George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel Moses Hazen, 6 November 1779

To Colonel Moses Hazen

Head Quarters West point 6th Novemr 1779


I have your favr without date1—I have written to Congress and inclosed your Memorial respecting Capt. Joseph Louis Gill to them.2 Untill I obtain their answer, I have, by the inclosed, given Genl Bailey directions to supply the Indians with provision.3 Inclosed you have a Warrant for 100 Dollars in your favr which sum your paymaster may give to Capt. Louis and receive from the Military Chest upon the Warrant the first time he has occasion to transact any Business with the pay Masr General.4

I will inform the Qr Mr Genl of what you say respecting the practicability of laying up forage at Coos.5 I am Sir Yr most obt Servt.

Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1This undated letter from Hazen to GW, presumably written sometime in October, reads: “The Season being far advanced, Joseph Louis Gill, the Indian Chief, is desirous of returning to Co’os before the bad Weather, in order to meet the Indians of his Tribe, as they return from hunting at or about Christmas. If your Excellency would chuse to see him before he sets out, he will wait on you at Head Quarters. If otherwise, he begs your Excellency’s Commands, and Money for his Expences up, and that your Excellency will please to direct a suitable Provision for him at Co’os, as well as something for the Indians of his Tribe at that Place, or others which he may assemble there. If your Excellency should think best to give Genl Bayley a discretionary Power, under proper Restrictions, in the Matters herein mentioned, I am persuaded they would not be misapplied: Something really ought to be done for those Savages; they have merited a Reward by their Services the last Summer, and by retaining them in our Interest they may yet be very useful to us. I believe Mr Gill will accept of the Commission your Excellency proposed. …

“P.S. Should your Excellency think proper to order a small Magazine of Forage to be laid up at Co’os, there is no Time to lose, as the People having no Market for those Articles in that Quarter, regulate their Stocks in the Fall in Proportion to their Forage; the former as it is often the Case in new Countries, exceed the latter, by which Forage is generally scarce, and not to be purchased in the latter Part of the Winter” (LS, DLC:GW).

3The draft of the enclosed letter from GW to Brig. Gen. Jacob Bayley, written at West Point on this date, reads: “Colo. Hazen having represented the services of Capt. Louis [Joseph Louis Gill] and the Indians of his tribe in a very favorable light, I have transmitted a memorial to Congress in their behalf and have recommended it to them to take them into our service and establish some regular pay for them—Till the pleasure of Congress be known I am to desire you to furnish these Indians with provision from the public Magazines” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; copy, M-Ar; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). The draft noted Bayley’s location as Coos, New Hampshire.

4GW’s warrant book for this date indicates that Hazen received $100 “for Capt. Louis an Indian” (Revolutionary War Warrant Book 4, 1779–1780, DLC:GW, ser. 5).

5The postscript of a letter from Q.M. Gen. Nathanael Greene to Clement Biddle, written at West Point on 8 Nov., suggests the communication of Hazen’s appeal for forage penned in the postscript of his undated letter (see n.1 above). Greene’s postscript reads: “His Excellency desires that all the Forage which can cleaverly be had, be laid in from Albany to Lake-champlain and in the Cohos-Country, and that the Agents be directed to be as Silent on the subject as the nature of the business will admit” (DNA:PCC, item 173).

GW’s assistant secretary James McHenry had written Biddle from West Point on 7 No.: “I am commanded by his Excellency who set out this morning to visit some of the army below, to request that you will take the necessary steps to provide and lay up at different places the forage from Fort Charles or number 4 (on the Connecticut river) as high up as Co’os inclusive. The General said what he had principally in view was the grain. His Excellency has also to request your particular attention to the establishment of magazines o⟨f⟩ the forage on the North-River and Albany” (DLC:GW). Biddle expressed his compliance with this directive in a letter to Greene of 9 Nov. (see DLC:GW; see also 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 5:36).

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