George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Colonel Moses Hazen, 12 November 1780

From Colonel Moses Hazen

Camp West Point,” [12 Nov. 1780]. “I have received your Excellency’s Letter of the 6th Current.1 It is amazing that a Man of a liberal Education, added to a common natural Understanding, should venture his Reputation and Character on such unjust Complaints as are made against me to your Excellency and the Honourable Major-General Heath, and then to proceed to the Prosecution before a General Court-Martial of Charges on such slender Grounds as those exhibited against me by Major Reid; a Copy of which your Excellency’s have inclosed.”2 Hazen vigorously disputes the charges in a lengthy and detailed presentation before closing: “Altho’ I may have been tedious in Relation of those Particulars, yet I have been as short and as consice as the Circumstances, taking up the whole from the Beginning, would admit.”3


1For GW’s letter to Hazen dated 6 Nov., see William Heath to GW, 4 Nov., n.3.

2Hazen apparently enclosed a certified copy (dated 13 Nov.) of Maj. James Randolph Reid’s charges that had brought him “under Trial.” The charges read: “1st. For fraudulent Conduct in drawing Money for the Regiment (or Part of the Regiment) and appropriating it to other Purchases without their consent, and by detaining it from them a considerable Time, the Depreciation was so rapid, as robbed them of considerable Sums.

“2nd. For making false Musters and obliging inferior Officers to make false Musters also.

“3rd. For ungentleman and unofficer-like Conduct, in exacting advanced Prices from the Regiment for Articles furnished by the Public” (DLC:GW).

3Hazen had questioned the members of the court-martial at West Point when he wrote Maj. Gen. William Heath on 6 Nov., but he sustained his case and won acquittal (see MHi: Heath Papers, and Everest, Moses Hazen description begins Allan S. Everest. Moses Hazen and the Canadian Refugees in the American Revolution. Syracuse, N.Y., 1976. description ends , 84–85; see also Heath to GW, 15 Dec., and n.2 to that document).

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