George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jedidiah Peck, 9 October 1783

Dated on Prinston this 9th Day of Octr 1783

Honored Sr

I beg you would Excuse my boldness in troubleing your Exelency with the folowing Naretive.

The Obligation I am under to do my Self and Constituants justice preseth upon me the Nesesety of Calling for your Exelency’s assistance in my Affairs.

As I must be Something Particular in my Naretive So that your Exelency may have a Right understanding of the affair I beg your Exelency’s Patience if I Should be Somthing Lengthy.

The Matter Standeth thus in the forepart of the year 1777 Capt. Anthony Post of New-york State had Orders to Ingage a Company of Artillery Artificers (under the directions of the Honorable Briga. Genell Knox) for one year at 20 Dollars pr Month which he Accordingly did when their times were out in the fore part of the year 1778 he had orders to Ingage them again for two years at 30 Dollars pr Month but they declined to Ingage (all Except his Lieut. and about 4 or 5 privets) he Sent into the State of Connecticut and Ingaged a Number of Artificers for the afore Sd time and 3 or 4 in the State of Newyork. We served our respective times out at which time our Company was Disbanded and no more Orders for ingageing again and had Received only Nominal pay for about two thurds of the time we Served. our Capt. upon our Discharge told us he would Settle our Accounts as Soone as Possable but after wateing Some time and Could not obtain any Pay from the Continent he Petitioned to Newyork State upon that the Assembly of Newyork made a Resolution in faver of them that belongs to that State and had served 3 years upon which the Capt. Lieut. and those Privets who had Served 3 years were Settled with for their Depreciation at the Rate of 20 Dollars pr Month. as before Mentioned those who Served 2 years had no more advantages than those who Served 3 years Neither of us had one farthing bounty or any other Rewards but only the Nominal pay in old Money for the time above mentioned. those who Served 2 years haveing their Accounts Still unsettled untill Peace had taken place upon which we found the Continental Accounts Settleing fast thought it highly Nesesery to Serch for a Settlement of our accounts upon which I was appointed an Agent to Settle the Same and Repaired to the Capt. who gave me Propper Certificate to Settle with the Pay Master Genll. upon application to him he made serch and found there was no Resolve of Congress in faver of us for the makeing up of our Depreciation So that he Could not allow us No more than the arears of Old money which was So Inconsiderable that he Directed me to Majr Genell Knox upon application to the Genell he Sd the Arears of old money were not worth Looking after and that he was highly Sencable of the Justice of our being allowed our Depreciation and that if I undertook Petitioning Congress he would Recommend the Matter by writeing on the Subject to Genell Lincoln the Secretery at war which he accordingly did upon my arival here and application made to the Secretery he made Report to Congress in faver of our Depreciation being made up and my affairs Layed before Congress.

I have beene from home about ten weeks Six of which I have beene wateing on Congress for their Definetive answer to my affairs but Cannot as yet Obtain any which Long Procrastination of my affairs hath Reduced me to a Sad State of Poverty. The absolute Nesesety of my being at home at this Season of the year with my family that I may Make Provition for them on the one hand and the obligations I am under to my Constituents to Settle this affair before I Return on the other are like two Great Powers in Conteriety Drawing me Each way which Reduce’s me to the Greatest Anxiety and Sorrow and if it is not Soone Settled I Shall be Reduced to the Nesesety of Leaving it unsettled after So Long time and So much money Spent which will give my Self and Constituents Exceeding great Sorrow as we are but Poor Mecanicks and poorly able to bear the Expences. Kind Sr it Doth Appear Exceeding hard to me that poor men as we are who have Adventured into the Service of their Country and Endured the Sumer’s heat and Winter’s froast (as I did that Extreeme hard Cold winter on West-Point) and Served faithfully the time they Stipelated for Should be So perplexed to Obtain only a Settlement of their Acounts.

Honorable Sr I Look upon your Exelency to be (under the hand of kind Providence) our Countries Great temporal Benefactor and those under your Exelency’s Command to be Assistant there to and as we Composed a part of the Army and were Assistant in bringing about the Grand Object for which we Contended.

I would for my Self and Constituents humbly Intreet your Excelency’s Interposition in our Affairs that your Exelency would use your Great Influence with Congress to do your Servants Justice on this Occation that my affairs may be Soone Settled and I Return to my famely and Constituents in Peace. So I Conclude with wishing all Wisdom Grace Peace & health may Rest on your Excelency throu the Remainder of your Days while I Subscribe my Self your Exelency’s Verry much Afflicted Humble Servant

Jedidiah Peck Agent

for Capt. Posts Comy Artificers

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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