Newport May 7th 1781
I have received your Excellency’s Letter of the 3d instant, and Letters from the Ch. de La Luzerne along with it. The intelligences given by the vessel arrived from L’Orient at Philadelphy, about the courts of St James, and St Petersborough calling back their Ambassadors, and about the capture of several English East Indiamen taken by the French, are very interesting and deserve to be confirmed.
The Chevalier Destouches waits only for a North wind to send two Battle of Line ships and his frigate to give chace and cause to go back to New-york the two British ships that were seen two days ago a cruizing off this coast. It is of great consequence not to Let them range about freely, under the expectation that we are in every minute of a convoy from France. It appears for certain that the Chatham of 50. guns from Charlestown has joined the Enemy’s fleet. The Ch. destouches is afraid least the junction of these small 44. and 50. guns ships, of which there are many upon this coast, should give them again a great enough Superiority to allow them to return to their Station at gardner’s bay. I am with respect and personal attachment Sir, Your Excellency’s most obedient & most humble Servant
le cte de rochambeau
DLC: Papers of George Washington.