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Gazette of the United-States. (New-York [N.Y.]) 1789-1793, February 27, 1793, Image 1

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[No. 78 of Vol. IV.] Wednesday, February 27, 1793.
she foHowing Report wits laid before tin
Honfe of Representatives of the
United Suites, oil the 15 tli inll.
The Committee to whom was recommitted
the Report of the Committee appointed U
enquire into the Causes of the Failure oj
the Expedition under Major General St.
Clair, together with the Documents relat
ing thereto, including the Letter from the
Secretary at IVar, and the Memorial ej
Samuel Hodgdott, have proceeded in re
examine the Documents formerly before
them, as far as femed nectjfary—to hear
and examine other teflimony, produced to
them—to hear and cnnfider the written
communications, made by the Secretary at
IVur, Samuel Hodgdon, and the Cum
tnander in Chief of the Expedition } and,
as the refill of their farther enquiries,
mole the following
Supplementary Report:
X H E original Report commences
in the following words—
" The contract for the supplies of the
army on the route from Fort Pitt, was
made by Theodoiius Fowler, with the
Secretary of the Treasury, and bears date
the twenty-eighth day of Qftober, one
thousand seven hundred and ninety ; that
at the fame time a bond in the penalty
of one hundred thousand dollars, with
Walter Livingfton and John Cochran,
securities thereto, was entered into, for
the due execution of the contract : That
on the third day of January, one thousand
seven hundred and ninety-one, the con
trad was wholly transferred from the
said Fowler, to William Duer, a copy of
which transfer was lodged in the office of
the Secretary of the Treasury ; that by
letter from the Secretary at War, bearing
diie the t'-vcrvty-fiftii. us February, oaa
thousand seven hundred and ninety-one,
aSdrcffed to William Duer, it appears
that he was considered as contractor ;
tkat no correspondence appears to have
taken place fubfeqtiently to that time be
tween Theodoiius Fowler and either the
Treasury or War Departments."
From documents received by the com
mittee, since their lad appointment, it
appears, that the copy of the beforc-men
tibned transfer was not lodged in the of
fice of the Secretary of the Treasury, un
til the seventh of April, one thousand se
ven hundred and ninety-one ; at which
time it was received by the Secretary of
the Treasury, under cover of a letter from
William Duer, informing him of the cir
cumftanoe of the said transfer, and mak
ing requifrtions for certain advances of
money. That the Secretary of the Trea
sury, by letter in reply, of the fame date,
agrees to make the advances required, to
WilliamTDiier, as the agent of 7'heodo/ius
It appears, that all the warrants, issued
r rom the Treasury, for the purposes of
vhis contrast, were issued to William Du
er, as the agent of Theodoiius Fowler.
I'he Secretary of the Treasury has fur
nifhsd the committee with the written
opinions of the Attorney General of the
U-nited States, and several other lawyers
of eminence, all of whom concur in opi
nion, that the securities to the bond, ori
ginally given by Theodoiius Fowler, for
the execution of this contract, are now
lefponfible for all damages, consequent
«ipon any breach of that contract.
The Secretary of War, who alone ap
pears to have been the agent, on the part
of the UnitcdStates, in all things relating
to the execution of the com raft, has al
ways coricfponded with William Duer,
as the contra&or, and his conefpoadence
commences at a date prior to that of the
copy of the contract lodged at the Trea
i he original Report pioceeda :
" That on the sixth of March, one
thousand seven hundred and ninety-one, a
f'»ntra£t was entered into by Wiiliam
~" er » w 'th the Secretary at War, for
'Upplying the troops with provisions, un
til their arrival at Fort Pitt, and at Fort
ntt. A bond wa» at the fame time en
terevi iiUfl.by llye said William for i
the due execution of the said contract, in
the penalty of four thousand dollars,
without any security whatsoever."
It appeals, by are-examination of the
documents formerly before the committee
that the date and terms of the last men
tioned contrast, were misrepresented ; thtf
date being the twenty-sixth, instead of
the fuih of April, and the terms of the
contract, being to furnilh provisions for
the.troops until their arrival at Fort Pitt,
bat not during their continuance at that:
place. The fidl of these miflakts appear
to have been merely casual, the second
appears to have avifen from paying great
er attention to the manner in which the
contradt was realiy executed, than to the
terms of the contract itfelf, it Jaa^ n g been
conceived by the committee, that Colonel
Neville, che agent for supplying the
tt'oqps during their continuance at Foit
' Pitt, afi under the Jafi Mentioned con-.
trail. This circumftaricc is rendered'the
leis material, from the consideration, that
according to the plan of the campaign,
no delay of the troops at Fort Pitt was
counted upon. The ilatement is other
wise correct.
