Sept. 1755, or his allowance for two batmen since 1 Sept., all of “which will on the whole make the Country considerable indebted to him” (DLC:GW).

7Militia Major Joseph Stevens had accounted for all but £12 2s. of the £102 given him to pay the carpenters whose work on the fort at Winchester he supervised from “about the middle of May till he returnd home 1st Augt” (ibid.), but he did not receive his own salary until 2 Sept. 1756 when GW paid him £20 15s. for his service from 13 May to 3 Aug. At some later undetermined date complaints were made about Stevens’s conduct as supervisor of the men working on Fort Loudoun, and an investigation was conducted. GW wrote the following answers (DLC:GW) to a series of questions about Stevens’s conduct which had been addressed to him:

“Answer to the first Interrogatorie

“If Majr Stevens evilly treated any of the workmen it was unknown to me. I don’t recollect any complaints that were made of such abuses.

“2d What government the Militia were, or are under I know not; but no Soldier can be legally punishd for any offence until he is found deserving thereof by a Court Martial. It can hardly be supposd then, that I gave Majr Stevens Instructions to exert an authority, that I never practis’d myself.

“3d I don’t know that Majr Stevens ever defrauded the Men of a farthing. He drew their pay if I remember Right once a Week, and the Working Rolls were calld over twice a day to see that the Men were all present, so that I dont see in what manner he coud appropriate much, if any of their Pay to his own uses. No complaints were ever made to me of such practices that I can recollect, if there had the matter wd have been enquird into.

“4th I don’t know that Majr Stevens was better advisd of the time of discharging the workmen, than themselves were; nor do I know that he bargaind with any Men for their discharges.

“5th I don’t know that Majr Stevens encouragd any Men to desert—he sometimes obtaind discharges for the Sickly and weak—If I had ever come to the knowledge of such transactions I shoud have thought myself equally culpable to let it pass in Silence.

“5th I have a confusd, and imperfect remembrance of the complaints of some against Majr Stevens for compelling them to take Goods & Liquor instead of money and of others that denied having receivd their full pay, but these complaints are so frequently made behind an Officers back when he has at the same time rects under their hands to refute the assertions, that I took little notice of them.

“6th No doubt! and Majr Stevens appeard to me to be a Person of consummate Industry, and as I thought carried proper Authority.

“7th Very much so for I woud feign have continued him to overlook the Workmen that were afterwards employd.”

8The accounts indicate that cash in these sums had been advanced to Fairfax and Ashby.

9In the list of his cash expenditures GW has an item, dated 3 May 1756, which notes that he paid £2 to “James Mason & Patrick Flairty, as Guides to the Detachment under Capt. John Mercer from Fort Cumbld” (Va. Regimental Accounts, 1755–58, DLC:GW).

10Edward Snickers (d. 1791) of Frederick County had on occasion supplied horses and wagons for hauling regimental supplies between Alexandria and Winchester.

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