To Honorable Robert Morris, Esq. January 24, 1782

To Honorable Robert Morris, Esq. January 24, 1782

Second Street, [PHILADELPHIA],

SIR:

As some convenience may arise to you in your difficult office by knowing matters before hand, I communicate to you the following.

Some officers of the army were with me this morning by deputation to request me to draw up a petition for them to General Washington respecting their pay and I find it is intended to be a general one. As I am sensible of the inability of the treasury to answer immediate demands, and that it is renewing care to the General who already knows their wants, I entered into some conversation with [them] on the subject by mentioning that the State of the Treasury was now improving-that the taxes laid this year were real and valuable and that any necessary demands just now might rather injure than promote their interest, and that though I would wish to oblige them, I should rather they would in this instance excuse me, as I know, exclusive of the reasons already mentioned, it would be only adding to the distress of the General.

From some expressions they used I believe they do not expect an immediate payment, but only a payment of their interest-I forbore to enquire much as I wished them to suspend their petition. But if the payment of the interest will satisfy them for the present and the Treasury can do it, or begin to do it, it may answer a good purpose. If you should hear no more on the subject it will be well; if you should, the hint may be of some use, as it would be a pity and might be a misfortune to have anything like the scene of last year reacted."

I am, Sir, Your obedient Humble Servant,

THOMAS PAINE.