The Secretary at War, in his commit
nicarion, states, that it was not the cus
tom of the office, to require other lecuri
ty than that of the contractor, for the
dueeKccutionof contracts of small amount;
and it appears by a letter of the Secreta
ry of the Treasury written since the for
mer report, that the Secretary at War
consulted with him upon the occasion
alluded to, and that he agreed in opini
on, that farther fecuiity was not necef
fai y.
It is stated in the original report, after
speaking of one of the contraftor'g agents,
" It appears by letters from John
Kean, another of the contra&ors agents,
that no monies had been received by him
on the eighth of May, and it appears
that on the twenty-third of March there
was advanced to William Duer on the
last mentioned contract, ti<e sum of fif
teen thousand dollars."
Upon re-examining the letters of John
Kean, it appears that he nad received the
sum of foDr hundred and fifty dollars, and
no more, before the aforefaid eighth day
of May, which was before overlooked by
the committee. And it appears from
documents received by the committee
since their report, that the sum of fifteen
thousand dollars was not advanced to
William Duer on account of the last men
tioned contract, on the twenty-third of
March. The committee were led into
this mistake, by a document leceived from
the Tteafurer, repiefenting the fad as
Hated in the original report, which docu
ment is (till befoie the committee.—The
true llate of this tranfaftion as recently
dated, appears to be as follows :
A wartaut issued in favor of Joseph
Howell, on the twenty-third of March,
for the sum of fifteen thousand dollars, for
the use of the war department generally,
and not for William Duer, as Hated in
the aceount rendered by the Treasurer:
Of which sum, were advanced to William
Duer, on the twenty-sixth of March, four
thousand dollars; on the eighth day of
May following, were paid to James Smith,
comra&ing agent for William Duer, one
thousand dollars ; and between the twen
ty-firlt 6f May and the twenty-third of
July, were paid to John Kean, another
agent for William Duer, four hundred
and thirty«feven dollars and ninety-one
cents ; making the whole sum advanced
on the last mentioned contrafl, fivt thou
sand fourliiNidred and thirty seven dollars,
and ninety-one cents. —The residue of the
fifteen thousand dollars is suggested to
have been applied to the use of the war
department generally-
The original report dates, that—
" It appears from the correspondence
of General Butler, from the ninth of May
to the ninth of June, repeated complaints
were raarl? v.* fatal inifmanagcir.ents and
ncgle£ts, in the quartet Waiter's zmi milf
tary stores departments, particular ly as
to tents, kriapfacks, camp kettles, car
tridge boxes, pack-saddles, &c. all, of
which articles were deficient in quantity
and bad in quality. The pack-iaddlfs
particularly were made in Philadelphia,
which with the tranfportution, amounted
to more than,double the price at which
they might lisve been procured at Fart
Pitt, and wete found upon examination
to be unfit fop use."
Mr. Hodjdon has produced to the
committee, a number of ex-parte affida
vits and certificates, to prove, that these
several were furnifhed, in 1 effici
ent quantities, and of good quality.—
Molt of these affidavits however, were
made by the manufacturers of the respec
tive articles, or persons in the employ
ment of Mr. Hodgdon, and generally
written in adiffeient hand-writing, from
that of the- lubfcribirtg' cltponeiun ; ami*
molt of the certificates, by p:ilons un
known to the committee- But the testi
mony formerly taken by the committee,
and the corroboration of it by the evi
dence of refpeftable and difintereited per
sons, lately taken by the committee, in
presence of Mr. Hodgdon, appears abun
dantly fufficient to juilify the statement
of fadts, contained in the original report.
With refpeft to the pack-saddles howe
ver, it is necelTary to remark, that foine
qualification of the expression used in the
original report, would be proper. They
appear to have been made of different
sizes : those of the largell size arc proved
to have been wholly unfit for use, the
horses used for pack-horses being general
ly small. Some of the smaller pack-sad
dles, however, appear to have been used
in the iampaigr., and to have answered
the intended purpose better than was at
fir ft expedted.
It is stated in the 01 iginal report that—
" The arms sent forward appear not
to have been duly examined, and arrived
at Foit Pitt extremely out of order, and
mauy totally unfit for use, which circum
stance rendered repairs ablolutely necessa
ry, and added to the delay of the troops,
at Fort Pitt."
The committee arc led to conclude,
from authentic information recently re
ceived, that the complaint of the arms in
tended for the regular troops and levies,
is unfounded ; some of the arms appear to
have been damaged, after they were put
into the hands of the troops, from their
inexperience or carelessness, tho' deliver
ed to them in good order.
