George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Buchanan, 15 December 1780

From John Buchanan

West point Decr 15th 1780.

May it please Your Excellancy

Your memorlist Sweth that he has ever since the begining of the Year 17661 been in Publick Service; And has not for allmost three years had Any pay for his Services, Nor Cloathing except two Shirts and a pair or two of Shoes.

Your memorlist would be glad that your Excellancy would consider his situation, And point out a method for him to get his pay and Cloathing according to his Appointment As the Q:M: refuseth payment he not being appointed by him. Your Excellancy will likewise be pleas’d to remmember, that your memorlist has not been Accknowledged by any of the States nor has had any State priviledges.

And as there is but little prospect of Money at present would be glad of Your Excellancy’s order for some Cloathing, as He is in great necessity.2 I am Your Excellancy’s Most Humble Sarvent

John Buchanan


1Buchanan, who became superintendent of watercraft on the Hudson River in 1776, miswrote the year.

2GW replied to Buchanan from headquarters at New Windsor on 19 Dec.: “I have recd your Memorial of the 15th. As I think it reasonable that you should have a proper compensation for your services, I shall give the Quarter Master General directions to make you a suitable compensation, if you made no particular agreement with General Mcdougall, who first appointed you, or with the late Qr Mr General.

“There is very little Cloathing at present in the Store, but if you will apply, I will give you an order to procure such as there is” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW; LS, offered for sale in Charles Hamilton auction 84, January 1975, item 25).

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