Baskenridge June 28th 1781
My dear Sir
Your not having heard from me lately, has not proceeded from a want of the most sincere respect or the warmest Attachment to your Person & the Common Cause, but from a conviction that every unnecessary Letter, adds to your Excellency’s allready intolerable Embarrassments.
This design of this is principally to inform your Excellency that from special Information, The Enemy have in the Ship Yard in New York, "two very large Vessels cut down & constructing with manifest Intention to cut through some Opposition formed in the Water—Their Sides are described to me, as strengthned with vast thickness of Timber, The Bows are armed with a large Iron Instrument of great Strength & Sharpness in the Form of an Axe, but deep, and sundry Constructions of Iron paralell with the Keel, with some machinery that act by a Spring in the manner of Claws to seize fast upon whatever is in its Way—The Want of Knowledge in my Informant prevents his describing the Mechanism of these Vessels in a Manner I could wish him to do".
I cannot answer to your Excellency for the Truth of these Facts, as my Informant is one of those People who may have an Interest in decieving us, tho’ from many Circumstances, I think he deserves as much Credit, as most of his Character—And tho’ it should prove erroneous, I was of Opinion that it was worthy of Communication, as your Excellency may Contrast it with other Intelligence.
The News of Mrs Washington’s Illness has filled Mrs Boudinot & my Self with the most alarming fears, we earnestly pray God, for the restoration of her Health—We desire to be remembered to her in the most affectionate manner—If it could be consistent with her Health & other Affairs to spend some part of her Time this Summer with Us, it would give us peculiar Pleasure, as well as do us great Honor.
Mrs Boudinot joins me in the best Wishes & most respectfull Compliments. Am Dr Sir Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Hble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.