Sargent, Winthrop (1753-1820) [Officers' petition to Henry Knox regarding inadequate wages]
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Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02437.10008 Author/Creator: Sargent, Winthrop (1753-1820) Place Written: s.l. Type: Autograph document signed Date: circa September 1776 Pagination: 2 p. ; 36.5 x 24 cm.
Signed by Sargent, William Treadwell, Benjamin Frothingham, Jotham Horton, David Allen, John Johnston, Thomas Seward, and Benajah Carpenter. All sign as Captain Lieutenant, and present a moving request for livable wages. "...We the subscribers, your Honour's Petitioners, finding our present Wages inadequate to our necessary Expenses, wou'd beg your Honour to report the Affair to his Excellency... we are not mercenary- we desire not to hoard up, but had we Millions would with Pleasure spend them in our Country's Cause...we've nothing to offer our Country but our lives, which we'll hazard or even sacrifice, for its Honour, & Defence. In what ever Station we shall be placed, we flatter ourselves we shall behave as Men - as Free Men, fighting for evr'y thing dear & valuable - ... we wish likewise to appear as Gentlemen, as Officers; but your Honour must be fully sensible, that in Pounds a Month, with only a Subaltern's Rations, will but poorly enable us to support this Character- 'twill scarcely allow us the Necessaries of Life..." These artillery officers express jealousy regarding the higher wages of infantry officers, and ask Knox to present the case to George Washington.
Date based on a previous assessment, confirmed by Carpenter's date of death (1776).
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