Readingtown March 28th 1780
I received your Excellencys letter of the 19 Inst. respecting Taylor’s order for Hides, but am doubtful the public Will be prevented of any allowance for the labour of the Virginia Soldiers, by a Stratagem he has made use of to get his order Accepted. Immediately upon finding that the board of War Insisted upon pay for Service of the Soldiers, and that I would not Issue the hides Until I had Wrote to, or waited upon your Excellency, he went up to New Windsor, to Major Hetfield C.H. for the State of N. York, got his order Accepted, and has Since sold it, I am Informed, for about two thirds the Value—but I am Inclined to think the hides are not yet Issued in payment of it. If so, perhaps a line from your Excellency to Mr Hetfield might yet prevent the Fraud—What makes me the more Anxious to bring Taylor to an Account is, that I am afraid, the Labour of the Virginia Soldiers is not the only Advantage he has had of the public; for Notwithstandg he has sold this Order for about two thirds Value, and one of Ten Thousand weight of hides he got paid in New York State some time ago, for about one third Value, so that the Speculators upon them, I’m informed, have and will make about Ten Thousand pounds by them, yet he has purchased a Real Estate the other Day at Sixteen Thousand pounds which is more than he could make, Over and above supporting his Family, even with the Advantage of the Labour of the Soldiers, in the Course of two or three years without either pay or Commissions of the public. & we in this Neighbourhood well know that about three years Since he was not worth a Single Shilling—I am with beging pardon for troubling you so often with this Matter Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & Very hbl. Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.