Philadelphia 8th June 1781
Colonel Biddle assures me he has made diligent search for the box of books, but without success; indeed he says there was scarcely a chance of its being found amongst his effects, as the articles left by your Excellency in his care, on marching from Middle Brook, were afterwards delivered by invoice & carefully examined. I have therefore set about procuring a set of new books according to the directions, and shall get them ready as soon as possible, though it will take longer time than might be wished, as I believe the paper is yet to be made, there being none of a suitable size and quality to be found in the Stores or Shops.
Your Excellency’s precaution respecting the State of the public credit was not unnecessary. I have engaged in my private capacity for the payment & have a promise that the business shall be done; but even private confidence is enfeebled where laws afford shelter to frauds, and the scarcity of money in circulation (much being concealed) occasions every one, especially Tradesmen, to be unusually urgent for speedy payment. As soon as I can with accuracy estimate the expence of these books, I shall make a special application for the money to avoid if possible any farther trouble to your Excellency on that score. I have the honor to be, with perfect respect, Your Excellency’s most obedt Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.