Office of Finance June 22d 1782.
I do myself the Honor to enclose to your Excellency the Copies of a Letter of the seventeenth Instant from some of the Contractors of the moving Army to me, and of my Answer of this Date—Your Excellency will perceive in their Letter a Doubt whether I will perform my Engagements held up as an Apology should they not perform theirs. They have no Reason to entertain, and less Right to express any such Doubts. When I entered into the Contract I promised payment by forming the Agreement, I think that making new Assurances is extremely unnecessary, and therefore I will not do it. This together with the general Stile of their Letter will account for the Brevity of mine. I am Sir with great Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedient & humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Fishkill June 17th 1782
Mr Sands has returned and informs us that the Notes sent up to pay Mr Phelps for the Beef Contract, he has brought back at your Request to be sent to Rhode Island to be exchanged for Specie and by an Advertisement in their Paper, find the Money already exchanged for Notes, so that we shall be again disappointed in getting the Money for the Beef Contractors which they are much dissatisfied with. General Lincoln has wrote Messrs Phelps & Co. to make use of their utmost Industry, Credit and Influence to keep up the Supply of Beef; but we fear a disappointment as very few Cattle has come in since Mr Edward’s Journey to Philadelphia. The Genl has this Day fixed on West Point as a Magazine for Flour for the moving Army and has informed us the Quantity that will probably be wanted will much exceed our Calculations which was for fourteen thousand Rations pr Day in future. His Excellency requires of us a competent supply—By our Disappointment in not receiving the second Payment at the Time agreed upon and then in Notes which will not answer our Purpose, this has embarrassed us much and it is now wholly out of our Power to lay up such Magazines as the Genl requires. We cannot collect more Flour than is necessary to Supply the Troops from Time to Time. We have made a calculation of the Issues that we shall make in May and June and there will be a Balance due us on the first Day of July 16.000 Dollars which if we were certain of receiving in Specie we could purchase Flour and other Articles wanted. The greatest part of the Flour is in the Hands of the State Agent who is now selling it and its going of to New England.
The Bearer Colo. Stewart waits upon you to give you every necessary information respecting the Supplies and the uncertainty of obtaining them without punctual Payments and from the information we have had from the Eastern and this State we fear they will not give you any speedy Relief which we know will greatly disappoint you and should it happen that the tardy States prevent you from aiding us, it will be impossible for us to proceed much further—Personal Credit will go but little way—Ours shall be extended as far as it will bear but we deem it Just to inform you in Time that we cannot be answerable for the Consequence of Want in the Army and therefore apprize you of our perilous situation that some other Mode may be adopted before it be too late. We have the honor to be with the greatest Respect Sir Your most obedt humble Sts
Comfort Sands & Co.
Office of Finance June 22d 1782
I have received your Letter of the seventeenth Instant, In Answer, I am to require, that you perform the Stipulations contained in your Contract. I send the General a Copy of your Letter, and of this Answer. I am with great Respect Gentlemen Your most obedient and humble Servant