George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elias Boudinot, 16 July 1783

Head Quarters 16th July 1783


Your Excellencys Letters of the 3d & 8th are received. The [   ] was gone on by my Directions, before the [   ] you gave me that of the 3d. It would seem there has been some capital neglect, or Miscarriage in the transmission of the Act of Congress of the 12th of May—I never had the least Intimation of it, until the 7th instant, when I received it from the War Office—Baron Steuben is furnished with my Letters & Instructions, & will depart on his mission as soon as possible.

The enclosed Memorial was handed to me, from some Officers of Hazens Regiment, Refugees from Canada—anxious for their Relief from the most distressing Situation, and finding myself without the means or power of doing it, I beg leave to refer their Circumstances to the particular Attention & Regard of Congress—these with many others are the Men, who as they will say, have left their Country, their friends, their Substance, their all, in support of the Liberties of America; & have followed our fortunes thro’ the various Scenes of a distressing Contest untill they find it to have terminated in the happiest manner for all—but themselves—Some provision is certainly due to those people who now are exiled from their native Country & habitations—without any mention made of them in the Treaty—any Stipulation for their returns, or any Means for their Subsistence in a Country which their Arms have contributed to secure & establish are —When Congress recollect the Encouragements, the promises & Assurances, which were published by them and their Orders, in Canada, in the Years 1775 & 6—I am persuaded they will take into their most serious Consideration the Care of those unhappy persons who placed Confidence in those proclimations—and make ample Amends by some effectual provision for their Sufferings, patience & perseverance—I would not presume to dictate—But if Congress cannot procure funds for their Compensation & Subsistence from the ample Confiscations which are makg within the different States, I should think, a grant could be made to them from the unlocated lands in the interior parts of our Territory & some means added, to place them on such a Tract—this perhaps might prove satisfactory, I would enable them to form a Settlement which may be beneficial to themselves & useful to the United States—I will say no more, but repeat my recommendations of their Care to the gratefull Rememberances of Congress, & beg, that a speedy Attention may be given to the Application, which I have advised them to make without Delay.

Finding myself in most disagreable Circumstances here, & like to be so, so long as Congress are pleased to continue me in this awkward Situation anxiously expectg the Definitive Treaty, without Command & with little else to do, than to be teased with troublesome Applications & [   ] Demands, which I have neither the means or the power of satisfying—in this distressing Tedium, I have resolved to wear away a little Time, in performg a Tour to the Northward, as far as Tyconderoga & Crown–point—and perhaps as far up the Mohawk River as fort Schuyler—I shall leave this place on Friday next, & shall probably be gone about two Weeks, unless my Tour should be interrupted by some special recall—One Gentleman of my Family will be left here, to receive any Letters or Commands, & to forward to me any thing that shall be necessary. With great Respect & Esteem I have the Honor to be Sir &c.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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