From Pierre Charles L’Enfant1
Philadelphia, September 15, 1794. “After all possible exertions on my part, to progress the fortification at and near Mud Island, and however attentive I have been in confining the extent of my operations to the limited sums assigned for, it is with the greatest concern I am to inform you that those means, by proving too small, have long since forced me to relent of the progress; they are at present so far exhausted, that, unless you can procure a sufficiency of supply to continue the work for two months longer, the whole must stop before any part is brought to that state of perfection necessary to be guarded against winter, and answer to some object of defence.…”
ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Military Affairs, I, 83.
1. L’Enfant had been a French volunteer in the Corps of Engineers during the American Revolution. He had been hired to plan the new Federal City on the banks of the Potomac, but because of a dispute with the commissioners of the Federal District he stopped working on this project in February, 1792. In July, 1792, the directors of the Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures hired L’Enfant to lay out the society’s manufacturing center in Paterson, New Jersey. In April, 1794, he was appointed temporary engineer at Fort Mifflin on Mud Island in the Delaware River.
Henry Knox enclosed this letter in his report on fortifications to the House of Representatives on December 19, 1794 (ASP description begins American State Papers, Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States (Washington, 1832–1861). description ends , Military Affairs, I, 71–107). For information on the fortifications, see Knox to H, March 29, 1794. See also Tench Coxe to H, June 20, July 5, 1794.