George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bartholomew von Heer, 27 July 1789

From Bartholomew von Heer

New York July 27th 1789


I take the liberty of inclosing to your Excellency a Memorial stating my Claim and that of two other Officers of my late Corps against the United States1 any irregularity in my application I trust your goodness will impute to my want of knowing in what manner otherwise to apply. I am with the greatest respect Sir Your Excellency’s most obedient and very humble servant

Bartholomaw Von Heer

ALS, DNA:PCC, item 78.

Bartholomew von Heer was a Prussian officer who offered his services to the American army in September 1776 (see Joseph Reed to the president of Congress, 20 Sept. 1776, DNA:PCC, item 78). In 1777 he served briefly as adjutant of Hendorff’s Battalion and then as a captain in the 4th Continental Artillery and with a company of light dragoons. In May 1778 he became commander of an independent troop of light dragoons, called the Maréchaussée Corps, that served as part of the Commander-in-Chief’s Guard. He served in the post until 1783. Although Heer evidently had intended to return to Europe after the war (see his memorial to GW, undated but probably written late in 1783, DLC:GW), he remained in the United States and eventually settled in Reading, Pa., moving to the falls of the Schuylkill in 1785.

1Heer’s petition has not been identified, but it may have been similar to others he presented to the Continental Congress during the Confederation years, asking for compensation for his services. See, for example, his letters to Congress, 20 May 1784, DNA:PCC, item 42; JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 27:509, 28:24. See also his letter to GW, 10 April 1792.

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