George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste Drouet, 31 January 1793

From Jean-Baptiste Drouet

[Paris] the 31 January 1793
and the second of the french republic


Daign to call to mind a french citizen who had the good fortune to fight for the conquest of liberty and the glory of your country. it is I who was groom to the M. de la Fayette and who was called Baptiste: you have not forgot General the important services which this young man has rendered to the united states of America, I have always fought by his side in every action where he was found, which began by the battle of Brandywine where he was wounded and where the crown of my hat was carried away by a ball. then from his glorious retreat of Barenhill to the battle of monmouth, Rhode Island, and finally to the taking of little york and the english army commanded by cornwallis.

Desirous to continue to serve my country in the military line and to be employed in the armed men. I pray you General to send me an attestation or Certificate to prove that I have served in the armies of the united states in quallity of dragoon or hussar, from the beginning of the Campaign of 1777 to the end of that of 1781.1 this attestation will be of very great use in my advancement: & I dare flatter myself General that you will not refuse it; in rendering me this service you will add a ray of laurel to all those crowns which you have so gloriously deserved.

accept I pray you the hommage, the respectful attachment with which I have the honnou⟨r⟩ to be General your very humble & very Obedient Servant

my true name is John Baptist Drouets

P.S. M. de la Fayette had promised me this attestation when he set out to command the army at Line,3 but the unhappy events which have happened since that time has put it out of his power to acquit himself of his promise.4

here is my address

to Mr Drouets french citizen, gauché street no. 610 at St germain’s forest near paris. at St germain.5

Translation, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ALS, in French, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. The text of the original receiver’s copy appears in CD-ROM:GW.

1No evidence has been found to indicate that GW responded to this request.

2This named is spelled variously “Drouett,” “Drouet,” and “Drouets” in the ALS.

3The original French reads “nos armées de Ligne.”

4In 1792 Prussian forces captured Lafayette after he fled France (Marquise de Lafayette to GW, 12 Mar. 1793, and notes 3, 7).

5St. Germain-en-Laye.

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