To Jean Holker
Smiths in the Clove [N.Y.] June the 14th 1779
I have been honoured with your favor of the 7th Instant, inclosing a Letter for Mr Pintard, which I shall take pleasure in transmitting to him by an early and I hope a safe opportunity.1
It has been rumoured here that His Excellency Count D’Estaing and Admiral Byron—both, had put to Sea; but the report probably exists more in imagination—than in any well grounded authority—as you do not mention it in your Letter—and on the contrary say you had heard nothing further from the W. Indies.2
I have nothing of importance to communicate and have only to add that I have the Honor to be with great respect Sir Yr Most Obedt servant
Df, in Robert Hanson Harrison’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.
1. This letter to Lewis Pintard has not been identified.
2. A French fleet under Vice Admiral d’Estaing and a British fleet under Vice Admiral John Byron were operating in the Caribbean Sea. William Smith, royal chief justice of New York, reflected the prevailing uncertainty over the activities of these two officers in his memoir entry for 23 June: “It adds to the general Discontent that D’Estainge is gone from Martinique and Byron after him, no one knows where. They may intercept the Troops from England” (Sabine, Smith’s Historical Memoirs description begins William H. W. Sabine, ed. Historical Memoirs . . . of William Smith, Historian of the Province of New York. 2 vols. New York, 1956–58. description ends , 120).