Head Quarters 25th March 1783
I have just now, received your favor of the 23d instant. It gives me pain to find a Request from you, which I am unable to gratify. But my Duty obliges me to inform you, that the Request is of such a Nature, as I have never complied with, in any one Instance; nor do I think, that, while under our present Circumstances, it will ever permit me to grant a similar one.
If the Introduction of Merchandize, from within the Enemys Lines, is, in any Case admissible, I conceive that the Legislature, or the Executive of the State into which they are meant to be bro’t, are the only competent Judges of its propriety. If those powers will not permit such a Request, it is certainly not consistent with my Duty, to grant an Indulgence, which they reject. With much Regard & Esteem I am sir Your most Obedt Servt