George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Ephraim Blaine, 10 November 1780

From Ephraim Blaine

Philada 10th Novr 1780

Please Your Excellency

Sickness, disappointments in the Business of my Department and want of Money has been the Cause of my delaying so long in this City—I have considerable prospects respecting Supplies & am convinced Congress are disposed to have every thing done in their power.1

I have been adopting every possible measure to lay up small Magazines of Flour and Beef to prevent the like distresses the Army experienced last Winter—I have in part accomplished it and have now on hand about One thousand Head of Cattle, and hope some more will be procured, principal part of which I mean to Salt at Pitts-town, and if the State of New York are able to Supply the Garrison at West Point with Flour, I hope to throw in six thousand Barrels at Trenton & Easton before the Frost impedes the Navigation.2

I gave Col. Hay directions last August to use his utmost Influence to procure a large Number of Cask on North River & wrote my Agent at Boston to forward six or eight thousd Bushels of Salt to Clavarac, in Order to lay up a Magazine of Salt Provisions at that Place & near West point,3 and have advice of a considerable quantity of the Salt being on the road some considerable time ago.

Congress have called upon New Hampshire, Massachusets Bay & Connecticut to furnish One thousand Head of Cattle weekly from the first of October last, for ten Weeks—the Surplus from the daily Supply of the Army to be Salted.4

The State of Massachusetts Bay have sessed their different Towns twenty four hundred thousand Weight of Beef to be delivered in the Course of this Month I have wrote pressingly to the Committee & my Assistant at Springfield to forward a Supply of two hundred Hed Weekly for the Consumption of the Army, and the residue to send to the Order of Colonel Hay for the purpose of Salting, to whom I have wrote on that Subject.5

The moment I can dispatch Major Forsyth (my Agent in the Southern Departmt) after General Green,6 and obtain a small sum of Money, I shall proceed to Camp and wait your Excellency’s Orders, and give Attention to the Magazine upon the North River.7

I presume Colonel Hamilton will deliver you the requisitions of Congress upon the States for the ensuing Years Supplies, they have demanded an Ample Supply of Meat, and largely of other Articles, it looks well upon paper and I pray God it may be half executed8—I have had a meeting with our Assembly and have great hope from their Exertions, they shew a disposition of providing all they possibly can for the Army9—I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect—Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & most Hble servant

Ephr. Blaine C.G.P.

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC: Ephraim Blaine Papers.

Blaine had written GW’s aide-de-camp Tench Tilghman from Philadelphia on 7 Oct.: “I should have wrote you Long ear this but the delay I have m[e]t with in the business of my dept has deprived me of any agreable Subject respecting supplies.

“I was ordered by Congress to the Delaware and Maryland State[s] upon the business of flour and beef Cattle, but being taken sick coud not Proceed, Expresses was sent on with the Dispatches and I hope to have great relief from those States—an Immediate Demand is made upon Delaware for their Quota of flour which is three thousand Barrels, five thousand is requested from the State of Maryland and ten from this State—when I came to this City the agent gave me assurence of twelve hundred Barrels being delivered weekly into the Magazine at this place and Easton and that, that Quantity wou’d be weekly Delivered untill it exceeded ten thousand Barrels. … this Induced me to believe a regular supply for the Army was Secured, and if in my Power to car[r]y the requisition of Congress with the State[s] of Maryland and Delaware it wou’d Secure us against want of bread in the winter, and provided active Measures are taken to procure, the greatest part of that Quantity is now Manufactured and laying in the Mills—the next article is rum and beef which I am doing all in my power about, twelve hundred head of cattle are now a purchasing and I shall use every possible dispatch to forward them as they come in. I have prevailed with the Committee of Congress with whome I have had several meeting to enable me to purchase two hundred H[ogs]h[ea]d of rum in this City (which is very low) and if the[y] can furnish me with bills of Exchange to pay One half the rum three months Credit can be Obtained for the re[mai]nder, in which Purchase the public will save a Million and a half of Dollars and the army Obtain a supply of that Necessary Article—the Committee have agreed and will Immediately report if Congress Pass it. … Congress appear much distressed about the wants of the army and I am Convinced are disposed to do every thing in their Power to prevent it, and have wrote in the most pressing terms to the respective States upon the Subject of Supplies, and was money in their Power they wou’d Advance it to enable me to make the necessary Provisions—but that they are deprived off and it lays with the states to execute and I fear their slow method of Procuring supplies will still lay us under difficulties.

