George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from William Stephens Smith, 17 April 1783

Dobbs Ferry 17 April 1783

Sir

This morning arrived at this Post the Schooner Lively from Nantucket laden with articles agreeable to a pass inclosed given by George Gardner Justice of Peace. The master says he is bound to the army on a trading voyage—my orders still existing in full force I do not consider myself at liberty to permit her to pass upon the proposed business—I have therefore desired Captn Frye of the New Hampshire troops to take possession of her and proceed to Head Quarters for instructions.

The Laws of the State of New York will not operate against her or her Cargo unless the articles are Landed for the boundaries of the different Counties run to the river expressly on either side without including it so that the offence (if any) must be considered in a military point of view and be acted upon accordingly if this had not been the Case I should not have troubled your Excellency with it but referred the matter to a Justice of Peace in this district.

Inclosed is a Copy of a Letter from Captain Stapleton with my answer respecting a communication with Elizabethtown—not being officially informed of the Settlement of the peace I was not at liberty to give any encouragement upon the Subject therefore considered myself obligated to answer as to an Enemy. I have the honor to be with most perfect Respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Humble Servant

W.S. Smith Lt Colo.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Enclosure

Head Quarters April 15. 1783

Sir

The Commander in Chief sends the Bearer with a Letter for Mr Livingston to your post, not knowing it would be forwarded if sent by way of Elizabeth town.

I request to know, for his Excellency’s information, if Letters in future may be sent to Elizabeth town for Philadelphia, as it will save much trouble & delay. I have the honor to be Sir Your Most Obedient Servant

Jno. Stapleton

Dy Adjt Genl

Enclosure

Dobbs Ferry 15 April 1783

Sir

I have received yours of this date. I am not authoriz’d to decide upon the question with respect to an intercourse with Elizabeth town any further than as this Post is the one agreed upon by our respective Commanders in Chief I should conceive it a deviation from the path of propriety should any other be attempted without the Consent of each being previously obtained.

I shall forward to His Excellency General Washington a copy of your Letter and communicate his sentiments on the subject if necessary. I have the honor to be Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

W.S. Smith Lt Colo.

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