George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Frederick Frelinghuysen, 20 January 1781

From Frederick Frelinghuysen

Jersey Camp [Pompton, N.J.] January 20. 1781. 11 OClock P.M.


I have been for two days past with the Jersey Brigade, paying them part of the Sum due on the Depreciation of their Pay1—This evening they have unexpectedly followed the Example of the Pensylvanians, & marched from their Huts towards Chatham—By a Resolution of the Legislature, since the Revolt of the Pensylvanians, I was appointed in conjunction with Messrs Caldwell & Mehelm to examine into the Enlistments of the Jersey Troops, if found necessary, & to discharge such as appeared to have served the time for which they engaged2—This Resolution would have been published to the Troops, but from their apparent Satisfaction with the exertions of the State to do them justice, & from their making no mention of their Enlistments whilst recieving their money, as soldiers during the war, it was thought unnecessary, & by no means expedient—By tomorrow Morning I expect they will become more cool, when I shall acquaint them with this Resolution of the Legislature, & I have some hopes of being able, With the Assistance of their Officers, to induce them to return to their duty.

They left the Camp with great Decency, & discovered a great Affection for their Officers—Colonel Shrieve exerted himself to the utmost of his Abilities to quell them, but they were so much heated with the Liquor procured with the Money now paid to them, that his endeavours did not meet with the desired Success3—I hope before Tomorrow evening we shall be able to furnish your Excellency with more agreable Accounts.4 I am Sir your Excellency’s most obedt & most humble Servt

Fred. Frelinghuysen

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection.

1For this act of the New Jersey legislature, see Stirling to GW, 7 Jan. (first letter), n.1.

2The resolution of 9 Jan. reads: “Whereas there has been some Uneasiness among the non-commissioned Officers and Privates in the New-Jersey Brigade, and no Mode having been hitherto adopted for hearing and determining upon the Ground of such Uneasiness,—the Legislature being desirous to extend Relief to every aggrieved Citizen of this State; Therefore,

Resolved, That the Honourable James Caldwell and Frederick Frelinghuysen, Esquires, and John Mehelm, Esquire, … be a Committee, who are hereby authorized and directed to proceed to the Quarters of the New-Jersey Brigade, and if it shall appear to them that the Uneasiness is such as renders an Enquiry expedient, they shall proceed to hear the Complaints of such Soldiers as claim their Discharge … And if … they shall be of Opinion, that any Soldier has served the Term for which he engaged, they shall certify their Opinion to the Commanding Officer of the Regiment … and it is hereby recommended to the said Commanding Officer to discharge him accordingly” (N.J. Gen. Assembly Proc., 16 Dec. 1780–9 Jan. 1781, p. 107).

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