The committee were induced to make
the unqualified statement contained iri the
original report, from the unqualified man
ner in which this fubje£t is spoken of by
some of the witnesses, formerly examined
by the committee ; they not having ftaied
with Sufficient prtcilion, the caufea of the
arms being out of repair, nor fpecifying
the probable number requiring repairs.
'1 he original report proceeds with the
following txpreffion :
" It appears, that a great proportion
of the powder, supplied for the use of the
aimy, was not of good quality, tho' an
experiment made by major Fergufon, at
Fort Pitt, with a howitzer, who report
ed in favor of the quality of the powder."
The committer are fatislied, from ex
periments made since the original report
by captain Ford, at Fort Washington,
upon reque ft of the Secretary at War,
and by samples of the powder from thence,
actually furniflied the committe, that the
powder was oiiginally of good quality ;
but that a certain quantity of it was da
maged by exposure to the air and moisture
afur being issued to the troops- And it
appears to have been powder of this de
feription, upon which experiments were
made by some of the officers in the expe
dition, which produced unfavorable im
pieflions as to the quality of the powder
in general ; for it i* certain, a belief was
currently entertained among ft the officers,
[Whole No. 400.J
, tfaa? tta pow<let jn genera* of
'good quality. 'iie- ii/uifitient yN/i nt> e
powder,suffer the army took the field,
is accounted for from the bad qu&litj off
the tents. It is in U llimony to tlie (#m
mittee, that tfteat quantities of tl»e fated
ammunition were a&ually 1 endwed uteleft
from that cause.
It is ftatecl in tlis original report,
" Mr. Hodgdon was appointed qiiar
er malter-general in the month of-Mawh,
ind continued at Philadelphia until the
4th of June, he'then proceeded to jFort
Pitt, where he ariived on the
the fame month—no fnfiicicnt caufovliive
appeared to rh*i' committee to juflify thi(
delay, and his preftnee with
' peared to have been, efP ntially
pre.vioufly to that time." >
In this ftatemei.t, the duration of Mr.
flodgdon's stay at Foit Pitt v as casual
ly omitteii, which appears to have been
from tiw tctith of June, till the V*«n,Y
fixth of Ai»grtift. -The insertion of this
fa& will fufficiently explain the sense of
the committee, in the inference tefpeft
ing the time, in which the presence of
the quarter-roaster-general was neccfTdvjr
at the army.
It is dated in the original report,
" There were fix hundred and leventy
five (land of a-ms, at Fort Washington,
on the firfl: of June, and moll of tfiofi
totally out of repair."
These arms* the precise number of
which appears not to be accurately afecr
tained, are admitted by the Secretary at
War, to have been at Fort Washington,
in the situation described, but he fnggefts,
that they were old and ufelefsarms, which
had been oolkfled at that place, and
were not counted upon, as any part of
the supply of arms for the expedition.—
It appears, that the regular troops and
levies were completely supplied with ?rms,
without recurrence to this (lock: but a
number of them was repaired, by orders
of the commander in chief, of the ex
pedition, with a view, as he suggests, to
arm the militia from Kentucky, who, it
was expected, would arrive, either in
efficiently armed, or not armed at all :
and he did not conceive the arrangements,
made by the war department, competent
to arming the militia, together with the
other troops.
The original repoit dates, that
" The privates of the levies received
but three dollars pay each, fiom the time
of thei'i refpeftive inliflments to the time
of their refpedive difiharges, and were
adtially discharged without farther pay
or Settlement ; notes ftf discharge were
piven them, Specifying the time of their
Service, and bearing - indorsations, that
some advances had been made to them on
account, without dating the amcunt,
the objed of which is fuggelted to have
been to prevent transfers ; the intended
effi.d was not produced by the meafurt ;
the notes were fold for trifling considera
tions, the real sums due on the note*
were various, from ten to twenty-five
dollars, and they weie frequently fold for
one dollar, or one gallon of whiflcy ;
the monies foi the pay of the levies did
not leave Philadelphia, till the fourth of
December, one thousand seven hundred
and ninety-one, nor arrive at Eort-
Waihington, till the third of January,
one thousand seven hundred and ninety
two, some time after the last inlilled levies
are known to have been entitled to their
In addition to the reasons contained in
the original report, refpe£ting the diCr
charging of the levies, without their (li
pulattd pay, which arc admitted by the
Secretary at War, to have heen justly
dated, he has, Sahls late lommunicatioD,,
suggested to the committee, that, at the
time of the discharge of the levie«, there
was a&ually, in the hands of the<juarter
nufter-gcueral, t!ie sum v.f fixtcee
,'*« UJI

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