George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Antoine-Jean-Louis Le Bègue de Presle Duportail, 15 October 1783

philadelphia 15th oct. 1783

dear General

gnl laumoy & Colonel gouvion have informed me of the Regret your Excellency has been pleased to express for our leaving this Country. I am exceedingly flattered with it and beg you to Receive my sincere thanks—I will ask only the permission of telling a word in defense of my last measure—you know, dear general, that there are in this Country great many men even among those who are at the head of gouvrnement, who have so narrow ideas as not to be able to discern who may be Really usefull to america hereafter, who is not—even some go farther and look upon a military man as an inutile burthen to the people and if that military man is a foreigner besides it is a great deal worse with them. I think that in such a Country a foreigner who has some delicacy ought not to stay unless Requested of it and in such a manner as not to leave any doubt to any body that his services are generally acknowleged absolutely necessary even since we are in america we always followed those principles, your Excellency Remembers it probably and I hope will think it was yet more proper to follow them in those present Circumstances. I took the liberty of descending into those particulars, because I shall be very sorry to do anything not approved by your Excellency. if Congress had thought that our future services should be necessary they would have probably taken the same measures as they have done the other times during the war so we cannot be blamed for leaving them now of the most interesting moment. I have the honour to be with the greatest Respect your Excellency the most obedient and humble servant


DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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