Albany May 3d 1782
I do myself the honor to transmit your Excellency the counter-part of an additional Contract, made with Mr Duer. To Ascertain what extra allowance ought to be made, for delivering a ration of salted, in lieu of fresh Beef, I calculated the surcharge of salt Barrells, cooperage and the expence of transportation, beyond that on fresh meat, and made a very small allowance as a profit to the contractor and altho Mr Duer Acceeded to my estimate, yet it was reluctantly, as not affording him a prospect of Adequate profit, Indeed I believe it will be very inconsiderable, especially as the quantity to be expended will be small.
At Johnstown and Schoharie there will probably never be more than one hundred rations of fresh meat Issued per day, to the stated Garrissons, and it may frequently happen that at Forts Herkhimer and Dayton It will also fall below that, And the contractor will find it difficult, If not impossible, without great effort to supply them in June, July, August & part of September with fresh meat, when the season is such as that It cannot be preserved untainted above two days, and as he will not be able to procure cattle so small as that the whole of the meat may be expended in that time, I believe It will be found necessary to permit him to Issue salted meat in the period mentioned at least for one half of the time, and that he provide veal, mutton, &c. for the other half.
Fort Renselaer to the westward, and Saratoga to the northward, are the two Central posts from which in cases of Emergency the others can be supplied with expedition, and at these the main force for the defence of the Frontiers has hitherto been collected. This consideration led me to stipulate that so great a proportion of the reserve should be lodged there, as well as because they are the only places where ammunition, and a reserve of provision can be with safety kept—the completion of a block house in Fort Renselaer commenced in the last campaign, seems however indispensible as the ammunition and provision is now much exposed to damage from the Insufficiency of the buildings in which they are contained, as well as for the better defence of the forts which will then be secure against small arms or Escalade.
The want of hard bread has frequently proved prejudicial, as preparing bread, from flour, has retarded pursuits, and prevented Scouts from remaining out as long as they ought unless they risked being discovered by lighting fires to make bread, perhaps it may be deemed eligible to direct the Contractor to furnish it which I believe he will do on the terms Mr Sands furnished, with an allowance for the additional expence of transportation from this place. I am Dear Sir most Sincerely & affectionately Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.