Camp Precaness 6th July 1780.
All that I can say, in answer to your Excllency’s letter of the 4th, is, that I see not the remotest prospect of providing anything in the Quarter Master’s Department, but by requisitions to the States. Orders have been given for repairing the Boats, and having them in readiness: I have great hopes this will be effected; but how we are to get the Oars and Boat-hooks, is beyond my conception. Inclos’d I send your Excellency a copy of a letter from Mr Sickles at Albany: from which you will see the state things are in there. I have no doubt everything will be done, that can be done without Money; but the dependence cannot be great.
The Anchors, Cables &c., mentioned in your Excellency’s letter of the 31st of May, can be had either at Boston, Providence, or Philadelphia. If your Excellency Thinks proper to direct the Estimates to be made and laid before the Committee, it shall be done without loss of time; but will not the french fleet be able to furnish these things?
The public business is conducted thro’ so many channels, and dependent upon so many different hands in the execution, that I am altogether at a loss to know what is done or what is doing; nor will it be in my power to get better information untill I know where, and on whom I can depend. I am, with great respect, Your Excellency’s Most Obedient Huml. Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Albany 14th June 1780.
Inclos’d are the Returns for the last month. No disbursements have been made since the first of March for want of Money. Business of all kinds is at a stand. Colo. Hay has wrote several times for Boards: not one can be had on credit. He also writes for 3000 Oars: they cannot be had without money; nor can we get a Carpenter to do anything; the Batteau men are daily quitting the service, and unless they are paid by the end of this Month, we lose them all. The Armory and Smith’s Shop is out of Coal, and the Colliers refuse to work, as they can neither get Money or Rum, and many times no provisions.
Colo. Lewis is now with the Legislator at Kingston, trying what they will do. I am, &c.