Poughkeepsie June 20th 1781
I have this moment the Honor of Your Excellencys favor of yesterdays date by Colo: Pickering.
Altho my credit has already been Considerably extended for the public, Yet persuaded that no serious operation can be prosecuted against New York without the batteaux stated as necessary, I shall chearfully attempt to have one hundred constructed at Albany, and am in hopes that I shall be able to procure carpenters and the necessary materials (Oakam and nails excepted) on a Credit to the middle or latter end of October next, but it will be impossible for me to fullfil my engagements unless Congress or the Financier General can at or before that Period enable me to do it, but as the building of these craft cannot without materially contravening your Excellency’s views be postponed until advice can be received on the subject from Philadelphia, I shall immediately dispatch a person to albany with the necessary directions to prosecute the business with celerity and follow myself in a few days, and Intreat Your Excellency to request Congress to take the necessary steps to reimburse me by the time stated.
The batteaux proposed to be built may on emergency carry forty five men, but thirty five is What they are calculated for, the expence of building them was formerly estimated at 35 to 40 dollars and if I can personally superintend the business which I propose I believe they will not exceed that altho wages are higher than they were then.
Happy If I shall have it in my power in any way to promote the public service I have to entreat Your Excellency to lay Your commands on me without the least hesitation. I am Dear Sir with Great respect and Very Sincerely Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humb. Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.