Philadelphia December the 19th 1780
Mr Dear General
None of Your Answers to my several letters has Come to hand. I am told that you have writen to Congress Giving an Account of a Large embarkation Under Knypausen. How far it will influence your projects, and of course your Advices for my private Conduct I hope to know By your Next letter. A vessel is, it is said, Arriv’d in Boston After a short Passage from france. her dispatches have Not yet Been Receiv’d.
By letters from the Southern States it is said that Tarleton Met with a defeat. But these are mere Reports, tho Accompagnied With Some degree of Probability.
A letter dated Edenton North Carolina Mentions that a Vessel was just Arriv’d from Spain having on Board an American Gentleman Who says that Count de Guichen was Arriv’d in Cadiz. That The Combin’d fleet Amounted then to 74 ships of the line, exclusive of Barcelo’s squadron, of five ships cruizing off the Capes, five other gone on a secret expedition, and those which are in Brest. The combin’d fleet under Count d’Estaing was Going to sea. Other intelligences Say that the Affrican princes have excluded the British from theyr ports, and that the English Channel fleet had been Much shattered in a storm.
God Grant that in this last motion of the Combin’d fleet Common sense May have dictated the Necessity of increasing the Naval force on our Coast. I have Again writen very Pressing letters to Governement in General, and some Ministers in Particular urging the Necessity of furnishing us with Ships, Money, Stores, Cloathes, &c.
I think Clel Laurens will Go to France. But there will be Many debates, I Believe, Before he sets out.
The Assembly of Pensilvania will this day Pass the Bill for Recruiting theyr troops By Classing property. Some Members of Congress have Mentionn’d to Me the Idea of sending the Pensilvanians By land to Carolina which I Made it a point to discourage. Adieu, my dear General, Most affectionately and Respectfully yours
My Respects if you please to Mrs Washington and Compliments to the Family.
PEL: Papers of George Washington.