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Dr. Samuel Stringer to General Schuyler


[No˙ 1.]

Fort George, October 25, 1775.

SIR: I acknowledged the receipt of your favour of 20th instant, enclosing the resolve of Congress respecting the General Hospital, in my last, in which I took the liberty to point out a material deficiency of officers who are indispensably necessary in that department, viz: Senior Surgeons and Apothecaries, a Clerk and Steward. I would make a few more observations, and then beg you will please represent the matter to Congress, who certainly will make provision for such officers, and confirm Mr˙ Wimple, who I employed as a Senior Surgeon, as well as the Clerk and Steward.

The Surgeons, Apothecaries, and respective Mates, as well as myself, would no doubt, if agreeable to Congress, choose to have commissions — the Clerks and Stewards are officers at pleasure.

Two Seniors and four Mates (exclusive of myself) are as small an hospital as the Army under your command should take the field with; and should there be an engagement it would scarcely be sufficient.

In the resolution of Congress I am limited to four Mates only; and suppose the necessity for more ever so great, I


cannot employ them; and even those four are to be dismissed as the numbers of sick and wounded decrease, so as not to require the attendance of the whole, founded, probably on a supposition that the hospital was to be confined to Albany, where Mates of an inferior class might be more readily procured in an emergency; for no gentleman of merit would, on such conditions, enter into the service. We had supernumerary Males in the King' s Hospital during the late war; but they were for the most part continued, though not on the establishment, whether there was a multiplicity of business or not; the reason of which appears to be this: because that they were capable Mates, and already acquainted with the hospital service, and is not known how soon there might be a want for them. I must further add, that the pay being so small will not be an encouragement for gentlemen qualified; and unless they can support themselves as such, they certainly will not enter into it.

I should be glad to know the pay allotted to the Seniors, Clerks, and Steward, as soon as convenient, as those in employ are in want of subsistence. The Seniors (Surgeons and Apothecaries) were last war on a footing; so were their Mates, and, as occasion required, did duty indifferently in either capacity.

The aforegoing, Sir, with what further explanation you are capable of giving, from your general knowledge of every military branch, and the readiness I am convinced the Congress are possessed of to make ample provision for the sick of their Armies, will, I hope, place the hospital on the footing required.

I am, Sir, with unfeigned sincerity, your most obedient and very humble servant,


To Major-General Philip Schuyler.