George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant Colonel Udny Hay, 9 August 1780

From Lieutenant Colonel Udny Hay

Fish Kill [N.Y.] 9th August 1780


The late Derangement of every part of my business prevented my sending your Excellency before now the enclosed Copy of an order I gave Major Fonda,1 when in Albany, for victualling the Indians by Contract;2 though I look upon this as a profitable agreement, as it was not strictly in the line of my Duty I should not have adopted it, had not our then allmost total want of Provisions rendered such a mode not only eligible but absolutely necessary—It was approved of in writing by Colonel Vanschaick, and hope therefore your Excellency will please give your approbation on the inclosed Copy and retransmitt it to me; which will prevent any difficulty in settling the account.3

Your pack Saddles are making and shall be forwarded by, Your Excellencys, most respectfull very obedt & most humble Sert,

Udny Hay


1Jelles (Jellis) Fonda (1727–1791), of Caughnawaga, N.Y., was a major of the Tryon County militia and justice of the peace.

2In the enclosed copy of his letter to Fonda, dated 28 July at Albany, Hay directed that Fonda supply the Indians expected at Fort Hunter “in any way you think proper but so as no Complaints shall arise from them,” and he promised payment to Fonda at specified rates for the food supplies and transportation. Fonda was to receive the pay given to an assistant commissary of issues (DLC:GW). Caughnawaga, along the Mohawk River, was ten miles west of Fort Hunter, New York.

3On 16 Aug., GW replied to Hay from headquarters at Orangetown, N.Y.: “I some days ago recd your favr of the 9th inclosing the Copy of an agreement made with Major Fonda for the subsistence of the Oneida Indians. As this has been already confirmed by Colo. Van Schaick who had my orders (upon the request of the Commissioners for Indian Affairs) to supply these people, I do not conceive that there is any occasion for a further ratification by me” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). For the orders, see GW to Goose Van Schaick, 28 June.

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