George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, 8 December 1780

Newport, Xbr December 8th 1780


I have received from the Commanding officer at St Domingo, a letter in cyphers whereof I send you the translation The Expedition against Pensacola by this time is made, whether with success or not, I donot believe that it is probable that rodney should have set sail to go that way, I should rather think that he is gone to the Leeward Islands. It is very unlucky that the Spaniards be so much attached by sickness, and that they have made at Havannah such a little squadron go out. I am arrived from my Voyage, very much Satisfied with New London, Windham, and the 3. Norwich, where Light battalions can be very militarily put, when they arrive from France Governor Trumbull was at Hartford, and I have desired the Duke of Lauzun to communicate to him the desire I would have that the Troops that I hope for, from France this winter, should be quartered in these different places if your Excellency approves of that disposition. I am with respect Sir Your Excellency’s Most obedient and most humble servant

le Cte de Rochambeau

I beg of you to forward the Inclosed Letters to Philadelphy.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.


c. November 1780

Copy of a Letter from the Commanding officer at St Domingo

Mr De Monteil set sail, on the 10th 8ber from the road of the Cape with all his Squadron to convoy as far as Maisi point the Atalanti[a], whose orders were to escort two ships with 400. troops, Spanish convalescents thence he Mr De Mouteil, is to cruize on Jamaica.

From the 14th to the 18th, there has been a very considerable rain, Wind blowing from the North, very fiercely it has destroyed all the Low Lands about the Cape, and obliged the Atalanti[n] to go to the Mole St Nicolas on the 18th. The Atalantis has given no news of the Squadron, at which I’m very much concerned.

I have sent a packet-boat to Mr De Mouteil to give him intelligence that an American vessel had seen, on the 9th instt 25º 2" Northern Latitude, a large fleet, bearing South, and which, as he thought, could only be bound to Jamaica. A Convoy of sixty Sail, gone from the Ferrol, on the 20th August, protected by the Frigates the Ceres, and the Inconstante is arrived the 9th instt at Martinico, the two frigates set Sail for the Fort Royal, but on the 11th a hurricane has obliged all the Vessels to take up anchors according to the report of two vessels that entered this harbour in a very bad plight.

Solano Set sail from Havannah the 10th of September with seven men of War and four Frigates for an expedition against Pensacola. the Distemper that had begun in Europe in the Spanish army has continued at havannah in such a manner that they had a great deal to do to compleat the crews of the ships that went out with Solano.

Mr De Guichen not being arrived on the 1st Octr I fancy, you don’t expect him any more. When he went away, Every thing seemed to show the greatest desire of going to France.

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