“be assured my utmost Endeavour shall be used to prevent distresses which I much fear, and before I leave the City shall try to adopt means to prevent it.” Blaine concluded this letter: “Mr. Morris will have charge of a pipe of wine for his Excellency which I hope will go safe—favour me with a line by first safe Opportunity” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook; see also Blaine to GW, 12 Sept., and the source note and n.2 to that document). Blaine later implored greater efforts to procure provisions from officials in Delaware and Maryland (see his letters to Caesar Rodney and Thomas Sim Lee, both 20 Nov., in DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

1Blaine had written Samuel Huntington, president of Congress, from Philadelphia on 17 Oct.: “Permit me thro your Excellency to remind Congress about the Supplies of our Army which gives me much real Concern and uneasiness—they are now fed from day to day, and scarcely a week has passed this three Months, that they have not been one or two days wanting either Bread or Beef.

“Your Magazines are now destitute of Flour, Bread, Beef, Pork, Fish, Salt, Rum, and none upon the Continent, to my knowledge, can furnish one Days Supply—The States of N: Hampshire and Massachusets Bay are our principal dependence for Beef—The French being station’d at Rhode Island has deprived the Agent of that State from giving any Assistance; indeed he is hard put to it, to find the Continental Troops on that Station & the State Officers of Connecticut told, His Excellency General Washington at Hartford, that little could be expected from that State—I have no relief from the State of New York for the main Army—they have not been able to furnish their frontier Posts with Beef, I have had frequent Applications for Supplies, & they have actually had two or three hundred Head of Cattle from the Committee of Massachusets Bay—Jersey can furnish but little Beef and not a large quantity of Flour—their quota of Supplies must be furnished between this and the first of January; I believe there is not above one quarter of their Supply of Meat due—Pennsylvania as yet have deliver’d very little Flour, no Salt nor do I know of their buying any Cattle. …

“All the Garrisons and posts in the Middle Department are destitute of Provisions, and no Means in my power of relieving them—The Season is now advanced and passing, in which quantities of Beef ought to be procured and laid in at those places, otherwise the Troops must disband for want of Subsistance.

“I am distressed to think how the Army is to be kept together thro’ the Winter—it will be impossible without large quantities of Beef is laid in upon the North River contiguous to West Point, and at the Magazines in Jersey—there is a very poor prospect at present, as the daily Support of the Army leaves none for that purpose—The Supplies of Fresh Meat must undoubtedly fail in the Winter, and without large Magazines of Salt Meat are procured in due time the Army cannot be fed—those are matters which require immediate Consideration & if delay’d may be attended with the most serious Consequences, which cannot be remedied.

“There are large demands against me since last spring and early in the Summer—part for the Seizure of Rum by order of His Excellency General Washington, at the time when our Army march’d from Morris Town against the Enemy when in Jersey, which he gave me express Orders to Settle and pay for—All the Persons, Receivers of Cattle and Butchers who are in my employ with the Army have receiv’d no pay since my entering upon the Business of the Department—those with the former Sums will Am[oun]t to two hundred thousand Pounds, which I beg and request Congress to enable me to pay, without which it will be impossible for me to stay in Camp.

“Since the Month of July and last of September in the vicinity of the Army, and Garrison of West Point, there has been seized from Sundry Persons above twelve thousand Gallons of Rum, and Orders and Certificates given upon me for payment—the People are very importunate for their Money and give me great trouble—What can I do with them under present Circumstances? The want of Rum in the Army causes great uneasiness among the Soldiery, more particularly when there is the least scarcity of Provisions, and the consequence of not having a regular Supply, causes seizures and those generally at thirty or forty ⅌ Cent above the price it might be procured at.

