George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Michael Hillegas, 11 June 1779

To Michael Hillegas

Smith’s in the Clove [N.Y.] June 11: 1779

sir

Some time since His Excellency the president of Congress did me the Honor to inform me, that Congress had passed an Act authorising the public Treasurer to pay to my order any sum of hard money not exceeding 2000 Guineas for the purposes of secret services.1 This I think was the substance of his Letter as well as I can recollect it, for I have not my papers with me. As I have now occasion for part—and a favourable opportunity offers, I request that you will be pleased to deliver to Major Des Epiniers Five hundred Guineas who will convey them to me—and whose receipt will be good for the same.2 I have the Honor to be Sir Yr Most Obed. st

G.W.

Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1See John Jay to GW, 4 May, and 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 14:526; see also GW to Jay, 11 May (second letter).

2Hillegas, the Continental treasurer, replied to GW from Philadelphia on 19 June: “I was honored by yours of the 11th Instant per Major Des Epeniers, which I immediately requested him to lay before the Honble the Board of Treasury—In pursuance of which I agreeable to your Excellency’s request send you by the Major the five hundred Guineas or Specie (as delivered me) to that amount hope it will come safe to hand” (ALS, DLC:GW). Congress passed a resolution on 22 June that authorized a warrant “for 500 guineas or a like sum in other specie advanced on the application of Genl Washington, for public service, he to be accountable, and that Major Des Epinier’s receipt of the 19th instant for that sum being annexed to this Warrant, be the Treasurer’s voucher for Payment of the same” (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 14:756–57).

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