Albany June 8th 1781
Yesterday I received a line from Mr Fox, which I have the honor to Inclose Your Excellency, I cannot credit the tale of the 6000 troops at Halifax, as I think we should have had some account of their arrival there.
Young Shepherd, alluded to, left this on the 20th ult., and carried the papers mentioned in the intercepted letter, transmitted Your Excellency by Genl Clinton.
On the 3d Instant, I dispatched fourty oneidas, and five trusty white men on a Scout to Ticonderoga, and Crown point with directions to reconnortre the Enemy as closely as possible, and Afterwards to bring of some prisoners.
I find by some emissaries that the principal Tories In this quarter, have received some Intelligence which deeply Chagrins them, but they keep the particulars so secret as not even to let the Inferior ones know It.
This moment Your Excellencys favor of the 30th ult: was delivered me. If the Vermonters will take an Active part with us, I think we shall have little to fear from any force the Enemy can probably send now that we have some regular troops to lead on the Militia.
If the Enemy [at] N. York are advised of a reinforcement coming in force from France they may be under the necessity of concentrating all their force, with or at N. York, or in the Southern States, and as four or five years Experience has evinced that they cannot accomplish any Important penetration In this quarter, this reflection, and the reason Your Excellency assigns for them, may probably induce them to remove to the Southward, but on the contrary, when It is considered that by quitting New York they not only abandon their friends in that place to the resentment of an exasperated people, but damp the hopes of all their adherents In the northern states, and diminish the Confidence the tories in every quarter have in permanent protection, besides the prejudicial Influence such a measure would create against them in Europe It seems little probable that they will take the step.
Saturday 9th that night by Major [Topham] I received a line from Mr Robert Morris requesting me to procure 1000 Barrels of flour to be delivered to Your Excellency’s order, notwithstanding the Scarcity of Money, and that my Credit has already been stretched to supply the troops & Indians bow, I have made shift to procure 500 Barrels which You will receive assoon as a sloop can be provided to transport It from Esopus, & other landings in ulster County. The remaining 500 Barrels, will be obtained here, until Your Excellency shall have signified, whether you chuse they should be sent to West point, or delivered for the use of the troops here, lest your letter should pass me on the road as I Intend [for] Pokepsie in a day or two, permit to beg you to send any directions relative to the flour to Jacob Cuyler Esqr. of Albany.
An Indian is never satisfied without a little rum. I have no money to purchase any with nor is there any in stores. If It be possible to spare a hogshead from below I shall be greatly relieved by It, and It will be so sparingly expended as to last, I hope, until winter. I am Dear Sir with the sincerest sentiments of respect Esteem & affection Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.