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Deputy Paymaster of the Southern Army

Sources & Images
Source Name Image(s)
CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: Manuscript File, RG93 view image
Document Information
Date September 12, 1787
Author Name John Pierce (primary) Location: New York
Recipient Name Nathaniel Pendleton (primary)
Summary Discusses Joseph Clay, the Deputy Paymaster to the Southern Army, and money which was lost, along with provisions and related acts of Congress; also mentions Treasury Board.
Document Format Draft Letter
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Nathaniel Pendleton; John Pierce; Joseph Clay; Board of Treasury; commissioners; Deputy Paymaster; Southern Army; Congress; William Alexander; escort; Comptroller of the Treasury; confidential Officer of Congress; Haws; clerk; ;
Related Places New York; Treasury; Maryland; Virginia; United States; savannah; ;
Keywords sum of money; act of congress; enclosed way; account and vouchers; settlement; diligent search; recover; legal process; balance; collect this money; delay; original of the papers; ;
Key Phrases [not available]

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Sep. 12. 1787
Nath. Pendleton

New York September 12 1787


Jos. Clay Esq. who acted as Deputy PMS to the Southern Army [undecipherable]
had a sum of money directed to him, 'by me,' in the
year 1781, consisting of the new emissions emitted by
the Legislatures under the act of of Congress of March 18 1780
which the escort, to whom I entrusted this business received
from the States, of Maryland and Virginia, and delivered
on the 27 of July 1781 into the hands of Mr
Wm Alexander, to deliver to MrClay who was not present to receive
it as will appear by the copies N 1. 2 & 3
on the 3d of August following Mr Clay came to the
place where this money was deposited, and received the
same into his hands, and for which
he acknowledges himself answerable, as appears
by the enclosed copy N 1 also by his account [undecipherable]
rendered on the 31 of August 1781
In May 1785 when I was in Savannah he committed
into my hands his accounts and vouchers for settlement,
among which was included the attested paper N 3
in which he has supposed that
this money never came into his hands and that he
is accountable only for the part he has attested that
he has received.
But in the examination of his accts before the Comptroller
of the Treasury, it has been
determined, that Mr Clay is answerable for the whole
sum, to the United States, because of
his above mentioned acknowledgement, and because
he was the confidential Officer of Congress to whom it

was disputed that [undecipherable] sufficiently informed of its being in [undecipherable] and by whom it was received, and that it was his duty and no other persons to have seen to its safety.

It was however the wish of the Treasury Board not to have called on Mr. Clay, but having [undecipherable] to find Mr. [undecipherable] under in has not been heard of, and Mr Clay having informed [undecipherable] that the [undecipherable] had fell with the hands of a Mr Fleur. [Commander?] [undecipherable] he was also [undecipherable] after and on being found, has not produced the money, but on the contrary there is strong reason to believe that he has lately disposed of it to his own advantage. The Board [undecipherable] lay so fruitless a [undecipherable], thinks permission to call on that Officer whose appointment and obligation has made [undecipherable] responsible to the public for the [undecipherable], and have therefore authorized and directed me immediately to take the most efficient steps to recover from M Clay, by a legal [undecipherable] the [undecipherable] which he there left in Mr Alexanders hands amounting to fifty seven thousand six hundred Dollars, which is now [undecipherable] equal to [specie?]: log them with the Interest on the same [undecipherable] since the state of its emision, which [undecipherable] have been prior to June 1781.

My reason this [undecipherable] for writing to you, is, by the [undecipherable] direction of the Board to employ you as an attorney to collect this money, from Mr. Clay in the most direct and effectual manner, as the public interest must not be injured any further, by a delay.

[paragraph stricken]

[paragraph stricken]

When it is [undecipherable] the originals of such of the program now inclosed to you, as you will want details the [undecipherable] for the support of any [undecipherable], that you shall [undecipherable] this business.

Your [undecipherable] and such up [undecipherable] as your shall be just to in this business I will [be repaid?].

If Mr. Clay should receive any part of the money from the pension, to whom we [undecipherable] it, and return it to you, it may opperate as far as it goes as a discharge on his dues [undecipherable] provided that it is the same emision money he received, and the interest on it has not been [undecipherable].

Nathl Pendleton [undecipherable]