April 19, 1776

george-washington-writing-at-his-desk-by-candlelightIn New York, the Committee of Safety orders that all persons be prohibited from holding intercourse with British ships under penalty of being considered enemies of the cause.

Major General Artemas Ward writes to General George Washington about one problem that will continue throughout the war – money:  “This day I received a letter from the Paymaster Genl informing me that he cannot without an immediate supply of money pay the drafts that must soon be made upon him. The Commissary & Quartermaster having drawn such large sums, with what has been drawn to pay the men on board the Continental Privateers, &c. that the Treasury is nearly exhausted: And unless there should be an immediate suply, we shall be reduced to great difficulties. I therefore hope your Excellency will be pleased to direct that the Paymaster Genl be supplied with a sufficient sum as soon as possible.”

From New York, Jacob Ford, writing to Washington, wishes “to point out some Ways & Means” of speedily paying £289 to a detachment of 150 Morris County militiamen for eighteen days of Continental service at New York. The detachment marched to New York under Major Doughty in response to a request for aid made to the county committee of safety by Lord Stirling when he was Continental commander in the city. Although Stirling promised that the militia would receive “the same Provision & Pay with the Continental Troops in the Middle Department . . . much Jealousy subsisted in the Minds of the above Men upon marching, as to the Propriety of the Application from his Lordship to the County Committe, & thence many hastily concluded, that the Application being improper, the Pay & Subsistence might be uncertain. Your Memorialist, fearfull of any Delay, & anxtious to remove every Doubt in the Minds of his Men, became Surety & pledged his Faith, that the Men should be paid at some short Day after discharged from the Service or become Pay Master himself.”

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