George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Pettit, 8 January 1781

From Charles Pettit

Philadelphia 8th of January 178⟨1⟩


I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Your Exc⟨el⟩lency’s letter of the 3d instant, inclosing a memorandum of sundry small articles which I hope to get ready in time to go herewith ⟨by⟩ the Post.1

Pursuant to Your Excellency’s directions respecting the mo⟨ney⟩ arising from the sale of the bills,2 I applied to the Board of Treas⟨ury⟩ in the month of February, for an order on the Loan Office of Virg⟨inia⟩ for the amount, informing them that I had such a sum to depo⟨sit⟩ in that Office, which, on the receipt of such order, I could appropri⟨ate⟩ to the use of the public here. I took this method as well because I thought it the most safe and expeditious way of negotiating t⟨he⟩ business, as because I knew the Board at that time wanted to draw money from Virginia. I did not, however, obtain th⟨e⟩ order till about the last of March or beginning of April. I transmitted it to Williamsburg, and the certificates, as direc⟨ted⟩ were taken out some time in April and forwarded to Mr Lun⟨d⟩ Washington. I endeavoured to get them dated as of the tim⟨e⟩ the money was ready here, but could not obtain them of an earlier date than the time of taking them out of the Office.

I have made as much enquiry as time & circumstan⟨ces⟩ would permit for a suitable person as a steward to Your Excellency’s Family; but hitherto with little prospect of success. I shall, however, continue to make diligent enquiry ⟨&⟩ do myself the honor to inform you of the result; but I cann⟨ot⟩ at present entertain very flattering hopes: So many people th⟨is⟩ way have been called to public employments in the various de⟨part⟩ments, that almost every one looks above the station for whic⟨h⟩ he is qualified. The best chance of success seems to be among the unfortunate refugees from the States invaded by the Ene⟨my.⟩ I have the honr to be with perfect respect Your Excellency’s most obedient hume servt

Cha. Pettit

P.S. Since writing the within, I am informed by Mr Story, late paymaster to the Quarter Master’s department, that a person who was lately Steward to the Hospital department at Albany would be likely to suit Your Excellency as Steward to your Camp Family. Mr Story will be at Camp in a few days and will give farther information on the subject.

The articles mentioned in the inclosed list will go herewith by post.3

ALS (torn along one edge), DLC:GW.

1See GW to Pettit, 3 Jan., and n.2 to that document.

3The enclosed undated memorandum of “Articles purchased for His Excellency Genl Washington” listed: “2 Skeins of white silk” at a cost of 3 shillings; “3—[Skeins] of buff [silk]” at 6 shillings; “4 Sticks of best buff twist” at 8 shillings 8 pence; “½ lb. whited brown thread” at 12 shillings; “2 pocket Almanacs” at 3 shillings; “1 large [Almanac]” at 10 pence; “6 tooth brushes” at 10 shillings 6 pence, for a total cost of 2 pounds 4 shillings. The “Cash recd” was “1 Guinea,” indicated as equal to 1 pound 15 shillings, for an amount owed of 9 shillings. Notes at the end of the memorandum read: “the skeins being small, there are three of buff though the order was but for two.

“The order did not mention whether the almanacs were for the pocket or not, therefore there is a large one added” (DLC:GW).

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