George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Edward Hinman, 12 April 1779

To Edward Hinman

Head Quarters, Middlebrook 12th April 1779.


I herewith send you the papers which you transmitted by your letter of the 5th instant for my information in Colonel Hazens’ case.1

Altho’ it has always been my endeavor to prevent incroachments on the rights of the citizen, I have to regret, that any dispute should happen with an officer of the army—But as your complaint will come more naturally before the officer commanding the troops in your State—you will be pleased therefore, to refer the particulars to him. He has full powers to take cognizance ⟨of⟩ the misconduct of the officers under his command. Moreover, his nearness to the transaction gives him a better opportunity of knowing all of the circumstances, and hearing both parties, while my remoteness, must render me less competent to this purpose. I am sir your most hble servt

G. W——n

Df, in James McHenry’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1Hinman had written to GW on 5 April from Woodbury, Conn.: “on the 31st day of March Last Mr Tullers Quarter Master to Colonel Hazen made application to me as a Majestrate to Provide Teams to Transport Bagage &c. from Woodbury to Warterbury I informd Tullers that the Law of the State was Such that the Money for the Use of the Teams Drivers &c. must be adva[nce]d and put in the Hands of the Officer Otherwise the Teams Could not be Impresd Tullers informd me the Mony was ready and Desird I would Se the Colonel and Know what Number of Teams was wanting I did So Colonel Hazen informd me he wanted Eleven Teams and Tullers Spake to me with respect to the Mony in the Presence of Colonel Hazen Colonel Hazen advised him not to pay it and Desputed there being Such a Law I went to my own House Got the Law And Desird to read it to Colonel Hazen he refused to hear it and Said he Car[e]d nothing about it but asured me that in Case I did not Provide Teams he would Turn his Horses into my Barn and Troops into my House and that they Should there remain untill I provided Teams &c. I again informd Colonel Hazen it was not in my Power to Grant a Press Warrant unless the Mony ware Procurd Colonel Hazen Still insistd that he would Quarter his Troops and Horses upon me I went to the Publick Forrage Master and Commissary to Provide Forrage and Provision and found anough of Each and informd Colonel Hazen of it and that I would Se it Dellivd to his Quarter Master at any Place he Should appont Colonel Hazen again Asurd me the Publick Stores Should not be used untill my Private Stores was Consumd. I went from Colonel Hazen to my own House and in a very Short time his Horses was Sent to my Barn and his Troop into my House with Orders as the Troops informd me to make use of any thing as they Chose my Family Forcsed [from] the House in the Utmost Confusion and I in the Most Distresing Circumstances I Wrote to Colo. Hazen Desireing an oppertunity to wait on him at my House he accordingly gave me oppertunity I informd him of my Cituation Desird releaf but he refused I then Desird of him the liberty of Quartering the Troops Some Part of them in the Nieghbouring Houses I demanded it as the Rite of a Majestrate and asurd Colonel Hazen that the Law of the State was Such that it was my Duty to do it and that he Could have no rite thus to Force them all on me. Colonel Hazen then told me in Case I would Promis to Procure Teams &c. by the Next Morning Sun two Hours high he would Order the Horses from my Barn and Troops from my House I told Colonel Hazen that I did not Know that I could do it but that I would do what I could toward Geting Teams &c. he then Swor by the Eternal God that in Case I would not Promis to Procure Teams the Troops Should not one of them go from under my Rough or Horses from my Barn and also aded that there ware a Number of Troops Gon forward which he had Orderd Back and that they Should Also be Crouded in upon me. In this Cituation Colo. Hazen Placd me and Kept me untill I could get the Money of my own Private Intrest and Grant a Warrant to Impress the Teams &c. and for the Transportation of the Bagage &c.

“These Matters Sr I Submit to you and Humbly requst Redress on in Some reasonable way as I am Sure I am Injurd and are told by Gentlemen of the Army your Excellency is the Only one that gives Releaf. Sr I really Desire to Know if it is in the Power of your officers to Force Private Stores from the Inhabitants which have not anough to Surport there famelies Contrary to the Laws of this State while there is Publick Stores anough of this Servic” (DLC:GW).

Edward Hinman (1730–1804 or 1805), an attorney who was popularly known to his fellow townsmen as “Lawyer Ned,” represented Woodbury in the general assembly in 1773 and served on the Woodbury committee of inspection from 1774 to 1777. Hinman had become justice of the peace for the town in 1776. The outcome of his dispute with Col. Moses Hazen has not been determined.

Index Entries