Barracks Fish Kill . 27th Septr 1780
Upon the reception of your Commands I examined the papers that were in the hands of young Mr Smyth & found them as I expected to be papers of Joshua Smyth. They being of such a nature I thought it advisable to send both them & himself Down with a Guard which Lieut. Colton has furnished me.
I know of nothing more against the young Gentn but his first endeavouring to conceal these papers under his own name (as your Excellency will see by the indorsement on the ruled paper which incloses them) and afterwards being anxious to recover them.
The Mate, I can assure your Excellency is entirely innocent. he kept the papers very faithfully ’till I shew him my Authority to take them. altho’ they were frequently called for by Mr Smyth—When they were handed to him the last named informed him that they were to go to Genl Arnold. It was not then known that Genl Arnold had absconded, so it was thought Mr [D]uffle (a Generals name being mentioned) would not hesitate to recieve & restore them when called for.
The papers are inclosed to your Excellency just as they were found ixcept the Seal being broken.
There was no Commissioned Officer at this post except Lieut. Colton, so I am obliged to intrust this Charge with a Searjt for whose fidelity Mr Colton vouches. I have the honor to be with the most perfect respect Your Excellency’s most Humble and Obedt Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.