George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Benoît-Joseph de Tarlé, 1 February 1783

Philadelphia february 1st 1783.


When I had the honour to pay my respects to your Excellency at Head quarters, I expected, as I informed you to Stay at Philadelphia till the first day of this month, a time Sufficient to Settle the affairs which the King has trusted to my Care, which being done, I intended, according to the arrangements made by monsr Le Comte de Rochambeau, to proceed on my Journey as far as baltimore and Embark there for france. but on my arrival in this place having received Some dispatches from Court by which I am ordered to remain in this Country with all the officers and Employ’es that belong to my department, Even if the whole Army Should have been Embarked on board of the fleet under the Command of monsr le marquis de Vaudreuil, untill further orders, and monsr Le Comte de Rochambeau having therefore left me the Choice to do what I would think most proper, I determined So much the more chearfully to attend the King’s orders, as the Army, if Circumstances require it, is destined to return into North America, as Soon as the purpose for which it has Embarked Shall be effected, and in this Case I shall be in readiness to have every thing provided for its return.

As I am ordered by the Same dispatches, to fix myself as well as the Administration, during the time that the Army will be gone, in the place that your Excellency will be So good as to point out to the Commanding officer of the french Troops now Stationed in America Monsr Le Duc de Lauzun, desired, Accordingly, that I should live in this City which affords me the double advantage to Collect together all the people I want to have to Settle the Accounts of the Army, and in the mean while to Superintend all the Supplies which ought to be provided for the Said Troops either in Wilmington or in Baltimore. He likewise permitted that I should do myself the honour to write to your Excellency to ask you, Sir, if this disposition meet your approbation, that if it does not I might remove to the place you Shall think most proper for me to live at.

I the more egarly inform your Excellency of these New dispositions, as though it had not been my duty to do it, I could not have Concealed from your Excellency the pleasure I ardently feel by Continuing to Serve under your Command as a feeble tribute that I must pay you for all the kindness you have been pleased to bestow upon me Since I came in this Country, I beg you will be perswaded, Sir, they have impressed a warm gratitude upon my mind that nothing will impair, and Could the different branches of the administration, that Still remains in my hands afford me an Opportunity of doing any thing agreable to your Excellency, I would earnestly Seize it to Show you how much I long to give you the most Sincere proof of my Zeal and of all my sentiments of gratitude and respect with which I am, Your Excellency’s Most obedient and most Humble Servant


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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