George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Paul-François-Jean-Nicolas, comte de Barras, 4 June 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 4th June 1781.


I have had the honor of receiving your favor of the 31st of May. His Excellency The Count de Rochambeau transmitted to me the result of the Council of War held on Board the Duke de Burgoyne; and The Duke de Lauzun, who was kind enough to be the bearer of it having informed me that he was authorized by your Excellency and the Count de Rochambeau to enter into a free communication with me upon the subject of the deliberations of the Council, and to request my opinion upon the propriety of their determination. I take the liberty, still to recommend the measure of removing His Majesty’s Fleet to Boston as a port more safe in all possible contingencies than New port can be after the principal part of the French land Force shall be withdrawn: But however as I would not wish to oppose my singl judgment to that of so many Gentlemen of experience, especially as there is a combination of Marine Affairs of which I confess my entire ignorance. I have expressed my wish to The Count de Rochambeau that the matter may be again considered, and have informed him that with such aids as the Council of War may possibly acquire from later intelligences they should still adhere to their opinion that the fleet may safely remain in Newport under the protection of 400 french troops and 1000 Militia, I shall be satisfied. I have furnished the Count with letter to the Governers of Massachusetts and Rhode Island which he will make use of as circumstance may require.

I shall be happy to receive a confirmation of the agreeable intelligences brought by Capt. Ledyard.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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