Fire destroyed the War Department office in 1800. For decades historians believed that its files, and the window they provide into the early federal government, had been lost forever. This collection unites copies of the lost files in a digital archive that reconstitutes this invaluable historical resource. Read more about the restoration of the collection »

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George Washington’s Expense Account

Letter from James McHenry to William Simmons

George Washington had complained that the expenses for his recent trip from Mt. Vernon to Philadelphia were not completely covered by the “pay and emoluments” he received from the government. Secretry of War James McHenry orders Accountant William Simmons to reimburse the General immediately.