George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elizabeth Mallam Neil, 27 April 1777

To Elizabeth Mallam Neil

Morris Town April 27th 1777.


I hoped to have given you a more favourable Acct of my application to Congress, in your behalf, than the Inclosed resolution will convey.1 but that Honble body have, I presume, thought it rather too early to adopt a measure of this kind yet—what they may do hereafter, I cannot undertake to say. In the meantime, as I sincerely feel for your distress, I beg your acceptance of the Inclosd as a small testimony of my Inclination to serve you upon any future occasion. I am Madam, Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. I have receivd, & am much obliged to you for the Piece of Buff Cloth.

G: W——n

Fifty Dollars sent.

ADfS, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1At this place in the draft, GW wrote: “Altho no provision has yet been made for the Widows of Officers.” He then struck those words. Mrs. Neil, widow of Capt. Daniel Neil who had been killed at the Battle of Princeton on 3 Jan. 1777, wrote GW on 19 Feb. 1777, inquiring about provisions for the support of officers’ and soldiers’ widows, and GW enclosed her letter in his letter to Hancock of 28 February. Congress replied by resolving on 14 Mar. 1777 “that General Washington be informed, no provision has been made by Congress for the support of widows, whose husbands have been slain in battle” (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 7:177). For Congress’s recommendation of 17 Aug. 1779 that the states provide for the widows of officers and soldiers who died in the service, see ibid., 14:975–76, and General Orders, 29 Aug. 1779.

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