George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James A. Stewart, 3 December 1780

From James A. Stewart

[Hackettstown, N.J., 3 Dec. 1780]. “By a Copy of a Letter which I received from Mr William Denning I find your Excellency has heard that Complaints have been made with Regard to the Managements of public Affairs at this Post.”1 Stewart dismisses the people who complained about him as “unaccquainted with my Character … had I Known that Genl Washington was to pass this way I should have had my Evidences collected to Envalidate all that is Contained in it … I assure you Sir that I have used no undue Influence to Obtain what has been Sworn to, and what has been Declared before Creditable Witnesses.” Stewart names New York governor George Clinton among those who could testify to his character.2

Copy, NHi: James Duane Papers.

James A. Stewart (c.1743–1813) wrote President Thomas Jefferson from New York City on 21 Jan. 1803 and described himself as a merchant, “which Occupation I have followed for thirty Six years, and a true Patriot for my Country” during the Revolutionary War (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 39:374–76).

2Stewart also enclosed a letter he sent Charles Stewart, commissary general of issues, from Hackettstown on 2 Dec. to defend his actions, adding “for my own part I expected to meet with a good deal of Abuse and Ill will … and I find I have not been Disappointed … as my Information with Regard to the Quantity of Beef Pork Fish Beans & Pease, sent to this Post is not as full as I could wish, I shall be Obliged to you for it & the Quantity that was Issued out here” (NHi: James Duane Papers).

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