Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from Steuben, 26 March 1781

From Steuben

Williamsburg 26th Mch 1781 8 oClock PM


I am this moment informed of the return of the English Fleet into Lynhaven Bay in the night of the 24th. and that this morning Eighteen sail now arrived and Joined them. It is very probable the last are Transports with the Reinforcements expected from New York. When the Express came from Hampton one Ship was under way coming up to Hampton Road. The Wind has not been fair today for the Vessells to come up the River.

We have no certain intelligence of a Second Engagement between the Fleets. With great respect I have the honor to be Your Excellencys most Obed Servt.,


RC (Vi); in a clerk’s hand, signed by Steuben; addressed and endorsed. On the cover, in Lafayette’s hand, there is the following memorandum which clearly was written after Steuben’s letter had been sealed: “Baron de Steuben Having oppened a letter directed to me Containing intelligence Herein inclosed, He did himself the Honor to write to your Excellency. I will therefore Beg leave to Refer You to what He has communicated. L[afayette].” Also, above the address, there is the following written in William North’s hand: “⅌ Express Monday Evening 8 o Clock.” FC, in French (NHi). Tr (DLC: PCC, No. 71, ii); enclosed in TJ to Huntington, 28 Mch. Tr (DLC: Washington Papers); enclosed in TJ to Washington, 28 Mch. Tr (DLC: TJ Papers). Lafayette’s memorandum appears only on the RC.

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