Office of Finance June 29th 1782
I have received your Favors of the eighth and sixteenth Instant the former enclosing Alterations proposed in the present Mode of Issues and the latter a Copy of your circular Letter to the States of the fourth of May. I pray you to accept my Thanks for these Communications. I consent to the Alterations mentioned and shall be very happy that Harmony be restored for I do assure you that let the Cause of Disputes be what it may I am extremely sorry to find that any exist. I am sorry also for the Character you have given of Mr Sands. I have too good an Opinion of your Penetration and Candor not to beleive in it. I find you have misunderstood that Part of my Letter which relates to the Complaints of the Officers—My Design was not to oppose any arrangement which might contribute to their Convenience, I only meant to shew that their Convenience having been consulted in the first Istance, The Mode had excited uneasiness, and that the Endeavor to remove that uneasiness having excited Complaint and Remonstrance the direct Compliance with the reasoning adopted by them would produce greater Hardship than that which was complained of. Hence follows the Inference which was on my Mind, that a spirit of Accomodation alone would place all Parties at their Ease and I supposed that the Interest of the Contractors on one Hand and the Convenience of the Army on the other would produce that accomodating Disposition in both. I am happy to find that Matters are now in a Train towards that desirable End and much lament that it has not sooner arrived. I shall close what I have to say upon this Subject by assuring you most confidentially that I will to the utmost of my Power do Justice and bring Relief to both Officers and Soldiers but as these Things can only be effected by exact Method and Oeconomy so I must pursue that Method and oeconomy as the only Means by which the desired releif can be obtained.
With Respect to the civil List I shall say but one or two Words. I know well the Connection which ties together all the public Servants, and I lament every Comparison which implies a Distinction between them. The civil List consists chiefly of Persons whose Salaries will do more than find them Food and cloathing. Many of them complain that with great Parsimony they cannot obtain even those Necessaries. The Difference then between them and the Army supposing the latter to get but four Months Pay out of twelve is that both would be alike subsisted and the Army would have an Arrearage of eight Months Pay to receive at a future Period but the civil List would have to receive nothing. I am my dear Sir Your’s very Sincerely
DLC: Papers of George Washington.