George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Benjamin Lincoln, 17 January 1781

From Major General Benjamin Lincoln

Boston Jany 17th 1781

My dear General

I had last evening the honor of your Excellencys favor of the 9th. Our people were thunder struck by the accounts brought by General Knox. I hope they and the several States seeing the evils which will necessarily result from the revolt of the Pennsylvania line will be induced to pursue such measures as shall prevent the like in future by removing in time every just cause of complaint from the minds of the soldiers so that the mischiefs of this infatuated measure may in some degree be compensated by a good flowing from the redoubled exertions of the continent.1

The Assembly of this commonwealth have voted to each noncommissioned [officer] and soldier who were engaged for the war prior to the fourth day of December last twenty four Dollars as a gratuity2 for their past services. I suppose that the money will be sent on by General Knox.

They have also ordered their committee to purchase immediately fifteen hundred coats to supply our deficiencies in camp3—perticular attention will be paid to your Excellencys directions with respect to the uniform in these as well as to those which shall be given to the levies.4 I have the honor to be my Dear General with every sentiment of esteem your Excellency⟨’s⟩ most obedient serva⟨nt⟩

B. Lincoln

ALS, DLC:GW; ADf, MHi: Lincoln Papers. For the receipt of this letter, see GW to William Heath, 2 Feb., postscript. GW replied to Lincoln on 10 February.

1For Brig. Gen. Henry Knox’s mission to the executives of the New England states, see GW to Knox, 7 Jan.; see also GW to Lincoln, 9 January.

2Lincoln inadvertently wrote “gratutily.”

3For both items of legislation, see Knox to GW, 7 Feb., n.6.

4GW had expressed a desire that the state issues of clothing should be of “the colors proper for their uniform” (see GW to Lincoln, 11 Dec. 1780). For the uniform colors specified for the regiments of the Continental army, see General Orders, 2 Oct. 1779.

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