George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert R. Livingston, 5 June 1782

Newburgh June 5th 1782

Dear Sir,

I was honored with your favor of the 27th Ulto by the last Post. The extract from the Marqs La Fayette’s Letter--which you were so obliging to send me--is, in substance, the same as the one he has written to me himself.—On some points he is more particular in his letter to you—on others, mine is more full; A copy of which, if I had a Cypher established with you, I would have sent; but am afraid to entrust it without; either to the Mail, or a common Express.

What may be the real intention of the present Ministry, respecting America--or what effect the Naval Action in the West Indies may have, upon the intended operations of this year; and consequently upon the Powers at War, is difficult to say. There is however, one plain line chalked out for us; by pursuing which, we cannot err and it gives me pleasure to find that Congress are inculcating this by a deputation from their own body.

If Rodneys victory is as decisive & important as the New York Gazettes endeavour to make it; and the New Ministry should not be too much buoyed up by it; there is no measure so likely to produce a speedy termination of the War as vigorous preparation for meeting the enemy in full expectation of it. If they are only playing the insidious game, this will make them think of Peace in good earnest.

We had the pleasure of Mrs Livingstons and Mrs Montgomery’s Companies some days in last Week--they left us early on Sunday morning in perfect health--Mrs Washington presents her best respects to your Lady & self--to which please to add those of Dr Sir, Yr Most Obedt & Most Hble Servt

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