George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Clinton, 25 October 1778

From George Clinton

Poukeepsie [N.Y.] 25th October 1778

Dear Sir

I am favoured with your Excellencys Letters of the 21st & 24th Instant—The Legislature have now under their Consideration Measures for enabling the Commissarys to procure a Supply Of Flour for the Army In Consequence of a Letter which I received two Days since from Genl Green I recommended to them the appointing of suitable Persons in each District to ascertain the Quantities of Flour & Wheat &c. remaining in the State I am uncertain whether they will agree to the Measure but your Excellencys Letter on this Subject will add weight to my Recommendation I will take an early opportunity of communcating to them its Contents & request their Attention to that Part of it which more immediately relates to the Quarter Master Genls Department.1

Genl Scheuyler with whom as well as Genl Hand I have conversed fully on the Chemung Expedition will deliver your Excellency Colls Hartly & Butlers Letters <to> you himself with our Sentiments in Writing on that Subject.2 Coll Butlers Journal confirms Me that it is too late in the Season to attempt it. I am Sir with the highest Respect & Esteem your Excys.

ADf, CtY: Washington Family Papers. Clinton wrote this draft on the reverse of the manuscript of GW’s letter to him of 24 October.

1Quartermaster Gen. Nathanael Greene had written Clinton on 21 Oct.: “Your Excellency is sensible how necessary it is for a General to know the resources of a Country in which he means to canton his Troops. I was mentioning to His Excellency General Washington the necessity of haveing an account of all the Grain taken in this State and that the best mode to effect it would be to get your Excellency to appoint proper Persons for the purpose in every Town. The General promised me he would write your Excellency upon the subject; and that he would engage the expences to be defrayed by the Public. If it meets with Your Excellency’s approbation I wish it may be executed as soon as possible. It is a very interesting question to the quarter master’s department. In takeing the account there must be no dependance upon the information of the Proprietors; but the Persons must see and examin for themselves. All kinds of Grain should be taken into the account that will answer either for bread or Forage” (Greene Papers description begins Richard K. Showman et al., eds. The Papers of General Nathanael Greene. 13 vols. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1976–2005. description ends , 3:7–8). For the act that the New York legislature passed on 31 Oct. empowering the commissary to seize wheat and flour under certain conditions, see George Clinton to GW, 1 Nov. (DLC:GW), and note 1 to that document.

2Clinton is referring to Col. Thomas Hartley’s letter to Congress of 8 Oct., which GW had enclosed in his letter to Clinton of 19 Oct.; and William Butler’s letter in journal form to John Stark of 16 Oct., which GW had enclosed in his letter to Clinton of 24 October. GW had asked Clinton to return both documents to him. For Hartley’s letter, see Henry Laurens to GW, 13 Oct., and note 4 to that document; and for Butler’s letter, see Stark to GW, 18 Oct., and note 1 to that document. For the report on the proposed Chemung expedition that Clinton, Philip Schuyler, and Edward Hand had written on 22 Oct., see GW to Henry Laurens, 26–27 Oct., and note 6 to that document; see also Clinton’s plan of 20 Oct. for an expedition to Chemung, in Clinton to GW, 21 Oct., n.2.

Index Entries