“The present mode of procuring Supplies from the States has left no method pointed out for my Government; or direction in fixing the pay of my Deputies and such other persons as may be occasionally employ’d in the Department—I wish Congress to point out a regular line for my future Conduct, and fix the pay of the persons I have ingaged—some of them have been employed a considerable time and are desirous of knowing what they are to have for their Services” (DNA:PCC, item 165; see also n.6 below and The Hartford Conference, 20–22 Sept., editorial note). Congress read Blaine’s letter on 19 Oct. (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 , 18:954; see also Huntington to the States, 26 Oct., in Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 16:263–64, and the source note above).

Blaine again wrote Huntington from Philadelphia on 26 Oct. to report the failure of officials in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania “in procuring their quota of Salt.” Blaine then presented a portion of a letter from his agent in Boston explaining how a private individual’s salt got into the public magazine and could be purchased for army use upon appropriate congressional action. Blaine concluded his letter: “I beg leave to mention Sir, if Congress can adopt Measures to enable me to procure three thousand Head of Cattle, exclusive of their requisitions upon this and the neighbouring States, now is the time as Cattle are plenty—it will lay up a Supply at their different posts and Garrisons, and establish a Magazine in Jersey, without which many of those places must be Evacuated” (DNA:PCC, item 165). Congress read this letter on the same date (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 , 18:979).

Blaine subsequently wrote Huntington from Philadelphia on 31 Oct. to explain problems contracting to purchase cattle at the established congressional price and to ask for an immediate increase in what he could offer because “the delay of a Day or two may loose me the Offer of a Considerable number of good Cattle.

“The southern Department is now destitute of every kind of Provisions,” and the commissaries in the southern states labored with the anxiety of uncertain salaries. Blaine added a postscript: “General Greene has made Application to me for some necessaries for Family use and wishes (if the Public can with Conveniency afford a little Wine) the Magazine affords none of the Articles he wants—is he to have them & how are they to be provided?” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook; see also n.6 below). Congress read this letter on the same date and referred it to the same committee considering GW’s letter to Huntington dated 21 Oct. (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 , 18:997).

Blaine again wrote Huntington from Philadelphia on 12 Nov.: “It is not my desire to give Congress unnecessary trouble respecting Supplies, or find fault with the mode adopted by the States to procure those required but when the Existance of the Army depends on the Execut⟨ion,⟩ it is my duty to represent to Congress those who are delinquent, that measures may be taken to prevent a failure of Supplies. …

“I have purchased four hundred and fifty Head of Cattle at about Eight pounds ten Shillings hard or the Exchange—those Cattle will come near the Price fixed by Congress, but the Vil[l]iany of Persons who are daily engaged in depreciating the Paper Currency has engaged me in disputes with all the People I have been dealing with” (DNA:PCC, item 165). Congress read this letter on 14 Nov. (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 , 18:1051).

Blaine next wrote Huntington from Philadelphia on Monday, 20 Nov.: “I have purchased seven hundred Head of the Cattle for which I had the Order of Congress, and Contracted for One hundred and fifty more to be deliver’d at the Garrison of Fort Pitt, but am far short of Money to pay for them—A number of the People from whom I purchased are waiting in town for their Money—I request Congress to grant me a Warrant for a Sum sufficient for the above purpose—the Cattle will Avarage between eight and nine pounds hard Money or the Current Exchange.

“I am ordered by His Excellency General Washington to proceed to North River, and hope to set out next thursday, previous to which would wish the business of my departmt so ar[r]anged as to inform the People who I have employed what Acknowledgements they are to have for their Services—I have fixed no Salary or daily pay to any of them” (DNA:PCC, item 165). Congress read this letter on the same date (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 , 18:1074).

Blaine wrote New Jersey delegate William Churchill Houston from Philadelphia on Thursday morning, 23 Nov.: “It will take a Million of Dollars to pay my Contracts for beef to discharge the people who are in Town waiting two hundred and fifty thousand dollars will be Absolutely Necessary exclusive those Granted Yesterday for which the[y] have my Special Promise, you will greatly Oblige me by having a warrant passed in my favour for the above Mentioned Sum” (DNA:PCC, item 165). Congress read this letter on the same date and referred it to the Board of War (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 , 18:1086; see also 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 , 18:1096–97, and GW to Huntington, 22 Dec., and n.4 to that document).

