Letter from James Mease to Richard Caswell
Volume 11, Pages 688-689
JAMES MEASE TO GOV. CASWELL.
[From Executive Letter Book.]
Lancaster, Dec. 3d 1777.
I am directed by the Honorable Continental Congress to fix Agents in the several States in the Clothing Branch, where such appointments have not already taken place. For this purpose I take the liberty of requesting your Excellency to nominate a fit person to tra't business, as conveniently situated as may be, which I am encouraged to do by the advice of the Honorable John Penn Esq. who is at this time here. The business of an Agent in this Department is to receive all the goods, imported into the State, on public
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account, suitable for clothing the soldiers, and to forward such parts as are not immediately wanted for the use of such Continental Troops as belong to or are acting in the State to such places as they may be directed to by the Clothier Genl. or towards the main army addressing them in each State to the care of the Clothing Agent there, so as either to forward or apply them as may be directed. He is also to purchase from time to time, all materials either private importations or the manufactories of the State, as are suitable for clothing the Army which are to be made up as fast as may be into suitable garments for the Troops, of the State, the overplus to be forwarded as before mentioned, a commission of 2½ per cent is allowed on the amount of all such purchases, and clothing finished, and delivered, and 'tis expected every thing be done on the most frugal terms, and the principals without contracting by the great for them. I shall shortly send more particular directions, as some regulations are in agitation respecting the clothing department. In the mean time, I beg leave to inform your Excellency that the main army is in the greatest distress for clothing of almost every kind, and therefore entreat your Excellency will particularly direct the agent, you shall think proper to appoint, to forward towards this place, without loss of time, by the utmost expeditious conveyances, all such public stores, belonging to the clothing department as are in your State. We have just received very agreeable reports of very considerable supplies, being arrived in both the Carolinas comforting ourselves with the idea of relief from thence. Indeed our ports in the middle States are so narrowly guarded and are so few in number, that almost all our supplies must come now from the northern and Southern States.
I have the honor to be with very great respect and esteem
Your Excellency's most obedient humble servant,