George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major John Mauritius Goetschius, 11 November 1780

From Major John Mauritius Goetschius

Hakensack Bergen County [N.J.]
Nov. 11. 1780

May it Pleas Your Excellency.

Being on an seperate Out Post and Exposed to many Difficulties not unknown to your Excellency, the Contractor of this County having for some time Past supplied My Corps with flower and Beef till it was put out of his Power (as he says) by the Great Quantity of Beef and other Articles taking out of the County by the Armey to supply me any longer I sent to the super Intendant of this state for a supply with two single Teams. Eight Barrels of Flower was accordingly sent on—and a Direction from the super intendant to Commisary Gamble for Beeves. on account of one of the Wagens gives out, only four of the Barrels Came on, and instead of sending on the Provisions, the Flower was Ordered to be unloaded by Mr Gamble, and an Order was Given for two head of Cattle, and the four Barrels which were left behind at Morristown in Consequence of such usage, two head of small Cattle Came in, and no flower. The Corps unprovided and ready to raise against, me. I Humble lay the Case before your Excellency. If my Grevance shall be Noticed, I rely on your Excellencies Redress.

If any thing further is required, the Bearer Captn J. Outwater Can Inform your Excellency the Particulars.1 I am and remain in all respects your Excellencise Most Obedient servant with submission.

Jo. Mauritius Goetschius Major


1John Outwater (1746–1823) served as captain of militia and state troops from Bergen County. He was wounded during a British raid on Hackensack in March 1780 (see Leiby, Hackensack Valley description begins Adrian C. Leiby. The Revolutionary War in the Hackensack Valley: The Jersey Dutch and the Neutral Ground, 1775–1783. New Brunswick, N.J., 1962. description ends , 238–44). Outwater engaged in local politics throughout his life.

GW replied to Goetschius from headquarters at Passaic Falls on this date: “I have recd yours of this date. The detachment under your command not being considered in the Continental pay, or under my direction, you cannot with propriety apply to me for provision. The State will, no doubt, upon your application to them, give proper orders in the Matter. I should not refer you to the State, had I any authority to supply you” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). Before the final sentence on the draft, Tilghman wrote and then struck out: “It is with difficulty that I can subsist.”

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