From William Buchanan
York Town [Pa.] 12th Novr 1777
I am favoured with yours of the 5th.1 It is much to be lamented that from many unfortunate concurring Circumstances, there is sufficient Ground for General Heath’s Remonstrance—I have not been inattentive to that Quarter, but I have not the appointment of Agents. The Assistant Commissaries are all appointed by the Depy Commissary General of Purchases for the District, and Congress, with whom his Appointment is, have been much embarrassed and distressed by the Resignation of that Officer for the Eastern Department2—They however expect that Business is now taken up by the Governor and Council of Connecticut pursuant to Resolves passed on the 3d Inst. in Case Mr Colt should have refused to act.3 I have also directed that my Instructions to Mr Colt, should in that Case be delivered over to the Person by them engaged in the Business—They will appear to have been early and full. I have the Honr to be Yr Excellencys mo. Obedt hble Servt
Wm Buchanan C:G:P.
2. Jeremiah Wadsworth resigned as deputy commissary general of purchases in early August 1777 (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 , 8:617, 627).
3. Congress on 3 Nov. resolved that the governor and council of safety of Connecticut should “appoint a deputy commissary general of purchases, and a deputy commissary general of issues for the eastern district, provided the appointments of Congress to the respective offices aforesaid are not accepted, and General Putnam has not made such appointments, agreeable to the powers given him by the resolution last mentioned [of 4 Oct. 1777], or that the officers so appointed should appear to the said governor and council incompetent to the business” (see 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 , 9:858). Peter Colt (1744–1824) of Lyme, Conn., graduated from Yale College in 1764 and from 1768 to 1776 was involved in the West India trade. On 9 Aug. 1777 Congress appointed him deputy commissary general of purchases for the eastern department. Colt’s objections to some of the regulations surrounding his office, his refusal to serve unless his demands were met, and the confusion attending the flight of Congress from Philadelphia in the fall of 1777, however, delayed his acceptance of the position until early November. In 1780 Colt traveled with Rochambeau’s French forces, as a business associate of Jeremiah Wadsworth, to ensure that they were supplied properly. Colt served as treasurer for the state of Connecticut from 1789 to 1793.