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Letter to Henry Knox, June 14, 1793
TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.53.082
George Washington. Autographed letter signed: Philadelphia, to Secretary at War Henry Knox, 1793 June 14. 2 p. + addr.

[inserted- different hand: Washington]
Philadelphia June 14th . 1793.

Sir; (Private)

By the Gazetts of to day, I perceive a Vessel is just arrived in this Port from New Orleans, on board of which are several of our Citizens; who, having passed down the Mississippi, are now on their return to the Ohio, their place of residence.

It is of great importance that this Government should be fully informed of the Spanish force in the Floridas the number of their Posts and the strength & situation of [struck: them] each; together with such other circumstances as would enable it to adopt corrispondent measures in case we should, in spite of our endeavors to avoid it, get embroiled in a dispute with that Nation. It would be too improvident might be too late & certainly would be disgraceful, to have this information to obtain when our plans ought to be formed

I desire therefore, that you would cause in as unsuspected a manner as the case will admit, the above persons to be examined touching the above points, and what number of Troops have lately arrived at New Orleans; and commit the result to Paper. Were they to be examined separately, advantages might follow by comparing their accounts.

I point you to the above as one source only of information; my desire to [2] obtain a knowledge of these facts, lead me to request with equal earnestness, that you would improve every other to ascertain them with certainty.

No reasonable expence should be spared to accomplish objects of such magnitude, in times so critical.

Go: Washington

The Secretary of War
[verso - leaf]

Notes: Published in Fitzpatrick, John C. The Writings of George Washington. v. 32: 502-03.