George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Steuben, March 1784

From Steuben

[March 1784]


On my arrival here I received a letter from Major L’Infant an extract of which I have the honor to present Your Excellency.

[“]It is with the greatest satisfaction that I announce the success of the Cincinnati in France, the difficulties which it was supposed would attend the introduction of this order (as no foreign Orders are permitted to be worn with the Kings) are surmounted. His Majesty in his Council having decreed that this order shall be worn with the other orders of the Kingdom, willing by this to give to the Americans a proof of the friendship which he wishes to mentain with them.

“There are more wishes in France for the order of the Cincinnati than for that of St Louis.”1

Major L’Infant proposed to leave France in Feby—so that we may expect him here the latter end of this month or begining of the next.2 I beg Your Excellency will do me the justice to believe that I retain the most ⟨lively⟩ sense of the many marks of friendship which I have had the honor to receive from you, & especially of those so recently confered. I beg my respectfull Compliments may be offered to Mrs Washington, with the greatest respect I have the honor to be Sir Your Excellency’s Obedient Servant


LS, DLC:GW. Steuben may have written this letter in April. According to the Alexandria (Va.) newspaper, Steuben left Mount Vernon on 17 Mar. after visiting GW, and this letter to GW appears to have been written at the end of his journey.

1L’Enfant wrote GW on 25 Dec. 1783 about the reception of the Society of the Cincinnati in France and may have written again in January. See L’Enfant to GW, 29 April 1784, n.2.

2L’Enfant did not leave France until after the middle of March and landed in New York on about 28 April. See letter cited in note 1.

Index Entries