Wall Kill Novr 18th 1780
I am Honord with your Excellencys Letter of the 12th Inst.—Altho’ part of the State Troops which were under my Command have to Serve untill about the middle of next month General Clinton give me permission to come down on some bussiness of my own, & also to expedite Supply, especially of Beef for the department which Co. Hay informs me will very soon be done—I shall return next week to have the Troops Mustered & Regularly dissmissd.
Being of Opinion that you have a very considerable dependence on the armoury at Albany, I took some pains to Know the State of it ,and, think it my duty to Recomd that the Commanding officer there be instructed to inspect it Occasionally—And to See that every thing is furnished to carry it on—Shepherd the manager (although of a doubtfull Political Character) appears to be a very Honest & most certainly a Capable man—and I am well convinced if properly Supported could furnish & retain the necessary Quantity of arms, at present he is destitute of either Men Money or Material—If I judge right that your Excellency depends upon it—no doubt but you will give orders on the subject—if I am mistaken, a very considerable expence is thrown away. At present Mr Shepherd has every thing in very compleat order, & only wants to be properly Supported to do great things in this Material branch—A letter to General Clinton and a standing order to the Qr Master General at Albany to furnish Materials, is immediately necessary—Although the damage done by the Enemy on the Frontiers is very considerable Yet from an Estimate which I have got made it is not so very great as was at first imagined.I have the Honor to be with the greatest respect Your Excellencys Most Obd. & very Hbl. ervt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Albany 9th Novr 1780
I have for four years past had the Direction of the Armourers at this place, and have the Happiness to believe that the Works have been Managd to general Advantage and Satisfaction. But I am, at present, so embarass’d on many Accts, that unless Some immediate attention is paid to this Usefull branch, I am persuaded, that the Works must Soon Cease—The men have got no money for a Considerable time past, very often no Provision, or Rum; and Such as are Citizens are call’d out on every Idle Alarm, notwithstanding the damage which the Public Suffers thereby.
We also, want a number of Articles for the Business, which I do not See any means of procuring, nor any endeavour for the purpose. The Building where we work and keep our Stores, is in so unfinished and incomplete a Condition, that the men will be idle on that account for the Winter, even if every other Difficulty were remov’d. As I am very Anxious to carry on this Usefull Branch to the Greatest advantage to the Country, and for my Own Credit also, I beg that you will report our Situation to the Comr in Chief and Genl Knox, and by that means, I hope, we will be put on a proper establishment. I have the Honr to be, Sir, Your Most Obt Hble Servt