Philadelphia January 28th 1783
Your Letter of [ ] to his Excellency the president of Congress inclosed a report from Capt. Mackomber of the Rhode Island Line—in the latter part of which is a Clause purporting to be information the said Capt. Mackomber recieved from a Mr [Blank] Smith, of a transaction, which if true would justly rank me with the most infamous & execrable of Mankind.
To such an attack upon my Character which I presume to say, sir, has hitherto stood unblemished in public & private life—at present I can only oppose the solemn declaration, That I am not guilty of the charge Stated & implied in the said report—That I have not written, said or done any thing directly nor indirectly which could give foundation for such an injurious imputation—And this declaration I make upon my Honor.
I trust your Excellency will suspend forming an Opinion upon the subject, until I can take the necessary steps to investigate so malignant a design agst me.
The peculiarly delicate situation in which I am placed by the said report, will I hope render an Apology for this, and such further Applications as I shall be necessitated to make, in developing this at present dark & mysterious affair, unnecessary. I have the Honor to be, with the highest esteem, consideration & respect Your Excellency’s Obedient & very hum. Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.