George Washington Papers

George Ewing’s Report on Hides, 2 December 1777

George Ewing’s Report on Hides

2 Dec. 1777. Accounts for 144,376 pounds of “raw hide exchanged for Leather in this Dept” that had been distributed to eighteen tanners since 2 Sept. 1777 “to be exchanged at the rate of five pound raw hide for one pound Sole and eight pounds for one pound of upper leathers the greatest part of which ought by contract to have been ready by this time,1 and notwithstanding I have sent a waggon to most places have only recd Seventy five pounds upper Leather—but promise to have it ready very soon—What exchanges are made in other Departments I have not yet learned as I have had no returns but Imagine my assistant and superintendent of the Shoe factory hath effected considerable exchanges as he informs he hath of Stuffs and Shoes 2000 or upward a number of which shoes I expect he will deliver this day or tomorrow to the Clothr General. I have in this Dept. put a numerous quantity of hides to be tanned for the use of the States and believe if I can find tradesmen particularly Tanners I shall be able to dispose of all the hides to good advantage as soon as I am able to make out a general return such as I must lay before Congress Agreeable to the Resolve in that case I shall also lay it before your Excellency, and hope if I am supported shall be able to give general Satisfaction.”2


Commissary of Hides Ewing gives the tanners’ names as Thomas Pederick, George Wood, Jonathan Merideth, James Brotherton, John Huster, Abraham Wampole, Michael Ziegler, William Rogers, Robert Miller, Andrew Ziegler, John Leshier, Jacob Zank, Aaron Levring, Edward Bartholomew, James Watson, Jacob Athison, Isaac Knight, and Abner Levis.

1The New Jersey act of 11 Dec. 1777 for regulating and limiting the prices of produce, manufacture, and trade set the following prices for leather: “Raw Hides shall not exceed Seven-pence by the Pound. Soal Leather shall not exceed Three Shillings by the Pound. Upper Leather shall not exceed Five Shillings by the Pound. Men’s Neat-Leather Shoes, of the common Sort, shall not exceed Seventeen Shillings and Sixpence by the Pair; and other Shoes in Proportion, according to their Quality” (N.J. Acts of the General Assembly description begins Acts of the General Assembly of the State of New-Jersey. At a Session begun at Trenton on the 28th Day of October 1777, and continued by Adjournments. Being the first Sitting of their second Session. Burlington, N.J., 1778. description ends , 17; see also Livingston to GW, 1 Dec., and note 6).

2For Congress’s resolution of 11 Oct., 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 , 9:795.

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