George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ephraim Blaine, 10 December 1777

From Ephraim Blaine

Camp [Whitemarsh, Pa.]
Decemr 10th 1777

May it please your Excellency

Pursuant to your Excellencys order of the 21st Ulto I proceeded to Jerseys to procure flour or Wheat for bread for the army and also directed part thereof for the purpose of Loading Waggons orderd by the Commissary General to the Eastward, for Salt: being disapointed in a quantity of flour I expected at Easton for that purpose. Mr Robert Willson my assistant purchaser at Hacketts town appointed to attend this business writes me of the 5th decemr Ins’t that Mr Robert Lettis Hooper Deputy Quarter Mr General has seized all the wheat procurred for the above purpose, and thereby put a stop to the procuring therein, which to me appears not only unwarrantable conduct in Mr Hooper, but so injurious to the service in general as to merit your Excellencys cognizance by a proper enquiry.1 I have the honour to be Your Excellencys most Obdt hble Servt

Eph. Blain D:C:G: of Purchases

ALS, DLC:GW; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1Robert Lettis Hooper, Jr. (c.1730–1797), a grandson of the New Jersey chief justice of that name, was deputy quartermaster general for Northampton, Bucks, and Philadelphia counties in Pennsylvania as well as Sussex County, New Jersey. During his tenure Hooper was the subject of controversy for his opposition to the American oath of allegiance and for his vigorous impressment policies, but he retained his position until the summer of 1780 when Congress reduced the number of quartermasters to cut the expense of the department. He was also involved, under Elias Boudinot, in supervising British prisoners of war. A merchant with interests in several New Jersey ironworks, Hooper served in the 1780s as a judge and as vice-president of the legislative council of New Jersey. Hackettstown was a post town in Independence Township, Warren County, N.J., about eighteen miles west of Morristown and twelve miles east of the Delaware River. For the letter of Robert Wilson, who was probably the son-in-law of Commissary General of Issues Charles Stewart, see the Ephraim Blaine Papers in DLC: Peter Force Collection.

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