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Political Women in the American Revolution

Document 8

Head Qrs in Bergen Cty., July 14, 1780

Madam:

I have received with much pleasure, but not till last night, your favor of the 4th. specifying the amount of the subscriptions already collected for the use of the American Soldiery. This fresh mark of the patriotism of the Ladies entitles them to the highest applause of their Country. It is impossible for the Army, not to feel a superior gratitude, on such an instance of goodness.

If I am happy in having the concurrence of the Ladies, I would propose the purchasing of course Linnen, to be made into Shirts, with the whole amount of their subscription. A Shirt extraordinary to the Soldier will be of more service, and do more to preserve his health than any other thing that could be procured him; while it is not intended, nor shall exclude him, from the usual supply which he draws from the public . . .

--Excerpt from a letter from George Washington
to Esther Reed, 14 July 1780

17. What did George Washington suggest?

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18. Why were these items so important to his army?

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