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Charges of Illegal Activity Surrounding War Department Accounts Office

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionMassachusetts Historical Society: John Adams Papers view image
Document Information
Date December 11, 1797
Author Name William Simmons (primary) Location: Accountants Office
Recipient Name John Adams (primary)
Summary Simmons wishes to address charges that he has committed "reprehensible conduct." Charge appears to have arisen from Simmons refusing to sign a warrant to a clerk from another department. Simmons explains his reasons, mainly that he did not feel authorized by to sign this warrant without the prior signature of the Secretary of War. Says he eventually relented and signed the warrant anyway (which was meant to provide pay for troops), feeling that the Secretary of War would be responsible for any complications. Mentions censure by the Secretary of War, who believes the War Department accountant to be a passive agent with no capacity for such judgment; Simmons states he believes he was acting within the duties assigned to him by law. Levels countercharges of impropriety on the part of the Secretary of War in bypassing the Accountant's Office. Simmons encloses to the President relevant documents, including an extract from a letter written by the Attorney General, Charles Lee on 30 May 1796. Simmons also encloses a copy of Captain Henry Debutts account as secretary to the commissioner for treating with the Indians Northwest of the Ohio. DeButts account has multiple endorsements. [All of these enclosures included].
Document Format Autograph Letter Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups John Adams; William Simmons; Secretary of War; President; Attorney General; Charles Lee; Captian Henry Debutts; Indians; ;
Related Places Accountants Office; War Department; Ohio; ;
Keywords warrant; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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