Trenton 23d October 1780
I am just honoured with your Excellency’s Favour of the 18th Instant, which shall be laid before the Legislature without Loss of time. I hope your Excellencys reasonings upon the Subject of our Embarrassments may have the weight they justly deserve, & happily prevent our longer continuing under those Delusions which have hitherto made the Independence of America a contested Point. I have often been chagrin’d at the Propagation of the mischievous Doctrine that the Enemy had given over all Idea of Conquest. I am confident they never had more sanguine Expectations of it, than at present; and perhaps never entertained the Idea upon better grounds. I do not by this Observation mean to insinuate that I am in the least apprehensive of the Probability & scarcely of the Possibility of such an Event, in Case the States make such Exertions as the Situation of our affairs requires; but upon the Supposition that we continue to prosecute the War agreeably to the System hitherto pursued. For as such Conduct on our part will undoubtedly induce them to protract the Dispute, & as the War by that means will soon become the measuring of the length of our respective Purses, instead of that of our swords, I am convinced from the state of our Commerce, & the number of our intestine Enemies, that the final Establishment of our Liberty principally depends upon such Exertions as will compel them to a speedy Peace—I have the honour to be with the greatest Esteem Dear Sir your Excellency’s most humble & most Obedient Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.