From the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council
In Council Lancaster [Pa.] January 22d 1778
Your Excellency’s letter of the nineteenth Instant has been laid before the council.
My letter to you of the fifteenth Instant, by Mr James Davidson,1 who was delayed a day or two unexpectedly contains a state of the business relating to cloathing—it is only necessary to add that General Wayne, as I understand, had employed Mr Zantzinger of this borough, to procure him a quantity of cloathing previous to the late recommendation of congress; that the Clothier General has paid a part of his bill, and no doubt will settle with him for the remainder, as it is a contract made before this state was directed to supply its troops with cloathing. General Wayne has been with council within a few days.2
You may depend that, as the troops of pennsylvania were always well cloathed while under the immediate care of the state, attention to this important supply will be given by the council so as to prevent any future just complaint.
The reduced condition of the regiments of pennsylvania is to us unaccountable: It however only remains to do the best we can to make them more formidable. Council would have been pleased to have seen in the return the state of the commissioned Officers.
Inclosed is a transcript of the law which your Excellency requested might be sent you; and also extracts from the supply law which were struck off seperate from the law itself; as the printers could not possibly get thro the whole in time to furnish the commissioners of congress now on their way to camp.3 I have the Honor to be with great respect Your Excelleys Obedient Servant
Tho. Wharton jun. Prest
One of the Waggon drivers, who came out with the cloathing for the Prisoners of War, having passed, in this borough, a six dollar counterfeit bill, in the likeness of a Continental bill, was arrested and searched this afternoon. Five other bills of the same kind were found upon him. some circumstances occurred which rendered several others of the party strongly suspected and they were all searched, except the officers, and several bills of the same kind found upon three others of them; Whereupon the magistrates have committed them to Goal. The enclosed letter was also found upon one of the serjeants.4
LS, DLC:GW; Df, PHarH: Records of Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Governments, 1775–1790.
1. James Davidson (1732–1809) delivered Wharton’s letter to GW on his way to the Pennsylvania state saltworks on Tom’s River in New Jersey, where he had been directed on 16–17 Jan. to take the post of assistant director. He served in that capacity until June 1778 (see Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:403, 509; Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 6:186). Davidson, who had become a member of the American Philosophical Society in 1768, was professor of Greek and Latin languages at the College of Philadelphia from 1768 until 1779 and again from 1782 until 1802; he served as rector of the academy from 1780 until 1791.
2. Anthony Wayne was in Lancaster seeking clothing for the troops under his command (see John Fitzgerald to Wayne, 2 Jan., n.1). For more on Paul Zantzinger’s activities in support of Wayne, see GW to Henry Laurens, 17–18 Nov. 1777, and note 7; see also Anthony Wayne’s letter to Thomas Wharton, Jr., of 28 Dec. 1777, in Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 6:142–43.
3. The enclosure was a copy of “An Act for making more equal the burthen of the publick defence; and for filling the quota of troops to be raised in this state,” dated 26 Dec. 1777 (DLC:GW). For the resolves of the Pennsylvania general assembly of 6 Dec. 1777 authorizing GW to seize supplies from areas near Philadelphia, see Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 6:66–67.
4. For the details of this dispute, which would eventually require GW’s intervention, see William Stephens Smith to GW, 25 January. Capt. James Chrystie of the 3d Pennsylvania Regiment, in testimony given on 3 Feb., referred to “a Letter from Mr. Franks, wherein mention was made of said paper money,” apparently found with one of the British soldiers and enclosed in this letter from the Pennsylvania supreme executive council to GW (ibid., 6:233). David Franks, a commissary of British prisoners, was arrested by order of Congress in October 1778 for illegal correspondence apparently unconnected with this episode, and he was banished to New York in November 1780 (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 , 12:1032).