Philadelphia 10th Decemr 1781.
I am informed by Admiral Digby that the Ship New Blessing Capt. Thomas Craven will be dispatched as a Cartel from New York to Virginia with American prisoners and with Stores—Medicines and cloathing for the British seamen in Hospital at Gloucester or else where—Your Excellency as the Commanding Officer of his Most Christian Majesty’s ships of War will be pleased to point out the most convenient and proper places for the ship to come to, upon his arrival and permit the Stores &c. to be landed—I inclose an Inventory of the Cargo as transmitted to me by the Admiral.
By an agreement entered into with the British Merchants at York and Gloucester, the Tobacco in which they were to be paid for the Goods purchased from them on public Account was to be transported to New York under the sanction of a Flag—and I have accordingly granted passports for the first Cargo that has been shipped: But as applications to me at this distance will be attended with delay and inconvenience I must request the favor of your Excellency to grant passports to any Vessel in future provided you have a Certificate from David Ross Esq. Commissioner of Trade for the State of Virginia that such Vessel is actually laden with Tobacco of the description before mentioned.
I shall be happy to hear from you and to know that your Winter Cantonments are perfectly satisfactory. I have the honor to be with the warmest attachment yr Excellency’s Most obt & [hle] servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.