War Office 8th July 1796.
Mr Pickering has called upon me this Morning and mentioned, that he thought the building of the proposed frigate for Algiers lay more particularly with the war department; of course the question I suggested, so far as respects the Secry of State is answered.
I shall proceed to take preparatory measures to ascertain what timber and materials can be [spared] for this frigate from the others, and whether it will be cheaper for the public to have her built by contract (furnishing certain materials) or in the way the other frigates are built.
It will be proper that I should receive particular orders and instructions from the President before taking any ultimate step as it is a case not expressly contemplated or enjoined by any law or treaty. Most sincerely and with the greatest respect I am Sir your most ob St
DLC: Papers of George Washington.