George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 28 November 1780

Paramus November the 28th 1780

My dear General

We Arriv’d last Night at this place and was much favor’d By the Weather in our Recconnoitring of the island where, I Confess, my feelings were different from what I had experienc’d when looking at these forts with an hopefull Eye—I saw the fatal Centry Clel Gouvion alluded to on an Upper Battery of Jeffery’s hook—I also saw a Small vessel playing of this hook, But quite a trifling thing without guns and But two men on Board—Nothing else on the River But the Usual Guards of Spiting devil.

As you have been pleas’d to Consult me on the choice of An adjutant General, I will Repeat here, My dear General, that tho’ I have alwais delt with General Hand on an other point of wiew, his zeal, obedience, and love of discipline have given me a very good opinion of him.

(Col Smith has been By me wholly employ’d) in that line and I Can assure you that he will perfectly Answer your purpose.

Unless, however you was to Cast your Eye on a man who, I think, would suit Better than Any other in the world. Hamilton is, I Confess, the officer whom I wold like to See in that Station—at equal advantages his Services deserve from you the preference on any other—But his knowledge of Your Opinions and intentions on Military Arrangements, his love of discipline the Advantages he would have on all the others principally when Both Armies Will operate together, and his Uncommon Abilities would Render him perfectly Agreable to you—the Use of him would be Increas’d By this perferrement, and On other points he would Render the Same Services—An Adjutant General ought alwais to be with the Commander in chief—Hamilton should therefore Remain in Your family, and his Great industry for Business would Render him perfectly Serviceable in all Circumstances—on Every public or private Account, My dear General, I would Advise You to take him.

I shall on My Arrival at Philadelphia write you how Matters are Going upon which I will Build my private Schemes—But I heartly Wish that Some Account or other from Europe May Enable you to Act this Winter on Maritime operations—I hate the idea of being from you for so long a time—But I think I ought not to Stay idle—at all events I must Return when your immediate Army takes the field.

I flatter Myself with the hope of Meeting Mrs Washington on the Road. Adieu, My dear General, Most Affectionately and Respectfully Yours



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