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  Letter to William Stephens Smith, March 3, 1783
George Washington. Autograph letter signed: Newburgh, to Lieutenant Colonel William Stephens Smith, 1783 March 3. 2 p. + address leaf.

Newburgh 3d. March 83

Dear Sir,

I have been favoured with your private letter of the 24th. Ulto. & thank you for the information contained in it.

It is much to be regretted that while I am using every means in my power to comply with the orders of the Congress (founded in my opinion on our true interest & policy) that there should be such a counteraction as we daily experience [struck: by] [inserted: from] individuals. But more lamentable is our situation, when [inserted: it appears] States, or the Administration of them, are leaping over those bounds which ought to be a sacred barrier between us and the Enemy; & without which, all opposition to their measures must soon cease, or dwindle into something very farcical.

That the intercourse with New York by way of the Sound, is in a manner unrestrained, I have little doubt of, and that the very Boats which are Armed & Commissioned for the purpose of cutting of [sic] this communication are employed in facilitating the Trade, I have a recent proof of in one which was caught in the fact, by the vigilance of Majr. Talmage, with [E.?] Goods on board.

We have only to persevere, & with the means we possess, give all the checks to it in our power. Every officer who exerts himself in this business shall meet every support I can [2] give, and will undoubtedly merit the approbation of Congress.

With respect to the other matters contained in your Letter, I have to entreat that you will keep an attentive eye towards them, that you may be able, if it should become needful, to give me as good information as the nature of the case will admit. Let the motives to these enquiries be hid from those about you, & confined to your own breast. I have reasons for giving you this caution which cannot be entrusted to Paper.

I am D[ea]r Sir
Y[ou]r most Obed[ient] Serv[an]t
Go: Washington

Lt. Colo. Smith.

[Address Leaf]
Lieut. Colo. Smith
[?] at the Port of
Dobbs Ferry

Head Quarters 3d March
1783 Private from G. W[ashing]ton
to [?] Commanding
officer of American Army
Colonel W., S. Smith

Notes: Published with variations in Fitzpatrick, Writings of Washington, 26: 179-180.