Poughkeepsie Decr 18. 1781 11 O Clock P.M.
The late Hour of the Night and the Necessity of my rising at the Dawn of Day to [ ] to proceed with Colo. Udny Hay to Fish Kill must be my Apology for this short Scroll I can now afford you in Answer to your Favor of the 10th of Oct. continued to the 12th for which I render You many Thanks. Some other Evening will soon be devoted to the Discharge of that Debt of Friendship. I have only to regret that Phila. not Newburgh are your Winter Quarters, & that I shall be moping in my Office the Hours I ought to devote to the agreeable Circle of your family, to hear You recount the feats of a glorious Campaign.
I can only press on you [then] the absolute Necessity of procuring some Money for the Writers, or I shall lose them from absolute Necessity as they are daily accumulating certain Debts. I hope the Gentn of the Family will also receive some Cash & I share with them, to defray the Charges of my Board & some other Incidental Affairs.
My Attention has been so much confined at home that my Law Practice has barely supplied me with a few Dollars for Partial Expences & I have not read Law at all I expect to do more of both this Winter, as I stand a fair Candidate for a full Proportion of C[ ] Business as much as my Avocations from my Public Office will with Propriety admit of. If 50 Dollars Month is punctually paid, I run no Hazard of retaining the [writers] I have or at least gaining others equally good They will I believe withdraw their Applications for an Allowance of Rations if their Pay is secure.
I wish You to expedite An Answer to my Letters, as this goes by this week’s Post I shall expect an Answer by the 1st of Jany 1782.
Since Your Departure I have not been able to get from our impoverished Quarter Masters, any Forage or any thing else except bad Candles & worse wood, some which was cut by the blasted Arnolds Orders in 1780 such as White Wood, Bass, Swamp Oak & the like, now perfectly water soaken. This did not arrive till within 3 weeks & is nearly expended, before which I purchased & fear that I shall again be obliged to do the same as there is no Prospect of a further Supply, the River being half closed & impassable with Craft or Sleighs. As to Forage the Lord may know how I shall be supplied—I have borrowed from my Landlord till now, he is obliged to Purchase (having no Farm) & I have no Cash, to supply two Horses with Forage. I have been obliged to buy [ ], my first being [ ] for Services.
I pray for better Times—I beg my Regards to Colo. Tilghman & all the Family—most Respectfully to Mrs Washington. With Esteem & Regard, I remain very Affectionately Your sincere Friend
DLC: Papers of George Washington.