Colchester 24 April 1780
May it Please Your Excellency,
I send to Morris Town by Capt. Mather another small drove in case they are not stopt before they arrive at that place hope to be able to send forty or fifty head more next week in case I can obtain a little but unless I can have a supply of cash at least to pay up the main of my old debts I fear I shall be able to supply with but few ’til June however will do ev’ry thing in my power, I wrote in my answer to Yours of the 12th Instt that I had just receiv’d a Letter from Genl Howe informing me that instead of twenty-five head which I ordered the Drover to leave at Fish kill he had stopt forty head but my Drover has now return’d and I find by him and his Rects that Genl Howe had then actually stopt contrary to the Drovers orders from me and his the drovers earnest request seventy head and treated him tho’ a very honest ingenuous and faithful young man very unbecoming a Soldier or Gentleman calling him a damn’d villain and surprising him in a fearfull manner and detained him with the small part he finally was allow’d to drive on which was but thirty-five in the whole two days and two nights and nothing to feed the cattle but the woods and demanded him to deliver up the Letters he had receiv’d from the Issuing Comys by his Sd Genl Howe’s orders and refused to redeliver them when repeatedly requested by which means the young man is deprived the advantage of them and was obliged to go off with only a copy of a sentence in his orders which had not reach’d him seasonably poor encouragement for faithful young men however I wish nothing at present but to have such discouragements prevented in future and that the young man may have his Letters returned to him again. I am Your Excellency’s Devoted humble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.