George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 4 November 1777

From Richard Peters

War Office [Pa.] Novr 4th 1777


Mr Joseph Simons the Bearer has applied to the Board for Liberty to go into Philadelphia for the Purpose of settling his Accounts with Mr Franks the British Agent for Prisoners under whom Mr Simons has acted for some time past in supplying the Prisoners of War. The Board not being acquainted with the Circumstances of Matters so minutely as to judge of the Propriety of permitting Mr Simons to go in at this Time have referred him to your Excellency for a Passport under such Restrictions as you think proper if you should be of Opinion he may go in without Prejudice to our Affairs. He is also desirous that a Mr Bernard Gratz may accompany him as an Assistant to settle his Accounts.1 I have the Honour to be with the greatest Respect your very obed. Servt

Richard Peters Secy


1Joseph Simon (1712–1804) was a Lancaster County, Pa., merchant long active in the Indian trade. Barnard Gratz (1738–1801), a brother of one of Simon’s sons-in-law and a signer of the Philadelphia nonimportation resolutions of 1769 protesting the Stamp Act, had begun his career as a Philadelphia merchant in the employ of David Franks, the commissary of British prisoners for Pennsylvania appointed by Congress in December 1775.

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