George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Stephens Smith, 15 July 1783

New York 15 July 1783


I have the Honor to inform your Excellency a very considerable embarkation of Refugees took place last week bound for Nova Scotia and Canada—one large Transport was filled with Soldiers of different Corps for Quebec and a number of the 17th Light Dragoons are discharged and accompany the refugees to the new Country.

The Nonsuch a 64 sail’d on Thursday last for Europe with the regiment of Hesse Hanau. The Inspection of the above Vessels composing a fleet of twenty two sail of large Transport Ships employed me five days in the last Week, Mr Benson’s absence and Mr Parker’s indisposition throws the whole weight of business upon me and as they begin to appear disposed to proceed with Vigor upon the business of the Evacuation Mr Benson’s assistance will be very acceptable—I shall not presume to make any observations on the Advantages which our Country may derive from our exertion, in this Line as your Excellency is possessed of a regular detail of our proceedings upon the most important points of our Mission and the attention which the British Commander in Chief has paid to our Remonstrances &ca there fully appear.

About two thousand Hessians will embark tomorrow and the next day for Europe and about one thousand blacks for Nova Scotia further representations to Sir Guy Carleton upon this Subject I conceive superfluous and shall only attend to the Examination of the Ships, registering the Slaves and stopping such property as is evidently free from the last of their proclamations—Cases of this kind have presented themselves and I have been successful—from the last fleet we brought seven Blacks but have not been able fully to decide for want of the attendance of the Claimants.

I think it necessary to inform your Excellency that some persons from the Eastern parts of the Continent have forged in this City a number of Mr Morris’s notes of the last emission—the Principals is detected and upon application to the Commandant I obtained a Guard last night and had two more of them taken and confined—Sir Guy Carleton is fully disposed to give every assistance requisite for their further detection and punishment.

I have the Honor to be with great Respect, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble Servt

Wm S. Smith

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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