Philada Decr 23d 1781
At a meeting with the British Naval Commissary of Prisoners at Elizabeth Town for the settlement of our Accounts on the 18th and 19th inst. I find a Ballance due to the enemy of Six hundred and ninety Eight prisoners in the Naval Line. From the large ballance that is due and the inconsiderable Number of prisoners we now have it is impossible for me to relieve those on board the Prison Ship at New York amounting to near 500 Men and whose situation is really Miserable.
I could wish to receive some directions from Your Excellency relative to these unhappy Men, or that I might be Authorized and enabled to furnish them with some Assistance, as many of them are almost naked and have not a blanket to lay on. I am sr Your Mo. Obt [Hume] servt
Com: Gen. Prisoners
DLC: Papers of George Washington.