State of Massachusetts Bay Council Chamber Septr 23d 1780
Immediately upon Receipt of Your Excellency’s Letter a Committee of the General Court was chosen to enquire what Quantity of Salt Beef had been captured by the Privateers belonging to this State in the Quebec Fleet & find there was a much smaller Quantity than had been supposed The whole not exceeding twelve or fifteen hundred Barrels which has been already mostly appropriated to the Use of the Privateers which have been since fitted out: no considerable Quantity of Salt Beef if any can therefore be purchased in this State We are devising every Measure & exerting every Nerve to furnish our full proportion of the Supplies required by Congress being fully sensible of the Embarrassments under which Your Excellency labours for want of a regular Supply of Provision And hope like efforts have been made & with better Success by the other States of whom Quotas of the same kind are required in which Case We have no doubt that the Distresses of the Army will be fully relieved & the Publick Stores filled—We sincerely Wish Your Excellency a Continuance of Health amidst Your arduous Exertions & every Blessing. In the Name & behalf of the General Court I am, With every Sentiment of Esteem, Your Excellency’s Most Obedt & very hble Servt
Jer: Powell, President
DLC: Papers of George Washington.