From John Welles and Edward Chinn
Albany March 4th 1779.
Your Excellency will perceive, on a settlement of Coll Lewis’s Accounts as Deputy Qr Mr Genl, a State of which we have furnished him with, that there is due to him, a Ballance of Twenty thousand five hundred and twenty seven pounds fourteen shillings—equal to Fifty one Thousand, three hundred and Nineteen Dollars & 2/8, for which Ballance we have this day, requested Your Excellency to grant a Warrant on the paymaster General. and in order to prevent, at these Critical times, any thing that may in the least effect that Gents. Character. We think it our Duty and we beg leave to assure Your Excellency that on Genl Greens appointment as Quarter Mr General, the Qr Mr Department was considerably indebted to the public for Services & Debts contracted before the 2d March 1778. the Military Chest of this Department being totally drained & the Depy Qr Mr not in Cash, that the Service might not suffer, by old Debts remaining unpaid, at our particular instance and request Colo. Lewis borrowed a similar Sum, which was appropriated to the discharge of those Debts, which we flatter ourselves will sufficiently account to Your Excellency for the appearance of so considerable a Ballance in his favour.1 We are truely & most Respectfully Your Excellencys Most Obedt & most humble Servants
LS, in Welles’s writing, DLC:GW.
John Welles (Wells; d. 1780) was elected by Congress on 26 July 1776 a commissioner “to liquidate and settle the accounts in the northern department” (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 , 5:612). He served in this capacity until his death.
Edward Chinn (c.1731–1802), in a petition of 8 June 1778 directed to Maj. Gen. Horatio Gates and seeking an available position as commissioner of accounts for the northern department, described himself as “one of those Persons, who was obliged to leave Canada, when the American Army retreated therefrom and waiting with Expectation of one day being able to return” (DNA:PCC, item 41). Congress passed a resolution to appoint Chinn on 17 June 1778 and elected him on 19 June (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 , 11:612, 625). In late 1783, he was appointed commissioner to settle public accounts in Rhode Island. Chinn died in Albany.