George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Clark, Jr. and James Johnston, 12 September 1778

From John Clark, Jr. and James Johnston

Harrison’s Purchase [N.Y.]1 Auditors Office
Septr 12th 1778.

May it please your Excellency.

In virtue of a Resolve of Congress of the 3rd Inst:, We have digested a Plan for setling the accounts of back rations: as also a hint to the Officers, on the subject of settling their Accots agreeable to your late order; and directions for the Regimental paymaster’s of the line: all of which, are intended to promote the public good; and facilitate the settling and adjusting the Accounts of the Army. We beg leave to submit them to your consideration, and hope (if not inconsistent with good policy) the inclosed may be inserted in the next General Orders.2 We have the honor to be with the greatest attachment and respect Sir Your Most Obedt Humble Servts

Jno. Clark Junr

Jas Johnston Audrs

P.S. Col. Harrison’s Letters of the 10th 11th & 12th Inst. have been received and attended to.3

LS, DLC:GW. Robert Hanson Harrison docketed the cover of the letter, in part, “ansd verbally.”

Congress elected James Johnston auditor of accounts at the main army on 3 Sept 1778, and he remained at that post in 1781.

1The northern end of Harrison’s Purchase, near Purchase, N.Y., is about three miles east of White Plains; the southern end, near Harrison, N.Y., is about five miles southeast of White Plains.

2The resolution of 3 Sept. authorized the auditors to settle rations accounts “upon the oath of the party, and such other evidence as the circumstances of the case will admit” when certificates of issuing commissaries could not be obtained ( 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 , 12:863). In the enclosed plan, the auditors quoted the resolution and directed “that all accounts of back rations be made up to the first of September Instant, and those of each Regiment collected in form of a regimental Abstract. …The accounts being attested to before the Brigadier … and forwarded with the regimental abstract will be allowed.” The auditors also referred all officers to GW’s general orders of 25 July regarding the settlement of accounts, threatening that those who failed to comply within one month would “be proceeded against Agreeable to the Resolves of Congress” (DLC:GW).

3For Robert Hanson Harrison’s letter to Clark of 10 Sept., see Clark to GW, 10 Sept., source note. The letters of 11 and 12 Sept. have not been identified.

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