George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 12 October 1780

War office octr 12 1780


The Board have been prevented by divers causes from answering your Excellency’s letter of the 5th of September last, relative to the officers not belonging to the quota of any States to whom Congress mean to make up the depreciation of their pay. However just it may be, either at this time, or hereafter for Congress to take into their consideration the several descriptions of persons not immediately military, mentioned in your Excellency’s letter, it does not appear that it is any part of the business now entrusted to us to interfere in any matters relative to their claims. We have transmitted for your Excellency’s consideration copies of both the resolutions of Congress on which our former letter was grounded. The words of the last are—"That the Board of war be directed to report to Congress a list of the officers not belonging to the quota of any State, with an account of the ballance due to each to make their pay good for past services agreeable to the resolution of the 10th of April last." The words of the resolution of the 10th of April are, "That Congress will make good to the Line of the army, and the Independent Corps there of the deficiency of their pay occasioned by the depreciation." We therefore conceive that the words "the Line of the Army and the Independent Corps thereof," are descriptive of our present business and clearly designate the persons who are to be returned to Congress including by the strongest implication the staff and all others whose offices are not wholly military. We beg Leave therefore to submit to your Excellency’s Consideration whether it will not be best to return all such officers as either explicitly are comprehended, or by any construction can be supposed to fall under the words of the resolution, leaving the claims of the others to be hereafter discussed either on their own representations, or in any other way by which they can with propriety be brought before Congress—Should your Excellency coincide with us in opinion we beg the Favour of you to direct Returns to be transmitted as early as possible of the officers whose Cases fall within our Ideas of the Consideration of the Resolutions of Congress above stated. We have the Honour to be with the highest respect & Esteem your very obed. Servants

Richard Peters

By Order

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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