2Blaine had written his agent Nehemiah Dunham from Philadelphia on 20 Sept.: “His Excellency General Washington has order’d me to make preperations for laying in a Magazine of Salt Provisions and Flour at Pitts Town—You will do your utmost endeavours to engage between this and the first of December next, two thousand five hundred Barrels, which must be made of good Season’d Stuff, and twice the quantity of Hoops commonly put on Barrels—Would wish you to have a Couple of Vaults or Granaries made in order to pack the Beef first in Bulk, from whence you take it and pack it into Barrels, this will enable you to continue slaughtering & packing away provided you fall short of Cask—the salt I will Order from this City and give directions to have it put into good tight Casks which will answer to put Beef in after they are Emptied of the Salt.” Blaine did not know “where the Cattle are to come from,” but he wanted Dunham ready “to begin to salt down Beef by the first of November next.” He gave specific instructions for “Cutting & Salting such Meat as may be intrusted to your Charge,” requiring 220 pounds “in each Barrel. … The Tongues must be Salted down with such parts of the Heads & hearts as will be usefull.” The amount of “daily pay” from Congress remained unknown, but Blaine had “every reason to believe it will be worth your Acceptance” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine also wrote Joseph Reed, president of the Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council, from Philadelphia on 21 Sept. that he had received orders from GW “to lay up” 7,000 barrels of salt provisions in Philadelphia, Easton, Pa., and Pittstown, N.J., as well as 1,000 barrels at Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He also needed to salt “small parcels” at various posts “to secure the Troops against want next Winter & Spring.” The demands for salt provisions required 10,000 bushels of salt without delay from Pennsylvania (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:565).

Blaine wrote the Board of War from Philadelphia on 22 Sept.: “I am directed by His Excellency General Washington to making immediate Preperations for laying up Magazines of fourteen thousand Barrels of Salt Provisions upon North River, at Philada, Easton & Pitts Town, Inclosed you have an Estimate of the Exp[en]s[e] of Cask—I find it impossible to make any Contract with the Coopers without one half the Money being advanced upon engaging with them—If not immediately furnish’d with a Sum sufficient for that purpose, I cannot obtain Casks, have therefore in the most pressing terms to request you to adopt some means to enable me to proceed in executing a Business of such great Importance” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook). Blaine’s estimate for 14,000 casks after calculating an exchange rate from specie was $51,666⅔ (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine again wrote Dunham from Philadelphia on 13 Oct. with a warrant for $11,666 “in the New money Which is to pass One for Forty—One fourth is only Allot’d for your Use to Purchase Casks the Other I will Call on you for When on my way to Camp.

“I have been very Ill with a fever else you shou’d have heard from me Long ere this for God Sake use Your Utmost Endeavours to procure Casks upon the best Terms you can & have the Other preparations made for Slaughtering & Salting” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine subsequently wrote Dunham from Philadelphia on 10 Nov. to expect “two hundred head of Cattle some of which are not so good as I could wish.” Dunham should expect soon “another drove of Better Cattle than those you will now receive.” Blaine also hoped to send 500 head of cattle from Philadelphia and possibly more from GW’s headquarters (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook; see also GW to James Duane, 26 Dec.).

