George Washington Papers

To George Washington from La Touche-Tréville, 15 June 1784

From La Touche-Tréville

Paris 15th June 1784


The marks of kindness with wc. you treated me when in America, are too dear to me to be forgotten. It is impossible to have known the Country rescued by your brave efforts, without a wish to become a Citizen of it—Convinced, that it is in such a Country only, that I can meet with happiness; I claim by the Marquiss La Fayette your friendship; who will aid me I hope in obtaining it, & inform you of my situation—Your influence will I hope, smooth all difficulties with Congress, & the State, in whose bosom I mean to fix myself.1 I am Your Excellency’s Hble & Obt Servt

Ct de la Touche

Translation, DLC:GW; ALS, DLC:GW. David Stuart’s translation is no more than a brief but accurate summary of the original French version, which may be found in CD-ROM:GW.

Louis-René Magdelain Le Vassor, comte de La Touche-Tréville (1745–1804), was a French naval lieutenant when he conducted Lafayette to America in 1777 aboard the Hermione. He was given command of a ship in 1780 and cruised American waters under the orders of La Peyrouse until he was captured by the British in 1782. La Touche-Tréville was a vice admiral in the French navy at the time of his death.

1GW wrote La Touche from Mount Vernon on 25 Nov. 1784 while Lafayette was visiting him: “The Marqs de la Fayette presented me with the honor of your favor of the 15th of June. Let me beseech you to be persuaded sir, that I derived great pleasure from its contents, & shall think it a very happy circumstance if fortune should ever place it in my power to facilitate your views of settlement in a country which your personal services have contributed to free from those shackles which were forging for its bondage—The acquisition of such a citizen cannot be more pleasing, than honorable to America; & in whatever I can be useful towards the fulfilment of your wishes, you have only to command my best services” (LB, DLC:GW).

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