Letter from Thomas Burke to Horatio Gates
Burke, Thomas, ca. 1747-1783
Volume 15, Pages 775-776
DR. THOMAS BURKE TO GENERAL GATES.
Tyaquin, Aug. 1st, 1780.
My neighbour, Mr. Cabe, carries to your Camp a waggon load of flour which he will deliver only to your order. He is disgusted with the haughty manners of the Commissaries, and therefore will deliver them nothing. The Deputies here say they are not furnished by the principal with money, and it does by no means appear how this matter can be checked or inquired into. Perhaps if
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they were all compelled to make monthly or weekly returns of purchases made, monies expended and monies received, their business might be kept in better order, and the abuses in that much abused department, prevented or checked early in their progress. I know this would be exclaimed against by the officers of that Department as being too troublesome, but, in my mind, the trouble is not unnecessary and not more than their pay is adequate to, nor indeed can it be great, if the business be done with due care, regularity and methods. It is quite unnecessary to hint to you the expediency of bringing forth the resources of this Country, and of bringing them forth with the good will and inclinations of the people.
I find on conversing with many that they look up to you, and expect great reformation and a more liberal treatment during your command than they have yet experienced.
I have yet heard nothing of the Governor and Council, and expect they are at your Camp, for certainly they would not delay at so critical a season as this.
Note.—Here follows some Intelligence from the Northward and an Apology from the length of the letter with a quotation from Horace in publica commoda.