George Washington Papers

General Orders, 26 April 1778

General Orders

Head-Quarters V. Forge Sabbath April 26th 1778.

Parole: Rariton—Countersign: Rumney—Raymond.

The Commander in Chief has been informed that it is a common Practice for soldiers to go about the Country and make use of his name to extort from the Inhabitants by way of sale (or gift) any necessaries they want for themselves or others he strictly enjoins it upon officers to take the most effectual measures to put a stop to a practice so daring and infamous and assures all concerned that if any Persons shall be detected in the Commission of it they will be punished with every Circumstance of disgrace and Severity.

Elihu Marshall Adjutant of the 2nd New-York Regiment is appointed to do the duty of Brigade Major in General Poor’s Brigade ’till further orders and is to be respected accordingly.1

The Commanding Officers of Regiments are desired to wait on the Commander in Chief at Head-Quarters precisely at ten ôClock tomorrow morning.

Wanted immediately for public service the following Workmen (viz.) Two good Smelters, two ditto Miners, four Ax men, One dresser to tend the Stamp-Mill to work and burn ore and a good Smith for which a handsome Salary will be given—Any Person out of the Army that can be well recommended for the above Purpose by applying to Major John Clark at the Auditors Office will meet with Encouragement.2

Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Elihu Marshall (1750–1806), who had been commissioned second lieutenant in the 3d New York Regiment on 2 Mar. 1776 and appointed adjutant of the 2d New York Regiment on 21 Nov. 1776, served as brigade major for Poor’s brigade until August 1778. Promoted to captain in April 1779, Marshall left the army on 1 Jan. 1781, but in April of that year he was appointed a captain of the New York levies raised to defend the state.

2On 30 Mar., Pennsylvania congressman Daniel Roberdeau and his associates had petitioned the Pennsylvania general assembly regarding the title to a lead mine in Franktown Township, Bedford (now Blair) County. Although the legislature refused to take a position on the title, it resolved “that the utmost encouragement should be given to opening the said mine, and smelting the ore therein for public benefit, will indemnify the said Daniel Roberdeau and Company from any loss they have already sustained or may sustain in opening the said mine and smelting the ore, if they shall immediately proceed upon the said work” (Pa. General Assembly Minutes 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., 70–72). Roberdeau took a leave of absence from Congress on 11 April to organize the project (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 , 10:337, and Roberdeau to Thomas Wharton, Jr., 17 and 27 April, 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., 6:422–24, 446–47). As Maj. John Clark, Jr., was assisting Roberdeau in recruiting workers (see Roberdeau to GW, 4 June), this advertisement was probably related to that project.

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