Report of the Petition of Henry Emanuel Lutterloh

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CollectionNational Archives and Records Administration: 1st Cong, House, Sec War Reports, RG233 view image
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Date May 20, 1790
Author Name Henry Knox (primary) Location: War Office
Recipient Name [not available]
Summary Reasons for receiving allowances listed in great detail. Lutterloh petitions for a pension and reimbursement of his passage to America. He left the Duke of Brunswick's guards to join in the Revolutionary War, but served during that war in a staff capacity, not as an officer. Knox offers his opinion on the propriety of pension and reimbursement.
Document Format Document Signed
Document Notes [not available]
Content Notes [not available]
Related Persons/Groups Henry Knox; Henry Emanuel Lutterloh; Colonel; Congress; petitioner; Duke of Brunswick; Doctor Franklin; General George Washington; deputy quartermaster general; Board of War; ;
Related Places War Office; England; ;
Keywords petition; allowance; half pay; lands; payment; account; traveling and passage; claim; late war; expenses; commission of major in the Duke of Brunswick's guards; horse; appointment; Forage; rank; military character; staff appointments; commutation; contrat; precedent; passage to America; account of expenses; ;
Key Phrases attached to the cause of freedom;

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The Secretary for the department of war to whom was referred the petition of Henry Emauel Lutterloh,
The petitioner prays that he may have the following allowance:
1st. commutation of half pay for life, of a colonel, & the lands allowed to officers of that grade.
2nd. The payment of an account for travelling and passage expenses from Europe to America amounting to one hundred & sixty guineas
The petitioner in support of claim states that he was attached to the cause of freedom, & understanding in the early stages of the late war, that officers of experience were desired in America, he resigned his commission of Major in the Duke of Brunswick's guards, under whom he had served with reputation for twenty four years.
That Doctor Franklin in the month of January 1777 approved & encouraged his design, he having known the petitioner in the (Duke of capacity of the Duke of Brunswick's resident in England
That on his arrival in America, he proposed [to?] raise a legion of 500 horse & foot, but that he was dissuaded therefrom by his Excellency General Washington, under the idea that he might be more useful in the Quarter Master General's department
That he was introduced in the orders of the Commander in Chief of the 7th of June 1777 as first
deputy Quarter Master General 8 [center] 2 [right]
That he served in said capacity until the month of May 1780, when he received the appointment of commissary general of Forage, which office he held until the end of the war.
That in consequence of his first appointment in 1777 as also of his second in 1780 he held the rank of a full Colonel, & he doubted not but his long labors, and he begs leave to say useful services, would have fully entitled him to the allowance made by Congress for officers of that rank in the line, but upon application to the board of war, he received for answer "that no provision had been made by Congress for any person who had served in the staff department, a few of the medical line excepted.
That however proper the general rule, the petitioner prays he may be considered as an exception thereto for the following reasons,
1st His rank in a foreign Army of great [illegible] added to the high recommendations under which he arrived in America, would probably have entitled him to a considerable rank as a military character, had he thought proper to decline the appointment marked out for him by the Commander in Chief
2nd Had the petitioner first received an appointment in the military line, & been drawn thence to the Commissary's department, he is led to believe he would have been entitled to the commutation of five years pay & the lands.
That the former Congress having alloed [illegible] officers who came to the [illegible] under similar circumstances, travelling & passage [illegible]
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Tenholme [written in margin]
petitioner hoped the same favor will be allowed him
On this petition the Secretary of War observes, that the petitioner's rank of a Colonel in 1777, was consequent on his appointment as deputy Quarter Master General, agreeably to the arrangement of the Quarter Master General's Department of the 14th of May 1777
That on the subsequent arrangement of the Quarter Master General's department, no military rank was attached to the subordinate officers of that department,as will appear by the resolve of Congress of 29th of May 1778, and no rank was afterward attached to the staff appointments of the Army.
Hence it appears that the petitioners rank having been derived form his first appointment in 1777, ceased under his new appointment in 1778, & was not renewed by his commissary appointment of Commissary of Forage in 1780. That therefore the petitioner is not of right entitled to the commutation of half pay for life, by virtue of his military rank according to the general principles established by Congress-- That it would be improper at this period, and contrary to the declarations of Congress to grant the commutation upon any other principle than a contract, as it would create a precedent for [illegible] claims for the same object-- In the quarter master line, Congress have at different times rejected several petitions for the commutation under similar circumstances of rank with the petitioner.
That the petitioner was an officer of [illegible] in the Duke of Brunswick's service & confident
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employed by him, are facts it as presented that could be well established. And that he served honorably in the American war Army as herein stated, is well known, and could also be amply substantiated by written testimonials.
These circumstances, added to the consideration that several foreign officers whose services were shorter & greatly inferior to those of the petitioner, have without previous stipulations, had gratifications granted them by Congress for defraying their passages to America, & equipments for the field, indeed the Secretary of War to be of opinion that the petitioner's account of expenses would have been paid had the claim been preferred previously to the expiration of the time limited by the resolve of Congress of the 2nd of November 1785
But it is questionable, whether the petitioner's account was involved in the claim made to the Board of War as stated in his petition-- If it should be decided that the account of expenses was comprehended in the said claims, it is the opinion of the Secretary of War, that the petitioners services, and precedent, would dictate the payment of the said account of one hundred and sixty guineas, or seven hundred and forty six and
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two thirds of a dollar
All which is humbly submitted to the House of Representative
War Office may 20th 1790
H. KnoxSecretary of War