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LOOKING TO NJ LEGISLATURE FOR MONEY TO SAVE THE CONTINENTAL ARMY WASHINGTON, GEORGE. Letter Signed, "G:Washington," to Major General Nathanael Greene, repeating his recommendation that Colonel Clement Biddle appeal to the legislature [of New Jersey for money]. Text in the hand of Richard Kidder Meade. 1 page, folio, with integral address leaf; "G" of signature lightly inked (not faded), separations at folds and small holes at fold intersections repaired verso with tissue, vertical fold through signature (without loss), minor scattered soiling. "Head Quarters" Morristown, 26 February 1780
"In answer to your note on the subject of Col. Biddles letter I can only say that I have already recommended his waiting upon the Legislature and I still think he will have it in his power to make representations for the good of the service; but though I wish the measure to take place I would not press it or do violence to the scruples which I cannot but acknowledge are natural in Col. Biddles situation--But if he cannot reconcile it to his feelings to go--I shall be glad some other mode may be fallen upon to give the Assembly the necessary information and excite to those exertions which the exigency of our affairs requires." As Commissary General of Forage, Biddle reported in a letter to Quartermaster General Greene that the army's desperate need of forage remained unmet, despite efforts on the part of the Continental Congress to alleviate the army's lack of money by empowering agents to make purchases with credit issued by the Board of the Treasury. In the letter, which Greene forwarded to Washington on the same day as the present letter, Biddle hoped to be excused from soliciting money from the state legislature, because he thought doing so would oppose the wishes of Congress, which had resolved that a new committee was to make purchases for the army in place of commissaries or quartermasters. Although Biddle nevertheless made an appeal to the legislature, he resigned his office early the following month. The situation in the army had become so desperate, that officers were quitting or threatening to do so because they could not obtain the supplies needed to run their departments. The army's need of supplies would come to an end when the War did, with General Cornwall's surrender the following year. Published in Papers of George Washington, ed. Huggins. Charlottesville, 2016, p. 577.
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