Head Quarters Dobbs’s Ferry 16th Augt 1781.
I am persuaded you will excuse the liberty I am about to take, when I assure you that the execution of the business which I shall wish you to undertake is of the utmost importance. It is to ship and put under the Convoy of the Count de Barras all the public salted provision at Providence and thirty Hhds of Rum if so many should be left—The Vessels must go prepared for a Voyage of perhaps a Fortnight or three Weeks and if they cannot be procured upon the Credit of the State (which I must again entreat to be pledged upon this occasion) I hope that measures will be taken by Government to procure them by impress. A disappointment in the provision may frustrate an enterprise of as much importance to these States as has perhaps been ever undertaken. I am in hopes the business may be accomplished before the sailing of Mr de Barras, if it should not, the Vessels must not be risqued without Convoy; but I trust that every exertion will be used to have them ready. I have the honor to be, with Respect and Esteem Sir Yr most obt servt.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.