Revolutionary War Receipt Book, May, 1776 - November, 1780 [Washington]

A small, paper-bound book labeled "Majr. Gibbs's Receipt Book" and "Receipts for cash and memoranda." It contains receipts signed by steward Caleb Gibbs and housekeeper Mary Smith for cash received by them for the operation of Washington's headquarters as it moved from place to place during the Revolutionary War. Also included are memoranda documenting arrangements with tradespeople, servants (including Smith's successor as housekeeper, Elizabeth Thompson, July 9, 1776), spies (October 23, 1777, "secret services"), and others.

Captain Caleb Gibbs maintained this volume as steward from May 1776, when Washington arrived in New York, to November 1780. Gibbs was a native of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and had served in Colonel John Glover's Massachusetts Continental regiment before his appointment on March 12, 1776, as commander of Washington's Life Guards. Late in 1780, Gibbs left to serve as a major in the 2nd Massachusetts Continental regiment and was wounded at Yorktown.

Mary Smith and Elizabeth Thompson served successively as housekeepers of Washington's military headquarters in New York. They managed cleaning, laundry, and cooking during this period. Mary Smith was a widow from New York. On June 24, 1776, an anonymous letter to New York authorities claimed to identify her as part of a loyalist group planning to assist the British in their forthcoming campaign against New York. She later fled to England and there received from the British government a loyalist pension of £20. On June 18, before the anonymous letter accusing Smith was written, Washington wrote General James Clinton that he was "entirely destitute" of a housekeeper and had heard good reports of Elizabeth Thompson from Clinton's "neighborhood." He enclosed a letter to Thompson but it has been lost. Thompson, born in 1704, left Washington's employment in December 1781. In 1785 she received a pension from the Continental Congress for her service. (See: Papers of George Washington, Revolutionary War Series, ed. Philander D. Chase (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1993), 5:132n, and Peter Force, American Archives, 4th Series (Peter Force: Washington DC, 1846) 6:1054. Force includes a copy of the anonymous letter).

There are 33 pages.

Washington, George. George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers: Revolutionary War Receipt Book, May, 1776 - November, 1780. 05-/11-1780, 1776. Manuscript/Mixed Material. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, (Accessed February 16, 2017.)


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Revolutionary War Receipt Book, 1776 - 1780

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