George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Pennsylvania Recruiting Officers, 18 February 1778

From the Pennsylvania Recruiting Officers

Lancaster [Pa.]
Feby 18th 1778

May it please your Excellency

Inclosed we send you a Copy of the Instructions we received from the Executive Council for the Recruiting service, And Beg leave to remark the Grievance we labour under, in the sum allow’d us for that service being nothing equal to the expence which must necessarily Accrue.

The Legislative Body are to meet in a few days—until that time we shall proceed in our duty and then intend remonstrating them on the Occasion.1

We wou’d beg your Excellency to Order us how to proceed in Case our Grievance shou’d not be redress’d as it is impossible we can subsist ourselves on so trifling an Allowance.

Colonel Stewart will be able to give your Excellency a State of the Matter.2

Edward Scull Captn 4th P. Rgt
Alexr Patterson Capt. 12 P.R.
Wm Wilson Capt. 1st P. Regt3
Sign’d in Behalf of the Officers
from the State of Pennsylvania
Order’d on the Recruiting service

LS, DLC:GW; copy, PHarH: Records of Pennsylvania’s Revolutionary Governments, 1775–1790.

1For the instructions of 14 Feb. from the Pennsylvania supreme executive council to the recruiting officers, which Thomas Wharton, Jr., sent to GW on 17 Feb., see Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:419–21. Scull, Patterson, and Wilson wrote a similar letter to the council on this date (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., 6:280–81). GW replied to the recruiting officers on 23 Feb., and on the same date he wrote Wharton enclosing a copy of their letter. The council represented the recruiting officers’ plight and other matters to the Pennsylvania general assembly on 27 Feb., and the general assembly responded on the following day by resolving “That this House will grant to the officers employed to recruit for the quota of this State, sixteen Dollars, additional to the sum allowed by Congress, for each able bodied soldier whom they shall inlist and properly muster” (Pa. Minutes of the General Assembly description begins Minutes of the Second General Assembly of the Common-wealth of Pennsylvania, Which Met at Lancaster, on Monday, October Twenty-seventh, A.D. One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy-Seven. Lancaster, Pa., 1778. (Microfilm Collection of Early State Records.) description ends , Oct. 1777–Sept. 1778 sess., 49; Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 11:431–32; see also Wharton to GW, 2 March).

2per favor Col. Stewart” is written on the cover.

3William Wilson (d. 1813) of Northumberland County, Pa., was appointed a third lieutenant in Col. William Thompson’s Pennsylvania rifle regiment in June 1775. Wilson was promoted to second lieutenant in January 1776 when Thompson’s regiment was redesignated the 1st Continental Regiment, and in September he was commissioned a first lieutenant in the same regiment, then named the 1st Pennsylvania Regiment. Wilson was commissioned a captain in March 1777 and remained in service until 1783.

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