New York 24th April 1783
It is with great satisfaction that I receive notice, by your letter of the 21st instant, of arrangements being taken for the immediate release of the prisoners, and I am to acknowledge with thanks the different options you have been pleased to give me as to the more convenient execution of this measure; but considering the quantity of tonnage necessary for the evacuation of this place, and that most part of what we have at hand is now actually employed in this business, and in the removing incumbrances which must be sent off previous to our departure, I am reduced to the necessity of adopting the march of those prisoners by land, and I shall accordingly avail myself of your Excellency’s passport, and acquaint the Minister at War of the choice I am obliged to make, and the reasons of it.
I cannot decline the personal interview proposed by your Excellency, and purpose being in a frigate, as near Tappan as may be, where I understand you mean to lodge. If I hear nothing from you to occasion an alteration, I intend being up on the 5th of May, accompanied by a smaller vessel or two, for the accomodation of Lieutenant Governor Elliot, Chief Justice William Smith, and part of my family; but I am to apprize your Excellency, that I have for some time expected Sir Charles Grey, who has been appointed to this command, and I have reason to think he has been detained only to bring out the final arrangements. My letters were hastened out to announce the ratification of the preliminary articles, and to put an end to all hostilities, so that I submit it to your Excellency’s choice, either to let the interview take place on the 5th of May, or to defer it until after the next arrival from England. I am with much consideration Your Excellency’s Most obedient and Most humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.