Fishkill 31st May, 1782
Had the honor of receiving your Excellencies Letter dated the 25th Inst. In answer to which beg leave to Observe that in the Conversation had with you we mentioned our willingness to settle the disputes between the Officers and us upon any equitable Mode you might direct.
When Colonels Humphrey & Trumbull Called upon us in order to settle those differences they proposed that the Commander in Chief should appoint a first person, the Contractors a second and those two an Umpire if thought requisite to this proposition, we replyd that previous thereto it was necessary we should be furnish’d with a Copy of those Complaints, to this the Gentlemen made some Objections, and as nothing was determined at this time we promised to wait on them next day but was prevented doing it through unexpected pressing business—we however wrote them and inclosd proposals on our part. to which we Received a Copy of the heads of the Complaints inclosd in their Answer of the 10th a part of which we beg leave to Repeat "we wish you to Examine them severally and give us your Ideas upon each seperately specifying to us under which Mode of settlement proposd by you each Article of Complaint shall be ranged and how far your proposal will apply to each." adding "upon this Ground we will make our further Reply to your proposals, only observing that your propositions for laying the Army under Bond, if insisted on will we fear prove an insuperable Bar in the way of the Composition"—to this in ours of the 11th we gave them our opinion upon the different Heads of Complaint & in what way we supposd they ought to be settled to which we beg leave to refer your Excellency—and to remove the Objection of the Officers in respect to laying them under Bond we agreed on our part and propos’d that the Financiers should appoint some person or persons, to examine adjust & Settle the whole matter in dispute from the 1st Jany to the 30th April inclusive—this Mode we thought reasonable because let the balance fall to either party the Financier Could pay it—but to this we received no Answer.
Some time after this we received a letter from Colonel Nicola containing new Complaints of the Army, in answer to which among other things we say that "we have offerd the Commander in Chief to submit all disputes in any equitable mode he may direct and doubt not but in a few days the whole matter will be settled Amicably" in this sir we had no intention to hold up to the Army that if matters was not settled it was imputable to your Excellency we did not wish to convey such an Idea and to Convince you of our sincerity we will submit the disputes in any equitable Mode you may please to point out. We have Sir—The Honor of being with the greatest respect & Esteem Your Excellency’s Obedt & Very humbe servts
Comforts Sands & Co.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.