At Mr Jno. Ellison’s 26th March 1783
After having served with some degree of honor in the field, it is no less humiliating to myself than it may be troublesome to your excellency, that I am compelled to address your excellency from a sick bed, and to sollicit a further attention to my misfortunes.
The wound which I received almost two years ago is at length healed, but the disagreeable symptoms with which I have been afflicted during the winter past forbid me to expect a return of health. With this unhappy prospect before me, my only remaining wish is to return to New London, the place of my nativity and with an aged father & in the circle of my friends to wait a decision of my fate.
From my extreme weakness I am convinced of my inability to sustain a removal by land, and from the evident benefit which I received on the water the last summer, I am exceedingly anxious for that mode of conveyance, provided it will not be inconsistent with the arrangements of your excellency to obtain a flag from New York for the purpose.
If this favor should be granted, I have another to sollicit to which nothing could have prompted me but the experience of your excellency’s tenderness and attention to me during all my confinement. Among my other misfortunes a small patrimony in New London, on which I placed dependence, was destroyed by the enemy soon after I was wounded: This puts it out of my power to bear my heavy expences, and induces me to ask for some pub[lic] vessel or craft and permission for Captain Colfax my intimate friend & relation to make the voyage with me.
About the first of May I hope to be able to leave this place and as some time must necessarily be spent in obtaining permission from New York I had made application thus early.
The many favors I have received from your excellency are deeply impressed in my grateful heart; and if your excellency can comply with this my request and return me to my friends, I shall have another and a lasting inducement to wish for the happiness & prosperity of your excellency & Mrs Washington to whose humanity & tenderness I feel myself already much indebted. I have the honor to be with the most respectful gratitude & exteem your excellency’s most obedient servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.