3Blaine had written Charles Miller, his agent in Boston, from Philadelphia on 6 Oct.: “I hope ear this reaches you that the Principle part of the salt which I ordered to Springfield and Clavarack is forwarded, I beg you my dear Sir to loose not a moments time in Executing this business the salt is now wanted. I am using every means in my power to Obtain Money from Congress when I accomplish it shall save you a part and give you the Earliest Information—make every possible Preparation to ensure a plentiful supply of Provisions for the troops Stationed in your District through the winter (you may Justly Answer how can you execute without Money) but I request your Repeated Application to your Governor & Council for their Assistance in this business without which I fear you will fail and the troops in Public Employ must disband for want of the necessary Support, but when the[y] Consider that Congress have no money, and that all Supplies furnished the united States will be made good to each respective State and the Consequence that must attend a neglect of laying in supplies at this Season, I make not the least doubt the[y] will afford you Every Necessary Assistance” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine again wrote Miller from Philadelphia on 24 Oct. to express dismay in learning that Massachusetts had “not laid in their Quota of salt long before this, you must press the Executive to enable you to forward six thousand bushells of salt to Clavarac without a single Moments delay, no Cause whatever must Prevent you from dispatching this business as the Magazine of salt Provisions for the Garrison of West Point and all the post upon North river and the Frontiers of New York State are entirely depending on you for salt” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine next wrote Miller from Philadelphia on 30 Oct. to acknowledge progress in obtaining salt from Massachusetts and urge “every Possible exertion untill you have sent” the 7,000 bushels to complete the state’s quota. Blaine expressed hope that Congress would act to assist Massachusetts officials in their procurement of “rum & Salt … and having them forwarded before the season Prevents” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook; see also n.1 above and n.5 below).

4Congress adopted this resolution on 15 Sept. (see 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 , 18:828–29).

5Blaine had written Samuel Osgood and the Committee of Purchases at Springfield, Mass., from Philadelphia on 29 Oct. to thank them for overcoming the “want of Money” to forward supplies, particularly meat. “His Excellency General Washington has given me directions to Lay up Magazines of salt Provisions up North river, for which purpose I have Ordered Six thousand bushl of salt being sent from Boston to Clavarac some considerable time ago I gave directions to Colo. Hay to procure four thousand barrels for that Purpose, and wrote Mr Miller of Boston to purchase tight Barrels to forward the salt to Clavarac which will make about fifteen hundred more, which will be the principle part of what salt Provisions can be laid up on North river, as Colo. Hay has the Management of this business you will take his Directions where to forward the Cattle after deducting two hundred and fifty head which must be regularly forwarded to the army weekly—I hope in the course of next month you will be able to forward three or four thousand head of Cattle for the use of the army and the above Purposes exclusive of laying in a sufficient supply for the Consumption of the state at the proper Magazines, add to the above One hundred head of stall’d Cattle to be deliver’d at head Quarters weekly and every week through the winter and Spring, in fixing the Quotas for each Town wou’d wish you to have this in View and make your Calculations from the last Week in December untill the middle of June which is about the time Grass beef is fit for use. … I am fully convinced every thing in your power will be done to comply with my requests” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine also wrote Lt. Col. Udny Hay, state agent for New York, then at Fishkill, from Philadelphia on 29 Oct. with “an Order for live Cattle” and a request “to procure all you possibly can in the state. Blaine updated Hay on problems related to procuring flour, securing money, and obtaining casks for salting beef for use at posts along the Hudson River. “You will also adopt Measures to procure all the Pork you can & if possible let none escape you—this will be an Article much wanted next Summer. …

“The moment my Departmt is properly ar[r]anged & I can procure a little Money and some Orders upon the State Treasurer, & Establish a Magazine at Pittstown, I will return to the Army, from whence I shall pay you a Visit at Fish-kills” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letters; see also n.3 above and Hay to GW, 12 Nov.). For the new administrative arrangement to guide Blaine as commissary general of purchases, see 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 , 18:1109–11; see also Blaine to the Board of War, 29 Nov., in DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook.

6Robert Forsyth, deputy commissary general of purchases, was then with Blaine in Philadelphia, but he had written Blaine from Fredericksburg, Va., on 29 Sept. to convey information on purchases he had made “while acting under the Direction of Col. Wadsworth & yourself.” Money and credit plagued Forsyth, who concluded his letter: “Our Situation in this Quarter is disagreeable; the purchasing Season coming on, & no preparations can be made—I even cannot engage a pork Barrel” (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:577; see also Blaine to the Board of Treasury, 26 Oct., in DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine wrote Forsyth from Philadelphia on 2 Dec.: “Herewith you will receive your appointment as Deputy Commissary of purchases for the Southern department the new system under which you Act points out your line of duty the [exertions] of the States in procuring supplies you are well acquainted with, and the tedious manner in which they furnish—therefore your Orders cannot be to[o] explicite and pressing and all your applications ought to be early.” Blaine urged Forsyth to press southern state officials “to be punctual in complying with the requisitions of Congress” and to grant him authority to dismiss inefficienct agents. “Pork is an Article of the greatest consequence get all you can.

