Early Pennsylvania settler who served as commissary-general for the middle district of the Continental Army under General George Washington.
Impressive manuscript letter signed “Ephraim Blaine”, November 1, 1780, Philadelphia, an angry letter seeking repayment of monies due, in full:
The delay you have made in the settlement of your accounts has not only subjected me to great difficulty and expense but been a loss of repartation with the public, and a great injury to individuals who have had just claims against one for monies due. I have long since assured you that I had the promise of Congress for the payments for what balance was due upon adjusting any public accounts, but this I have been prevented of (owing to your neglect) have therefore in the most pointed terms to request you to attend at my office without a moments delay prepared for a final settlement of your accounts, and I have also to request that your accounts and receipts for purchases and vouchers for delivery may be regular and correspond with each other else you will meet with difficulty in settling. A neglect or further delay will reduce one to the disagreeable necessity of bringing action against you in behalf of the United States. No excuse whatever will be admitted for further delay.
With original address leaf still attached, with “Public Service” frank.
In 1776, with the outbreak of war, Blaine was named chief commissary officer of the newly formed 8th Pennsylvania Regiment. Soon thereafter, Washington appointed Blaine commissary of purchases for the northern (or middle) department of the Continental Army. In that position, Blaine helped to feed the Army that wintered at Valley Forge in 1777-1778. In 1777, Blaine was also made colonel of the Cumberland County militia. As commissary-general, Blaine traveled throughout the colonies to arrange food deliveries for the army, often having to advance his own money for payment.
Blaine is extremely rare in signed material, especially of such good content and condition.