George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Story, 22 November 1780

From William Story

Boston Novemr 22d 1780

May it please Your Excellency

As I have the highest esteem for you who I am well Satisfied care for the Comfort of the Soldiers under you, and greatest regard for the Welfare of my Country & more especially for those who are engaged in the defence of the Rights & libertys of these United States who I am informed are & have been Suffering greatly for want of Cloathing &c.

I who am in public office as Clerk to the Navy Board Eastern department think it my duty & beg leave to represent to your Excellency that I am Informed that there is Cloathing of all Sorts at Springfield in this State Sufficient to Cloath the whole Army and that great part of it has been there for near two years that large quantitys of Shoes that were lodged there have been thrown away as Spoiled this Information is given by an Inhabitant of Springfield—of some note there, and as I have not the least doubt of the truth of great part of it So I have not the least doubt but that your Excellency has not been Acquainted with it if you had I am Sure it would never have remained there Useless & perishing for so long a time whose business it is to give the Information to your Excellency I know not but I must think there is blame some where.1 I am with great respect Your Excellencys Most Obedt humble Servt

Willm Story

I have a Son who has been in the Army from the begining his name is John who was with Majr Genl Green.

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote “No Ansr necessary” on the docket.

William Story (1720–1799) fathered several children with two wives. He served as deputy register of the Court of Vice-Admiralty in Boston before the Revolutionary War and apparently weathered Loyalist allegations. Story became clerk to the Navy Board in the eastern department in May 1778 and had his salary raised to “8000 dollars per annum” for services as clerk and paymaster on 27 Jan. 1780 (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 , 16:98). Compensation for his work on the Navy Board, however, remained a disputed point (see Isaac Story to James Madison, 27 Oct. 1794, in Madison Papers description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends , 15:363–65). A death notice in The Salem Gazette (Massachusetts) for 26 Nov. 1799 characterized Story as “distinguished for his temperance, patriotism and piety.

1For another report on the mishandling of clothing at Springfield, Mass., see Jonathan Trumbull, Sr., to GW, 21 November. Efforts were under way to transport clothing from Springfield (see Timothy Pickering’s first letter to GW, 19 Nov.).

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