Philada 22d March 1782
You will be pleased to make yourself acquainted as accurately but with as much secrecy as possible with the nearest and best Route from Fort Pitt to Niagara—Whether up the Allegany River and from thence thro’ the Woods—or by the River la Beuf and along the side of the Lake.You will, in both cases, mention the different distances of land and Water transportation. The Indians and Traders who have been used to traverse the Country above mentioned, must be well acquainted with it. In order to deceive those of whom you inquire—appear to be very solicitous to gain information respecting the distances &ca to Detroit. The other matter you may converse upon as if curiosity was your only inducement.
I shall leave town this day to go to the Army upon the North River.Your letters to me may be put under cover to the Secy at War—I am Dr sir Yr most obt Servt