[dateline] Amsterdam January 18. 1782
I have received the Letter which you did me the Honour to write me, Yesterday from
Leyden and it would give me Pleasure, if it were in my Power to give you a Satisfactory
answer. But it is not. I am So far from having any Authority, from Congress to encourage
officers, to go to America from Europe, with a View of obtaining service in the American
Army, that my orders are quite the Contrary.
This War has continued in America, seven years, and the Army has been new formed So
often upon the Expiration of the Term for which it was engaged, that there are at
this day, a vast Number of officers, Natives of america, who cannot obtain service.
Which will shew you, in a clear Light, the Impracticability, of my recommending any
officer to Congress or General Washington for Service. All that I can do in such Cases
is, when any officer is determined to go to america, at his own Expence and risque
in order to see Service, to give him a Letter of Introduction to a Friend, who might
shew him a personal Civility.1
[salute] I have the Honour to be, sir, your