George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Stephens Smith, 28 April 1783

Dobbs’s Ferry 28th April 1783


Agreable to your Excellency’s order’s of the 21st inst. I have permitted the Inhabitants to pass & repass this post, upon their reporting themselves to me—In consequence of which, vast Numbers have crowded to the City.

The enclosed No. 1 is a Copy of a Letter received last evening from Brigadier General Musgrave—No. 2 is my Answer dispatch’d this morning—If your Excellency thinks proper that none but the Persons discribed in General Musgraves Letter are to be permitted to pass this Post, it shall be Strictly attended to, and the Inhabitants informed of it that they may govern themselves accordingly—I am Your Excellency’s Most Obliged Humble Servant

W. S. Smith Lt [Colo.]

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


Morriss House April 27 1783.


I am desired by His Excellency Sir Guy Carleton to inform You, in order to prevent the Inconveniencies that may arise from the great number of Persons resorting to the Town of New York, (which is already so full as to render it difficult to prevent Irregularities) that although he is very desirous to give every facility & licence to Trade; and to admit of a free Communication for the Market people, and others bringing supplies by way of the North River, yet he cannot think it advisable to permit Vessels full of Men coming down, without some Restrictions.

I am therefore desired to inform You that all Vessels coming down the River will be brought too and examined; Such persons as belong to the Vessel and are necessary to navigate her, as well as those who have passes from hence, or sign’d by General Washington, and such market people as bring Supplies will be permitted to proceed.

But it is to be observed, that Vessels will not be suffered to pass this post after Dark. I am Sir Your most obedient & most humble Servant

Thos Musgrave

Brigr General


Dobbs’s Ferry 28 April 1783


I have received yours of yesterday’s date and can readily form an idea of the inconvenencies which may arise from the Circumstances mention’d[.] I shall pay every attention to check the passing of persons not included under your description (and who are only led by an idle curiosity) that my orders will admit of.

It cannot be expected that General Washington will attend to and sign Passes for every person who wishes to visit the City of New York—His Excellency has thought proper to rest that matter with me and you may assure Sir Guy Carleton that passes will not be granted excepting to those whose business may render their personal attendance necessary and upon whose prudence and propriety of Conduct I can safely rely. I am Sir Your most obedient and most humble Servant

W.S. Smith Lt Colo. &ca

Index Entries