George Washington Papers

General Orders, 24 December 1780

Sunday December 24th 1780


At a General court martial whereof Colonel H. Jackson was President held at West Point the 16th instant Mr Benjamin Stevens issuing Commissary at Fishkill was tried for "Refusing to deliver provisions to Arch. Leake waggoner of the Hospital on the order of the Steward of the Hospital at Fishkill on which he usually issued, because he the said Leake would not receipt in figures for said provision and also for taking receipts in figures for provisions issued on orders for an indefinite quantity for the said Hospital."

The court having considered the nature of the charge against Mr Stevens are of opinion that he is not censurable and do therefore Acquit him.

The Commander in Chief approves the acquittal, but cannot however help remarking that if the order drawn upon Mr Stevens by Mr White the Steward of the Hospital was illegal he should have refused to answer it upon that account and not have insisted upon sending the hospital waggoner back for an order from Mr Hunt the Commissary except he would receipt in figures.

As this Mode if admitted in any cases whatever opens a door to Fraud the General takes this occasion of directing the Commissary General of issues to order his deputies to make it an invariable rule to give and take all Receipts with the specific quantities expressed at large in words and not figures.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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