Head Qrs 12 Augst 1783
Since my return from the Northward I have made particular enquiry into the state of the Boats which may be rendered fit for service on the Western Waters, and find the number very small that are capable of being repaired, the expence of effecting which & transporting them to Schenectady it is imagined will equal or exceed the cost of building new Ones at that place.
I have also written by the last Post to Congress, to the Superindt of Finance, and the Qr Mastr Genl on the subject of garrisoning the Western Posts, and that an advance of Money will be necessary for the purpose but as it is uncertain when I may receive ansrs to those Letters; as it is doubtful whether money can then be supplied from the public Treasury to enable the Qr Master Gen’l to enter into a Contract for Boats & to defray the continuing expence of the operation; and as the Summer is so far advanced that only measures are immediately adopted for building Batteaux, the work cannot be completed before the cold weather will set in, prevent all communication on the Lakes, and compel us to give up to destruction the Fortifications which are to be ceded to us by the British; I find myself therefore under the necessity of having recourse to your Excellency, & of requesting to be informed whether any Money can be furnished by this State for the beforementioned services—I have sent Col. Humphrys to confer with you more fully on this important subject, to inform you what steps are taking for occupying the Posts in the first instance, and to bear the result of your Excellency’s determination to me.
Had the completion of this business been less interesting to the United States in general, or to this State in particular, I should not have felt so much anxiety, or pressed the execution of it with so much earnestness—This consideration will I am persuaded be a sufficient apology for troubling your Excellency with the present application; and will I flatter myself at the same time induce the State to lend such aid to the Public as may be in its power—I have the honor to be.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.