<br /> Lee Letter: n340_0444

Washington and Lee University

Sender: Marine Committee
Recipient: William Phillips, Isaac Smith, and Ebenezer Storer

Gentlemen1

Inclosed are several documents by which you will learn that you are
appointed Commissioners to transact some business on behalf of the
United States with the Gentlemen who were appointed Agents by General
Washington for the Prizes taken by the fleet fitted out by his
directions.2

The Marine Committee request you will undertake the said business and
proceed in it with as much expedition as possible, The service having
already suffered by reason of delays in that department. You will
perceive that you are empowered to pay any balances which you shall
find due to any of the said Agents, but as you may not receive funds
sufficient for that purpose, we hereby empower you to draw bills on us
for any Sums you may want to enable you to execute the Resolution and
if you cannot conveniently procure money on such bills we request you
to use your Credit to procure the same, & we shall take care to
reimburse you as soon as we can know the amount, with all expences
attending the transactions, and Interest for any advance if required.
You will please to observe that the Captors in the above mentioned
Fleet, are not intitled to so large a proportion of the Prizes, as
those who have served in the Navy line constituted by Congress. You
will be pleased therefore to have recourse to the Regulations made by
Genl. Washington relative to this matter, and to subsequent Resolutions
of Congress. We suppose that the Agents are possessed of Copies of the
Regulations. Your well known Zeal for the Public cause has induced us
to appoint you to this business and we have the strongest confidence in
your dilligence & fidelity. You will perceive you are also
empowered to value any goods which may have been delivered by the
Continental Agents for Prizes for the use of the United States.

We are Gentlemen, Your hble servants

Notes:

Letter book, Marine Committee Letter Book, Marine Committee Miscellaneous
Papers, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration,
Washington, D.C.

1 Phillips, Smith, and Storer were all Boston merchants.

2 See John Adams to Isaac Smith, Sr., March 20, 1777, note.