George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Lewis, 23 December 1780

From Joseph Lewis

Morris Town [N.J.] 23rd December 1780


At the request of the inhabitants of this County, I have collected a considerable number of Receipts & Certificates given by the Officers and Majestrates for provisions &c. taken for the Army on your Excellency’s requisition last January.1 And a number more of the same kind of Receipts yet remain in the hands of those who furnish’d the provision—none of which can be paid for, Untill it is Certified by your Excellency, or some person appointed for that purpose, as appears by a late Law of New Jersey an Extract of which I do myself the Honour to inclose2—I will endeavour to collect the remainder of those accounts & have them ready to present to the person whom your Excellency will please to appoint for the purpose of examining them—And, in order to expedite the business of collecting the Accts I will Advertize the day on which They must be presented for examination, if your Excellency will please to appoint a day and advise me of it.3 Am with perfect respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient & Most Humle servant

Jos. Lewis Contractr Morris Co.

ALS, ViMtvL.

1For the concerted effort the previous winter to procure provisions from New Jersey residents, see Circular to New Jersey Magistrates, 7 Jan., and GW to William De Hart, 8 January.

2The enclosure has not been identified, but see section five of “A supplemental ACT to the Act, intitled, An Act for procuring Provisions for the Use of the Army, and other Supplies for carrying on the War; and for settling the publick Accounts of this State,” adopted on 18 March (N.J. Acts 1779, second Sitting description begins Acts of the General Assembly of the State of New-Jersey, At a Session begun at Trenton on the 26th Day of October, 1779, and continued by Adjournments. Being the second Sitting of the fourth Assembly. Trenton, 1780. description ends , 69–73).

3GW replied to Lewis from headquarters at New Windsor on 29 Dec.: “I have received your favr of the 23d Inst. If my memory serves me, the Act of the State, to which you refer, pointed out a certain period, during which, all provision taken by the Soldiers from the Inhabitants should be paid for upon my Certificate, or that of persons empowered by me—Mr Condict was kind enough to collect all the accounts which he could hear of and which came within the term of the law, and Colo. Dayton certified them by my order—There may be still a vast number of claimants on the score of plunder, but I shall not think myself authorised to go further into the matter, unless I am required so to do by the Legislature” (Df, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW).

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