George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Board of War, 6 June 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 6th June 1781


I was yesterday honored with your favor of the 25th ulto. Your first and second reasons for removing the Convention troops from their present places of confinement are unobjectionable; but I think they will be equally safe in Pennsylvania as they would be in Massachusetts, and, all circumstances considered, I am opinion that they had best be halted for the present in that State. The Board having been good enough to take my advice upon the Subject I will give my reasons for preferring them remaining in Pennsylvania to going further Northward. The first is, the accumulation of expence, trouble and danger of escape by lengthening the march. The second the impossibility of supplying them with Bread in N. England by land transportation, and the inconveniency and expence of doing it by water, even should we procure passports from the British Commander in Chief. The third and a very essential one is, that in our expected operation in this quarter all the Beef which the Eastern States will be able to procure will be necessary for the subsistince of the French and American Armies, and therefore no additional consumption, if it can possibly be avoided, ought to be imposed upon the Magazines which we are endeavouring to establish. Pennsylvania has furnished a very inconsiderable part of the meat or flour required of her by the Resolves of the 4th Novermber last and may upon that account with more propriety be called upon to support the Prisoners, but independant of that part of her supplies lacking the general plan of Campaign into contemplation, may with less inconvenience be applied to the purpose I have mentioned than those more northerly or southerly.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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