Hd Qrs New Windsor Feby 18, 1781
Inclosed you will find an extract from the proceedings of a Court of inquiry held by order of Capt. Dawson into the situation of our naval prisoners in the harbour of New York, by which you will perceive the ration allowed them by the enemy. Congress having directed me to retaliate the same treatment on their prisoners in our hands, which our prisoners in their hands received, I am to desire, you will take effectual measures that all the Naval prisoners of the enemy be allowed the same ration and no more, which by the inclosed extract appears to be dispensed to ours. When you cannot allow the specific articles, you must give an equivalent in some thing else. I am at the same time to desire, You will ascertain the ration allowed by the enemy to land prisoners of war and make the same allowance to those in our possession. This is not meant to extend to the troops of convention whose allowance is specified by a particular article of the treaty. I am Sir Yr Most Obed. ser.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.