To Caleb Brewster
Mount Vernon 10th June 1784
I believe you have been misinformed as to a resolve of Congress, allowing officers on separate commands, extra-pay—I have heard of no such resolution—on the contrary, that these allowances were withdrawn. It was with great difficulty General Knox could obtain compensation for his extra-expences during his commd at the post of West-point—where, from the nature of it, he was absolutely obliged to encounter them, or turn strangers out of his house. I know also that application was made in favor of Lt Colo. Hull, who, whilst he was on the lines—exposed to the visits; and in a manner compelled to entertain a number of British officers, & had it not at his option to avoid expence—but with what success it was made I have never heard. this however I do know, that there were powerful objections made to both, lest it should open a door to a multitude of applications which Congress were determined not to comply with.1
Lest I shou’d be mistaken, in supposing there is no such resolve as you allude to, I enclose a Certificate which may be made use of, if there is.2
I hope you soon will be, if you are not already, perfectly recovered of your wound—my best wishes are offered for it; being with esteem & regard Dr Sir Yrs &c.
2. The text of the enclosed certificate, dated 10 June 1784, is: “I certify that in the year 1778, whilst the American Army lay at the white plains, it became necessary to station an officer & a few men, on the Sound to keep open a communication with the City of New York by the way of Long Island, for the purpose of my secret corrispondence: that Capt: Lt Brewster of the 2d regiment of Artillery was chosen for this service—that circumstances made it necessary to continue him therein until the close of the War—and as far as I know or believe—that he conducted the business with fidelity, judgment & bravery, having received a wound whilst he was on that duty, of which, I am informed, he is not yet recovered” (LB, DLC:GW). Brewster was wounded on Long Island Bay in December 1782 but remained in the Continental army until June 1783.