George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Mifflin, 4 April 1784

To Thomas Mifflin

Mount Vernon 4th Apl 1784.


I take the liberty of introducing to your Excellency’s civilities and attention, the Count de Laval Montmorency, Brother to the Duke de Laval, & Colonel in the Regiment of Royal Auvergne.1

This Gentleman is on a tour from Charles Town 2 to New York, where he proposes to embark for Europe.3 His noble family, & personal merit, stand in need of no recommendation; but I could not with hold this testimony of my respect for him. I have the honor to be Yr Excellency’s Most Obt & Most Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, ViMtvL.

1Mathieu-Paul-Louis de Montmorency, vicomte (puis duc) de Laval (1748–1817), whose father Guy-André-Pierre, duc de Laval (1728–1798), maréchal de France in 1783, was himself the brother of Anne-Alexandre-Marie-Sulpice de Montmorency-Laval, marquis (puis duc) de Laval (1747-1817), the colonel of the régiment de Bourbonnais in Rochambeau’s American army. His son Mathieu-Jean-Félicité de Montmorency-Laval was wounded in 1781 while serving in Destouches’s squadron in the Chesapeake.

2Benjamin Guerard (c.1733–1788), governor of South Carolina from 1783 to 1785, wrote GW from “Government House Charleston South Carolina” on 3 Mar. 1784: “I have the honor of addressing this to You by the particular wish & request of its noble Bearer Monsieur le Vicomte de Monmorency Laval Colonel Regiment d’Auvergne &c. who lately arrived here from Cape François to take the Tour of America accompanied by Monsieur le Marquis de Fontenille Colo, of Infantry in the Service of France as his travelling Companion. I hope that You will pardon the freedom which I shou’d not have presumed was it not proper and the Vicomte desirous from the Letter of recommendation he brought me of being mentioned by me to a Commander in Chief under whose Auspices his noble Brother the Duke has served” (LS, DLC:GW).

Fontenille was Pierre-Paul-Louis de La Roche, marquis de Fontenille (1757–1833), who served under d’Estaing as a captain in the régiment de Gätinais at the siege of Savannah in 1778. See Fontenille to GW, 20 Nov. 1784.

3See Laval de Montmorency to GW, 27 April 1784. He wrote from New York saying he was sailing the next day.

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