Hartford April 19th 1781
I find by General Beville the Q.M. General of the French army that they propose if ordered to March by Land to West Point, to take their rout thro this Town; and hence to Litchfield &c. If every other circumstance wou’d permit I believe the Country wou’d be more benefited by their Marching on the Sea Coast—as there are more desaffected people thier than on the more inland routs—thier supplies will be more readily obtained as their is doubtless much provision collected near the Sea for our Enemies. thier are more Vacant bueldengs in the Sea Coast Towns than in the others—and I am persuaded the Troops wou’d be better accomodated—this will be an important [matter] as they are used to have plenty of Straw always to Sleep on, and it cant be now had they will want Houses to sleep in—I beg your Excellencys pardon for this Liberty. and wish You to believe my own ease and interest have not been the only inducements to propose their marching by the Sea coast—tho: I confess they had their share of influence. I have been lately with a nair relation of Lees (who is still in person here) who told me had some private reasons for believieng he was a Spy and that he ought by no means to be at large—but he knew nothing that he coud Evidence—against him he is soon to be tried for forgery if that is proved, he will probably be kept safe if not he will soon be at large unless—Your Excellency causes him to be confined. I have the Honor to be Your Excellencys most obedient and most Humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.