George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Malachy Treat, 27 January 1781

From Malachy Treat

Pennsylvania Hutts [Jockey Hollow, N.J.]
Jany 27th 1781

I take the Liberty of informing your Excellency of the distressd Situation of the general Hospital at the Pennsylvania Hutts;1 These small Buildings have been in a wretched ruinous State for some Time, owing to the disorderly Behaviour of the Patients and Soldiery, which these left undistroyed the late Snow Storm had effected; there is not a Single Hutt in the Captains Line, and these are the only ones left Standing, except a few of the field Officers, which is sufficiently close to keep out the Snow & Rain, and not one Appartment so large as to contain more than three Persons—most of them only two.

Provisions Sir are very Scarce, and as to Vegetables, we have none of any kind, what the Draught of last Summer left unconsumed, the Revolting Pennsylvanians2 and Others, have taken away for Miles Round. with Regard to Hay and Other Forrage I have no Prospect of procuring what will be sufficient for one Hospital Team after a few Weeks.

I hear there is a Hospital established at Trenton where the Sick can be better accommodated, as well as better provided with every thing necessary for their Comfort and Happiness with little Expense comparativly. If your Excellency please, the Sick can easily be removd there by the returning provision Waggons, as we are not more than thirty five Sick, and as many Women and Children, and the Hospital will get rid of those Women who are a Nuisance at present. their Situation being Such where they now are, that to remove them or expell them the Hospital would be injuring the tender Feelings of Humanity. I have the Honor to be with great Respect your Excellencys most Obedt humble servt

Malachy Treat

ALS, DLC:GW. GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote on the docket: “Referred to Docr [John] Cochran Directr Genl,” who was at New Windsor (see Cochran to Samuel Huntington, 3 Feb. 1781, DNA:PCC, item 78; see also Saffron, Cochran description begins Morris H. Saffron. Surgeon to Washington: Dr. John Cochran, 1730-1807. New York, 1977. description ends , 93).

Treat was chief physician and surgeon of the hospital at Philadelphia.

1For the Pennsylvania line winter encampment, see Anthony Wayne to GW, 10 Dec. 1780.

2Treat refers to the Pennsylvania line mutiny (see Wayne to GW, 2 Jan. 1781, and the source note to that document).

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