25 March 1783
Permit me to ask the favor of your Excellency to assist me with all your influence as well as that of Congress in causing your Ambassador in france to ask in your Names from M. de Castries and even from the king the commandment in record of the North part of the Coast of St Domingo which is going to be vacated by Mr de Lilancour who retires to france with the rank of Brigadier. I ask this favor of you my General in the name of all you hold dear—I am susceptible to this Command by the nature and length of my Services—the administration of this distant part of World will not be strange to me having been employed in it more than six Years [ ] good protection the Marquis de la fayette who you honor with your friendship will do everything for me—you will only Second his Views in determining your Ambassador to ask this place for me of the King and his Minister—the Marquis de La fayette & Count Rochambeau will make the same demand but notwithstanding all their wishes to oblige me they will not perhaps succeed without your help from these and other protections which I interest in my favor. I should hope for success but that Court is so full of intrigue that one can be sure of nothing till one has possession of it and too commonly the absent are in the wrong—I have however incontestible Rights from the length and nature of my Services against which nothing can be opposed but intrigue and favor—which will be nothing when you are pleased to assist me in this affair with all your influence—with such support I shall have room to hope this commandment in second which will give me a more tolerable subsistence than I can find any where in Europe. let me beg my General that you will not lose a moment in accelerating the Success of this demand—the sooner the better—the Astrea frigate can carry your dispatches to your Ambassador—Recollect my General the obliging letter and the Mortar you presented to the regiment de Gatinois which by your goodness and Aid it has obtained the flattering name of Royal Avenger—proof unequivocal of the satisfaction that Regiment gave you—let me beg you to continue that goodness to him who was the Soul of it and who would shed all his blood for his Generalissimo & for Congress—agreably to those sentiments which all virtuous allies should have for the common Cause—Render me the important service to interest yourself warmly in this affair.
I annex two Memorials to inform you more fully of my pretensions, you will make such use of them as you think necessary—one is for Congress which can only be presented them by you—I reckon on your goodness to give every possible support to these Memorials.
I ask you a thousand pardons for the trouble I am going to give you but necessity renders my enterprize indispensable—The Gods sometimes take pity on Mortals and Heroes like you often assist and support their Companions in Arms—I have then some right to hope from having had the advantage to serve under your Orders & from having done every thing to merit your favor & I assure your Excellency that whatever services you may render me on this only occasion which can present itself during the few Years I have to live, will not surpass my sensibility & acknowledgements—with great respect &c.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.