“Pray let your delay be as short here as possible and proceed with all expedition to the Southern Army make your necessary arrangements and take the directions of Genl Greene in establishing your Magazines. Make them as few as possible you can provided they are in places of safety. … N.B. Those whom you were Obliged to employ at principal places of deposite of provisions and who had no advantage of Commissions pay them the sums allowed assistants but no Rations or forage, make them as few as possible” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook). Blaine began a letter to Forsyth from Philadelphia on 4 Dec.: “Agreeable to a resolution of Congress passed the 30th Novr last I do hereby appoint you Deputy Commissary General of Purchases for the Southern Department” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook; see also n.5 above).

7Blaine apparently remained in Philadelphia until 4 Dec., when he began a letter to the Board of Treasury from that place: “I shall be absent some time from this City, and previous to my return there may be sundry Applications for money due upon settlement of Accounts in my Office, I leave the Bearer Mr Geo: Morton to attend to that business any applications from him you will Consider as from me (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

8Congress had not taken formal action to requisition provisions from the states for the next year. Blaine subsequently began a letter to Huntington from New Windsor on 19 Jan. 1781: “I think it my duty to inform Congress of every Circumstance which concerns the supplies of our army—and my uneasiness respecting them, I fear none of the states will come up to their expectations and that many will fall Exceedingly short” (DNA:PCC, item 165). Congress read this letter on 27 Jan. and ordered that copies be sent to Pennsylvania “and the states easterward” (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 , 19:92).

9Blaine had written Reed from Philadelphia on 9 Nov. 1780 to request salt to barrel beef “without a moment’s delay” and to remind him of prior application for that article. Blaine also indicated that “a Magazine of Flour and some Beef ought to be laid in at Trenton & Easton before the severity of the Winter” to provide for the Pennsylvania line likely to establish winter quarters in northern New Jersey (Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:603; see also n.2 above; Pennsylvania Supreme Executive Council minutes for 30 Oct. and 6 Dec. in Pa. Col. Records description begins Colonial Records of Pennsylvania. 16 vols. Harrisburg, 1840–53. description ends , 12:522, 561–62; and Blaine to Reed, 1 Dec., in Pa. Archives description begins Samuel Hazard et al., eds. Pennsylvania Archives. 9 ser., 138 vols. Philadelphia and Harrisburg, 1852–1949. description ends , 1st ser., 8:630–31).

Blaine wrote Frederick Muhlenberg, speaker of the Pa. assembly, from Philadelphia on 20 Nov. with an appeal for action to procure provisions and “and secure your Army against want through the Winter.

“The Article of Flour will be much wanted, and five or Six Thousand Barrels ought to be through into the Magazines at Easton and Trenton before the frost impedes the Navigation of the Delaware and the roads get bad. …

“I have experienced a great want of regularity in the States forwarding the supplies required by Congress-whether from a neglect of their publick Agents, the want of money or power to Execute I will not presume to say, but there is a great difficiency of supplies required which is the cause of the Army being often destitute of Provisions” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

Blaine again wrote Muhlenberg from Philadelphia on 28 Nov. to know how the legislature intended to proceed in procuring provisions before he complied with GW’s order “to proceed to Clavarac up the North River to endeavour to lay up a small Magazine of Salt provisions for the support of the Garrison at West point and its Dependancies through the Winter.” Blaine also advised that “the Pennsylvania line” would winter “at the Old Hutts near Morris-Town,” and “Magazines at Easton and Trenton” required “the immediate Attention of your House without which they certainly cannot be regularly fed” (DLC: Ephraim Blaine Letterbook).

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