George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Henry Laurens, 19 August 1778

To Henry Laurens

Head Qrs White plains August 19th 1778


I do myself the honor to transmit you a Copy of a Letter from General Sullivan, dated the 17th Instant, which I just now received with the Letter Inclosed.1 It appears that Count D’Estaing was still out with his fleet—but yet that the General was in high spirits and entertained the strongest hopes of success. I flatter myself they are well grounded— and that in the course of a few days he will announce the entire reduction of the Enemy’s force on the Island.

The Declaration respecting Governr Johnstone has been sent by a Flag to the British Commissioners.2 I have the Honor to be with great respect & esteem sir Your Most Obedt servant

Go: Washington

P.S. I send three York papers.3

LS, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DNA:PCC, item 152; Df, DLC:GW; copy, DNA:PCC, item 169; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. Congress read this letter on 21 Aug.; see JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 11:825.

1The “Letter Inclosed” was probably Sullivan’s letter to Laurens of 17 Aug., which text was the same as Sullivan’s letter to GW of that date (see Laurens Papers description begins Philip M. Hamer et al., eds. The Papers of Henry Laurens. 16 vols. Columbia, S.C., 1968–2003. description ends , 14:184–85).

2Regarding this declaration, see Laurens to GW, 13 Aug., and notes 6 and 7. At this point on the draft, Harrison wrote and deleted a paragraph that reads: “I could wish the earliest decision of Congress on the subject of reenlisting the Troops whose time of service will shortly expire. There are several in the Virginia line who have been long in the army & who have but a little time to stay. I am informed by the Officers that most of these, as well as many of the Drafts can be reingaged, if the present opportunity is embraced.”

3The postscript is lacking on the draft and the Varick transcript.

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