George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Emanuel Lutterloh, 11 October 1791

From Henry Emanuel Lutterloh

Fayette Ville No. Carolina 11th Oct. 1791


The favorable attention I have formerly received from your Excellency, induces me to take the liberty of mentioning my present situation.

Since the War in which I had the honor of serving under your Excellency, and for the most part under your personal inspection; a variety of misfortunes have reduced me in a strange Country to extreme distress.

During this situation I have made repeated applications for settlement of my accounts with the proper Office, which I have not yet obtained, by reason as it is said, of my immediate principals not having settled, and to this I am informed is in a great measure to be ascribed the failure of my application to Congress on two Petitions praying the Commutation & Lands allowed to Colonels in the line, as also any Travelling expences which were usually allowed to foreign Officers, embarking in the Americam cause.

I am neither unacquainted with the rule laid down by your Excellency as to personal correspondence, nor with your engagements in public services, to which your time is so much devoted as to prevent private communications, on the private affairs of an individual of such small moment as myself; but the Soldier who in a public cause hath experienced public neglect, will for a moment be permitted to arreast your Excellency’s attention whilst he offers to your perusal his present and former Petitions as the grounds of his application for relief, in that situation to which he hath been reduced from much brighter prospects.

Permit me Sir to conceive the subject of which they treat, having been necessarily mixed with the greater transactions under your direction of the War, they may without impropriety become the subject of reference to You, in which event I submit to such mention of my services as they from Your Excellency’s knowledge may seem to merit.

I have the honor to be with the greatest respect and regard. Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Servant

Henry Emanuel Lutterloh

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

For Henry Emanuel Lutterloh and his petitions to Congress of 14 April and 15 Dec. 1790, see GW to Lutterloh, 1 Jan. 1789, source note, and DHFC, description begins Linda Grant De Pauw et al., eds. Documentary History of the First Federal Congress of the United States of America, March 4, 1789-March 3, 1791. 20 vols. to date. Baltimore, 1972–. description ends 3:366, 418, 523, 545, 632. He again petitioned the House of Representatives on 7 Dec. 1791 to allow his claims for compensation for his Revolutionary War services. Although the House passed a bill on 6 Feb. 1793 reimbursing his travel expenses, the Senate rejected it on 15 Feb. (Annals of Congress description begins Joseph Gales, Sr., comp. The Debates and Proceedings in the Congress of the United States; with an Appendix, Containing Important State Papers and Public Documents, and All the Laws of a Public Nature. 42 vols. Washington, D.C., 1834–56. description ends , 2d Cong., 2d sess., 640–41, 648, 858, 864). Lutterloh again wrote to GW on 24 May 1793, from New Bern, N.C.: “The various Misfortunes and Losses I have experienced and Suffered since the conclusion of our late War, and the great hopes I still entertained of being in some measure Usefull to this Country, being intirely frustrated from the rejection by the Senate of the allowance made to me by the House of Representatives of the Sum of Seven hundred and Forty Six dollars. which was expended by me for my Voyage from Europe, and in making preparations to join the American Forces (not accounting greater Sums laid out & Spent of my own Cash in Those times, in my offices). The repayment of which could have been, an important relief in my present great Distresses—These considerations added to that Confidence with which Your Excellency formerly honoured me, embolden me, Sir, to Address myself to You, and will I hope be considered as an apology for my freedom. My Situation is Such, that any office which is unoccupied, and to which my Abilities in the opinion of your Excellency may be adequate, would be acceptable. My having been from my earliest part of Life in Some honorable Stations and the highest Departments I have filled, Both in Europe and in this Army, renders my present Distressed Situation double irksome and Painfull. might I presume to hope Your Excellencys permission, I would do myself the honour of waiting on you personally when You are at Vernon, and relate my state of Sorrows of which herein the out Lines are depicted. I am ineured to Fatigue; my constitution still for my time of Life, is unimpaired my Wishes are to be further Usefull (here or abroad) to that Country for which I Suffered much, and hope my Health will prove equal to the Task which may be assigned to me, in short my bodily, and mental strenght, Seem to me at present, all that is left untouched by the hand of Misfortune” (DLC:GW). He received no federal appointment from GW.

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