Springfield Decr 15th 1780
We are constrain’d from the present Situation of our Business, to trouble your Excellency with a Representation of our Prospects with Regard to forwarding future Supplies to the Army; & also the Plan this Commonwealth has laid for filling the Magazines with salt Provisions. The General Assembly upon receiving the Requisitions of Congress for Supplies for 1781 immediately determined to comply therewith; as to the Quantity of salt Provision demanded; & laid a specific Tax to be collected in all, by the 20th of February next, amounting to about sixteen thousand Barrels of Beef; with Directions for us, to have the whole Quantity salted.
As this Tax is the only Fund we have for supplying the Army, if we should proceed to Barrel the whole of it, we shall not be able to forward any more live Cattle; If your Excellency should Judge that it will be of more Importance to have part of the Cattle forwarded alive, than to have the whole barreled, your Directions in this Matter will be sufficient Justification of our Conduct—We have tho’t that Springfield & Richmond, or some other Town in the County of Berkshire near to North River, will be convenient Places for depositing the Beef, if agreeable to your Excellency.
We cannot apprehend that there is any Probability of procuring so large a Quantity of Beef in this State at this late Season of the year; But we hope that what we have already delivered for salting & what we shall now procure will form a Magazine of some Consequence. We have the Honor to be with every Sentiment of Respect Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servants
DLC: Papers of George Washington.