Springfield 8 May 1780
When the seized Goods mentioned in Your Excellencys Letter of this day were carried to Elizabeth Town, Major Troope tells me he found so many Persons taking Side with the Proprietors, that he apprehended the Goods were not safe there, and thinking himself justified by a Paragraph in his standing Instructions he ordered the Goods under Guard to Connecticut Farms, and ’tis probable he told the People he had my Orders for so doing, he immediately came to me & related the matter, when I convinced him he had deviated from his Orders and that he must attend in every Point to the Laws of the State—I doubt not he has actd accordingly—but will make Enquiry & inform Your Excellency.
There is no Exception that I have ever heard to the Character of Justice Woodruff as an upright Judge & an honest Man—but there is Reason to fear there are many abettors (if not partners) of the London Traders as they are called—which is very discouraging to the Guards—the Permit from the Police of N. York, taken with these Goods, mentions the three persons by name were allowd to carry out certain Articles because they had brought a large Quantity of Provisions into the City the Persons are under Bond of 6000 to answer at Court—the goods were taken at the House of a Man (John Hendricks) who was carried by the Enemy some Time ago & let out on Parole—for wise Purposes, no Doubt. I am with the Greatest Respect Your Excellencys most Obed. servant
The Seizure of the said Goods has been [ ] by Justice Woodruff & Part of them condemned. The Remainder by Subtlety of Law escape—& Lt Palmer, as a Reward for his Vigilance and Pains, is held under Bond to answer to the superior Court for breaking the House where the Goods were found.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.