BEEF FOR THE CONTINENTAL ARMY
A fine collection of three documents concerning Massachusetts' efforts to secure its quota of beef to be supplied to the Continental Army for the year 1781. The collection includes a manuscript D.S. "Peter Osgood Jr. Agt." ,1p. oblong 12mo., Andover, Feb. 20, 1781, a receipt "...of the Town of Ipswich by the hands of Mr Wm Dodge one hundred & Twenty Eight Thousand five hundred & Thirty five Dollars Old Emission in lieu of Beef Part of said Towns Quota requd. by A Resol[ve] of the General Court.". Peter Osgood was most likely a relative of the first Postmaster General, Samuel Osgood. Offered with a second manuscript D.S. "Peter Osgood" 1p. oblong 8vo., Andover, May 30, 1781, a similar receipt, but this time for a staggering $48,700 -- a testament to the rampant inflation that plagued the United States toward the end of the American Revolution. The two manuscript documents are accompanied by a printed document, 4pp. legal folio, [Boston], December 1780, extracted pages from the "Resolves" of the General Court for December 1780 which include the "Resolve for furnishing this Commonwealth's proportion of specific supplies for the support of the army in the ensuing year...". The resolve lists each town's quota of beef which totaled four and a half million pounds of beef. The law stipulated that if a particular town was unable to supply the beef, it would instead contribute an equivalent monetary value in its place. Documents bear the usual folds, light dampstains, else fine condition.