George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General William Heath, 1 February 1781

From Major General William Heath

West point Febry 1st 1781

Dear General

Some Days Since the enclosed was handed to me by Mr Perote1 I have endeavoured through the officers of the Brigade Cantoond near mr Perotes to find if any evidence could be obtained that would, lead to a detection of the Persons who killed his Cattle, but upon the Strictest e[n]quiry none can be found. Mr Perote, tells me all the Cattle he has lost except one, were killed before the Present Troops came to this post. He appears to be an honest man and is I believe a Friend to his Country and has Suffered much.2 I have the honor to be with the greatest respect your Excellencys most obedient Servant

W. Heath

ADfS, MHi: Heath Papers.

1The enclosure has not been identified.

2On 2 Feb., GW’s aide-de-camp David Humphreys wrote from headquarters to Ephraim Blaine, commissary general of purchases: “The bearer Mr Perote waits upon you by His Excellency’s direction—If it can be made to appear satisfactorily to you, that the Cattle in question were applied to the public use—the General would have some compensation made for them. Mr Perote’s character & circumstances plead in his favor; but a precedent should not be established, notwithstanding, which will do injustice to the Public” (DLC:GW).

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