George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Meredith and Thomas Barclay, 27 August 1780

From Samuel Meredith and Thomas Barclay

Trenton August 27th 1780—Sunday


On Friday we recd 122 Barrels Flour & 37 Bundles contg 4 Tents each, which yesterday we sent on, all but 4 Barrs.—these with about 20 at the Mill will be forwd’d on Monday, & we are promissed 20 more in a few days—The Shallop was detained some time in expectation of a load from Christeen but the Delaware State have stopt Flour passing thro,1 Mr Francis we understand intended to apply to Congress to see if it could not be prevented—You have below an extract of his Letter dated Augst 21st & will be enabled to Judge (if not inform’d by the Directors of the Bank) what dependance can be placed on us.2

“I have just now dispatched J. Brown to Easton with a sum of Money, & orders to purchase 1000 Barrs. Flour in that Quarter, & forwd it to our Army, I flatter myself he will succeed in the Attempt—There’s no dependance on getting timely supplys from the Southward on accot of the Cursed foolish Laws of the Lower Counties therefore must look to the Northward & Westward.”3

He engaged 500 Barrs. from York County part of which ought to be in Philade. in a Short time—We are extreamly mortified not be able to forwd a Quantity sufficient for your necessitys—& are with the greatest regard & esteem—Your Excellencys Most Obedient Humble Servts

Saml Meredith for
Thos Barclay & Self


GW replied on 9 Sept. from headquarters in Bergen County, N.J.: “I have recd your favr of the 27th ulto. I am sorry that the Abilities of the Gentlemen of the Bank should not be equal to their inclinations or that any embarrassments should be thrown in their way by local laws. I am however confident, that every thing within their power will be done for the relief of the Army and tho’ their supplies may not come up to what they at first intended, they will make a very acceptable and material addition to those furnished by the several States” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

1In June 1780, the general assembly of Delaware, in “An ACT to prohibit the Exportation of Provisions from this State beyond the Seas for a limited Time,” prohibited the export of flour and other provisions from the state until Congress’s requisitions on the state for provisions had been met (Del. Acts 1780 description begins Anno Millesimo Septingentesimo Octuagesimo. At a General Assembly begun at Dover, in the Delaware State, the Twentieth Day of October, Anno Domini 1779, and continued by Adjournments till the Eighth Day of June 1780, the following Acts were passed . . .. [Wilmington, Del., 1780]. description ends , 49–51).

2Bank of Pennsylvania directors George Clymer and John Nixon had given GW this information (see Clymer and Nixon to GW, 21 Aug.).

3This letter from Tench Francis, Jr., presumably addressed to Meredith and Barclay, has not been identified.

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