A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 3


From Thomas Cushing

29 February 1776

To Joseph Palmer

6 March 1776
Extract from the Minutes of the Continental Congress
Continental Congress
Friday, March 1, 1776

A letter from James Mease, commissary, with sundry queries, relative to his conduct as commissary, on which he requests the directions of Congress, was read:1

Resolved, That it be referred to a committee of three. The members chosen, Mr. Rutledge, Mr. Paine, and Mr. Hewes.

Printed in Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:180.


Richard Smith had noted in his diary as early as Jan. 26 that a committee was “chosen to examine Commissary Lowrey & Mease’s Fees of One and a Quarter per Cent it being suggested to be extravagant” Letters of Delegates to Congress, 3:157). This follow-up committee was appointed more than a month later, but when it brought a report to Congress on Mar. 18, the report was tabled (Journals of the Continental Congress, 4:211), and Mease continued his work as commissary.

James Mease, a member of the Committee of Safety for Philadelphia, was appointed commmissary for Pennsylvania Continental troops in January 1776. He was clothier general to the Continental Army from January 1777 until that department was reorganized in 1779 (The Papers of George Washington: Revolutionary War Series, 8:5).