George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Stephens Smith, 31 August 1783

Rocky Hill Augst 31st 1783

Dear Sir

I have received your favor of the 26th and am much obliged by your attention in procuring the Articles I had requested—I am also glad to find there is at length a prospect that the British will in reality soon take their departure from the United States.

Whatever my private sentiments as an Individual may be, respecting the violent Policy which seems in some instances to be adopted; it is not for us as military Characters to dictate a different line of conduct—but I should suppose the encouragement you have given to those British & Foreign Soldiers (who have been discharged) that they would be permitted to remain in the Country, was very unexceptionable & proper—The same indulgence however cannot be extended to such Natives of the Country as have served in their new Corps, without the interference of the States to which they belong—and I think it necessary you should be advised, that granting Passports to Citizens of any discription, for the purpose of giving protection in coming from New York into the Country, may not only be considered as an assumption beyond the limits of any Commission which has been derived from Congress, but will probably be productive of Altercations with the Civil Powers, and at the same time involve us in very disagreeable consequences in many other respects. I am Dear Sir With great esteem Your Most Obedt Servt

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