George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette, 23 April 1781

Alexandria April 23d 1781

My dear General

Great Happiness is derived from friendship, and I do particularly Experience it in the Attachement which Unites Me to You. But friendship Has its duties, and the Man that Likes you the Best will Be the forwardest in Letting you know Every thing where You Can Be Concerned.

When the Ennemy Came to your House Many Negroes deserted to them. This piece of News did not affect me much as I little Value those Concerns —But You Cannot Conceive How Unhappy I Have Been to Hear that Mr Lund Washington Went on Board the Ennemy’s vessels and Consented to give them provisions. This Being done By the Gentleman who in Some Measure Represents you at your House will certainly Have a Bad effect, and Contrasts with Spirited Answers from Some Neighbours that Had their Houses Burnt Accordingly.

You will do what you think proper about it, My dear General, But, As your friend, it Was My duty Confidentially to Mention the Circumstances.

With the Help of Some Waggons and Horses We got in two days from the Camp Near Baltimore to this place. We Halted Yesterday, and Having Made a Small Bargain for a few Shoes are Marching to Frederis Burg. No official Account from Philips, But I am told they Are Removing Stores from Richmond and Peters Burg. I am Surprised No Body writes to me, and Hope Soon to Receive Intelligences.

Our Men are in High Spirits. Their Honor Having Been Interested in this Affair, they Have Made it a point to Come with us; and discontents as well as desertion are Entirely out of fashion.

Requesting My Best Respects to Be presented to Mrs Washington and Compliments to the family I Have the Honour to Be With those Sentiments which you know My Dear General Your Most obent Servant and friend


The Chevalier writes me that Count de Rochambeau is Going to join You—So that Both Armies will Cooperate. I Had Rather Remain in Virginia than go to Carolina. This I Mention Because orders Are to Come from General Greene. But if the detachement is to go more Southerly I will get there as fast as I Can.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries