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alone is inadequate to our situation. You know as well as I do, how far we ought to rely on loans to supply the defect of it. Specific taxes, as far as they go, are a valuable fund, but from local and other difficulties will never be universally and sufficiently adopted: purchases with State money or certificates will be substituted. In order to prevent this evil, and to ensure the supplies, therefore, I would propose, that they be diffused and proportioned among the people as accurately as circumstances will admit; that they be impressed with vigor and impartiality; and paid for in certificates not transferable, and to be redeemable, at some period subsequent to the war, at specie value, and bearing an intermediate interest. The advantage of such a scheme is this, that it would anticipate during the war the future revenues of peace, as our enemies and all other modern nations do. It would be compelling the people to lend the public their commodities, as people elsewhere lend their money to purchase commodities. It would be a permanent resource by which the war might be supported as long as the earth should yield its increase. This plan differs from specific taxes in this, that as an equivalent is given for what is received, much less nicely would be requisite in apportioning the supplies among the people, and they would be taken in places where they are most wanted. It differs from the plan of paying for supplies in State emissions or common certificates, in this, that the latter produce all the evils of a redundant medium, whereas the former, not being transferable, cannot have that effect, and moreover do not require the same degree of taxes during the war.
TO EDMUND PENDLETON.
Philadelphia, October 31, 1780. DEAR SIR,
Congress have felt a becoming resentment of the barbarous treatment of the gentlemen in captivity at Charleston, and have directed General Washington to require of Clinton an explanation of the matter. Nothing has yet been done in consequence of it, except an application to Clinton, which, as he had at that time not been officially informed of the fact, he evaded by general assurances of the humanity, &c., of Cornwallis. General Washington had very luckily, between the application and the answer, received two of the Earl's bloody proclamations, which he very handsomely communicated to Sir Henry."
TO EDMUND PENDLETON.
Philadelphia, November 7, 1780. DEAR SIR,
Doctor Lee and Mr. Izard, particularly the latter, have been here sometime, and I believe are not very reserved in their reflections on the venerable philosopher at the Court of Versailles. Mr. Izard, I understand, is particularly open in his charges against him. Doctor Lee on his arrival applied to Congress for a hearing on the subject of Mr. Dean's allegations, if any
doubt remained of the falsehood and malice of them, but nothing final has been done as yet in consequence of it. I have had great anxiety lest the flame of faction, which on a former occasion proved so injurious, should be kindled anew; but, as far as I
can judge, the temper of Congress is in general by no means prone to it, although there may be individuals on both sides who would both wish and endeavour it.
Congress have just finished an estimate of supplies for the ensuing year, requiring of the States the value of six millions of dollars in specie. The principal part of the requisition consists of specific articles, the residue of specie or the new emissions, receivable as specie. If the States fulfil this plan punctually, there is no doubt that we shall go smoothly through another campaign; and if they would forbear recurring to State emissions and certificates, in procuring the supplies, it may become a permanent and effectual mode of carrying on the war. But past experience will not permit our expectations to be very sanguine. The collection and transportation of specific supplies must necessarily be tedious and subject to casualties; and the proceedings of separate popular bodies must add greatly to the uncertainty and delay. The expense attending the mode is of itself a sufficient objection to it, if money could by any possible device be provided in due quantity. The want of this article is the source of all our public difficulties and misfortunes. One or two millions of guineas properly applied, would diffuse vigor and satisfaction throughout the whole military departments, and would expel the enemy from every part of the United States. It would also have another good effect. It would reconcile the army and every body else to our republican forms of government; the principal inconveniences which are imputed to them being really the fruit of defective revenues. What other States effect
by money, we are obliged to pursue by dilatory and indigested expedients, which benumb all our operations, and expose our troops to numberless distresses. If these were well paid, well fed, and well clothed, they would be well satisfied, and would fight with more success. And this might and would be as well effected by our governments as by any other, if they possessed money enough, as in our moneyless situation the same embarrassments would have been experienced by any government.
TO JOSEPH JONES,
Philadelphia, November 1780. Dear Sir,
Many attempts have been made to bring the Vermont dispute to an issue, but the diversity of opinions that prevail on one side, and the dilatory artifices employed on the other, have frustrated them. All the evidence has been heard, and the proposition for including it within the jurisdiction of some one of the States, debated for some time, but the decision was suspended. An arrangement of the army founded on General Washington's letter has passed Congress, and is now with the General for his observations on it. It includes a recommendation to the States to fill up their quotas. No arrangement of the civil departments has taken place. A new medical system has been passed. Shippen is again at the head of it. Craig and Cochran have not been forgotten. The instructions relating to the Mississippi have passed entirely to my satisfaction. A committee is now preparing a statement of the reasons and principles on which they stand.'
TO JOSEPH JONES.
Philadelphia, November 14, 1780. Dear Sir,
I do not learn that any of the States are particularly attentive to prevent the evils arising from certificates and emissions from their own treasury, although they are unquestionably the bane of every salutary arrangement of the public finances. When the estimate for the ensuing year was on the anvil in Congress, I proposed a recommendation to the States to discontinue the use of them, and particularly in providing the specific articles required. It met, however, with so cool a reception, that I did not much urge it. The objection against it was, that the practice was manifestly repugnant to the spirit of the acts of Congress respecting finance; and if these were disregarded, no effect could be expected from any additional recommendations. The letters from General Washington and the Commissary General, for some time past, give a most alarming picture of the state and prospects of the magazines. Applications to the contiguous States on the subject, have been repeated from every quarter, till they seem to have lost all their force. Whether any degree of danger and necessity will rouse them to provide for the winter season now hastening upon us, I am unwilling to decide, because my fears dictate the worst. The inroads of the enemy on the frontier of New York have been most fatal to us in this respect. They have almost totally ruined that fine wheat country, which was able, and from the energy of