Poughkeepsie Octr 14th 1783
This is the first moment I have found myself able to acknowledge the Receipt of your Excellency’s obliging Letter of the 11th Ulto and to express the grateful Sense I entertain of the concern which you are so kindly pleased to express for my Recovery. The severity of my Disorder had so far abated as to enable me to leave my Room and attempt a little moderate Exercise: But after two or three Days, it was succeeded by a slow Fever attended with a disagreable Cough and depression of Spirits which came upon me every Afternoon and continued until Morning. It’s long continuance has reduced me very low and my recovery is almost imperceptable so that I have little reason speedily to expect a return of my usual Health.
I am sorry to learn that the Peace Establishment is so long delayed, though it is what I expected, nor do I believe one will ever be agreed upon, that will give respectability to the Nation and Security to the Frontiers. Some States appear now to be exceedingly Jealous of the Confederation and I observe even Towns are giving Instruction to their Representatives to guard against any Infringement of it. It would become them to reflect that not long since when it suited their Interest and their Humour, a violation of it in a very essential Instance was so far from being disagreable that it was strongly advocated by those States who now appear the most scrupulous. I am fully persuaded unless the Powers of the national Council are enlarged and that Body better supported, than it is at present, all their Measures will discover such feebleness and want of Energy as will stain us with Disgrace and expose us to the worst of Evils.
We have as yet no certainty when the British will leave the southern District of this State though all Accounts agree that their Stay will not exceed the tenth of next Month. As my Correspondence with Sir Guy, since your Excellency left this quarter, has ceased. I am something apprehensive that he may not give me timely Notice, as he promised to do in his first Letter, for the establishment of the Jurisdiction of the State over that District, on his Departure; and Disorders will consequently take place before Measures can be taken by the State to prevent them It could be wished therefore that the Troops on the Lines in Westchester County might have Orders to move to the neighborhood of the City (the moment the British leave it) and if there should be no impropriety in it, be subject to my Direction while they remain there; and I would be much obliged to your Excellency if you will be pleased to inform me by Express (the Expence whereof the State will chearfully pay) of the first Advice you may receive of the time proposed by Sir Guy for his Departure.
We were under much anxiety on hearing Mrs Washington’s Indisposition and were made extremely happy by your Account of her Recovery. Mrs Clinton joins me in requesting you to accept and to tender Mrs Washington our most respectful Compliments. I am with the highest Sentiments of Respect & Esteem. Dear Sir Your most Obedient Servt
Your Excellency will be pleased to excuse this Scrolls not appearing in my own Hand—I attempted to Copy it but found it too much for me.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.