Poughkeepsie 17th Decr 1780
At the earnest desire of the ship Carpenters &c., who have been employed for a long time past at Wappons Creek, particularly such of them as have large Families to support I am induced to assure your Excellency that their general Conduct in the different stations in which they served, while under my Direction, and the excessive Distress to which they are drove by not receiving but a very small proportion of the Money they have duly earned, justly merits the Public Attention, and demands if possible an Immediate Remedy against those Calamities which threaten an absolute ruin to themselves & Families, if not Timeously prevented.
Your Excellency will be the easier Induced to forgive this Trouble on being informed that it was in a great Measure owing to my Intreaties (knowing the Service must suffer excessively without their assistance) that they were prevailed on to remain in this State, at a time when many advantageous Offers were made them both from the Eastward & Westward; One or Two of them will take the Liberty of waiting on your Excellency to give a more particular detail of the present Circumstances & future prospects, to which I beg leave to refer, and am with the Utmost Respect Your Excellencies Most Obedt & Very Humble Servant,
P.S. Be pleased to Inform me if it is possible to obtain any Casks from the Fort for the purpose of Salting Beef in, your Excellency was kind enough to promise you woud make enquiry if any of the Water Casks could be spared.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.
Pokeepsie Decr 17th 1780
From the Information I have of the Conduct and Circumstances of the bearer Mr Platt Titus & other Shipwrights I am fully persuaded that in consequence of their having been so long employed in the public Service, for which they have not received Pay, their families are in a suffering Condition for want of Provisions; and I have Reason to believe that they continued in the public Service from Motives of Patriotism.