George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 20 May 1777

From Richard Peters

War Office [Philadelphia] May 20th 1777


I do myself the Honour of enclosing all the Resolves of Congress I know of relative to the recruiting Allowance.1 Much Complaint has been made as to its Sufficiency for the Support of both Officers & Soldiers. It was at the Time the Resolves were passed perhaps equal to the Expence incurred by recruiting Officers. At these Times when all the Necessaries of Life are so enormously advanced the Allowance it is imagined is below the Mark. Some Officers however have learned the Art of supplying the Deficiency, while others more attentive to their Reputations than their Interest are Losers by the Service. I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect your very obedt Servt

Richard Peters Secy


1Peters enclosed copies of Congress’s resolutions on this subject of 12 Oct. 1775, 16, 18–20 Sept., 7 Nov. 1776, and 22 Jan. 1777 (DLC:GW; see also 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 , 3:289, 5:762–63, 780–81, 787–88, 6:932, 7:55). GW had requested copies of these resolutions in his letter to Hancock of 10 May. The resolution of 12 Oct. 1775 authorizes subsistence allowances of two-and-two-thirds dollars a week for officers on recruiting duty, one dollar a week for new recruits in quarters waiting to join the army, and one-and-one-third dollars a week for recruits on their march to the army. The resolution of 22 Jan. 1777 increases the subsistence allowance of recruits waiting in quarters to one-and-one-third dollars a week. Peters apparently did not enclose a copy of Congress’s resolution of 17 Jan. 1776 which replaced the weekly subsistence allowance for recruiting officers with an allowance of one-and-one-third dollars for each man they enlisted or its resolution of 14 Oct. 1776 prohibiting the giving of that allowance for reenlisting soldiers already in camp (see ibid., 4:63, 6:874). The enclosed resolution of 7 Nov. 1776 repeals the latter resolution. The enclosed resolutions of 16, 18–20 Sept. 1776, which are on a one-page broadside, principally concern bounties allowed to recruits.

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