Alexander Hamilton Papers

To Alexander Hamilton from Marquis de Lafayette, 21 October [1780]

From Marquis de Lafayette

Light Camp [New Jersey] october the 21st [1780]

These are, my dear Hamilton, two letters1 By which I communicate to the french general the happy intelligence Concerning the taking of the Convoy, and inclose to them the paper that Relates the affair as well as the success of the expedition on the Spanish Main. I give you joy, my dear friend, on this success of the Combin’d fleet,2 and Might also Rejoice with you on some thing else By way of Anticipation. Be pleas’d to Read My two Rhode island letters, and also the two others as soon as an opportunity offers.

Have you yet any thing new, My dear Sir, any thing that May put me in spirits? You know I am not of a desponding, dark temper.

I did not see the dragoon on his Return, But hope my letter to Gouvion Came safely into your hands.3

Adieu, My dear Sir,   Yours


Britain Begins to be in Bad Luck.

ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.

1Letters not found.

2It is impossible to state with exactitude the events to which Lafayette referred in the preceding sentence. He may have referred to a false report, which circulated at this time, that the Spaniards had attacked Florida. He may also have had in mind the following information which Washington wrote to Rochambeau on October 24, 1780:

“Since my last, we have accounts by way of Statia [St. Eustatius] and New York, that the combined fleet consisting of thirty sail of the line off Cape Finisterre, fell in with an outward bound fleet and took fifty odd sail of them, among which were five East India men; the rest were for the West Indies.… I have just received another account from New York that a part of the Cork fleet has been taken.…” (George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.)

3This refers to the matter discussed in Lafayette to H, October 20, 1780, note 3.

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