7 December 2015
REED, Joseph (1741-1785). Autograph letter signed (“Jos: Reed”), as President of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania, to General Anthony Wayne, Philadelphia, 6 November 1780. 8 pages, folio, paper reinforced along spine.
CRITICAL SHORTAGES AND CURRENCY PROBLEMS Very lengthy, thoughtful response to complaints of Wayne, concerning much-needed supplies and money to be supplied by Pennsylvania for the Continental Army. Reed patiently explains the difficulties: “I should be happy to comply with your Request both as to the hard Money & a new Supply of Stores if it was in our Powers. But you are too well acquainted with the Nature of our Government not to be sensible that money matters lie entirely with the house of Assembly... As there are some of your particular Friends in the House perhaps your Recommendation will be of use if warmly urged… Many new Members have come onto the House with Expectations to lower Taxes not to increase & still less change than in any Degree from paper to Specie it will therefore be very unpleasant to disappoint themselves & their Constituents...” He goes on to admonish Wayne: “You must be sensible & the Voice of the whole Army from the General to the Drummers confirm it is no State has paid such Attention to its Troops as we have. Sound policy & a due regard to the State will suggest the putting some Bounds to Expectations & Divisions…” A fine letter reflecting the frustrations of what would prove a worse winter then that at Valley Forge.
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