boston 17 august 1781
I arrived here yesterday after fivety days passage from france—I have been so lucky as to answer the purpose of my journey there—having with me the cloathing and equipment for the legion firelock and shoes for the foots men exepted—I know that a large quantity of the first of [thoses] articles was Send to Congress—& could not get the shoes at time to set of by the opertunity of the frigate we came in.
we convoyed two ships from france which were loaded with warly Stores for your exellency’s army—one of them a brig. was dismasted of both its masts and being not in a condition to proceed on nor to be repared at Sea—She was Send to Spain from where She was only three hundred miles distant—the other which is the largest Ship is Safe arrived.
we were bound to philadelphia—but contrary winds forced us to make land at this port—the Capt. of our frigate has Send the day of our arrival, an officer to mr de baras at new port—for have from him directions where to go—I expect the orders will be for philadelphia—if that plan is not to much intercepted by the british Shipping—what persuad the most that your exellency would rather have us to go there—is mr otis the agent for Congress who told us that should the Cargo be delivered into his hands—he Could not with the most precise orders and the utmost exertions forward it to the army or philadelphia before the midle of next winter by which lost of time some of the articles wanted now would arrive perhaps when they should be no more wanted and the Carrying of them by land make Such an adition to their first cost as to be rather hurtfull than of a great advantage—mr hancok the governor has been asked his advice on that matter—and after telling us of the difficulty of the land Carriage was of opinion that the Captain trusted with the Care of the Cargo should conduct himself by the directions of mr de baras.
Crl Laurence sett of from france eighteen or nineteen days before us and was bound for philadelphia—we heard here nothing of his arrival.
as soon it is determine what is to be done—I shall take my way to head quarters supposing that the frigate should not go to philadelphia—but if She was to go there immediatly I will go with her.
the king is paying the gretiest attention to the recommendation which your exellency had honored me with for the marshal duc de biron has given me the [cruce] of st louis and looked upon my services under your Command as if I had done the same and with the same rank in his own service.
I wishes it was in my power to show and to tell how I feel the great obligations I am under since this war to your exellency—I dare say here that I can not give a better proof of my tankfullness and respect than in leaving again my country—and chuse to continue in the one where general washington looking upon me as one of his most faithfull servant will permit me to follow my military fortune under his Command.
I do not take the liberty to mantion here of the state of the legion—not knowing how it is—and being assured that Congress will or has already done without difficulty keap their promisses to me—I have as much more confidence in them, that every things on that head was done with the approbation of your exellency and your advice.
the marshal de biron had the honor to answer your letter I take the liberty to keap it by me—until I may have the opportunity to deliver it my Self to your exellency. I am with the gretiest respect Your exellency’s the most humble obedt Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.