George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Lafayette, 2 September 1780

From Major General Lafayette

Light Camp1 Septer the 2d 1780

Dear General

to My Great disappointment M. p——is Return’d this Morning and Brings no details with him—I Wanted him to go again, But You alone Can induce him to do it—from what he Says, the Ennemy are going to undertake A Great Movement—he will himself wait on You and tell you what had been Said to him about Rhode island, and what about improving the Opportunity of theyr fleet’s going to London—tho I do not Believe they Mean to go to Newport, thought however it was well to write a Note to Count de Rochambeau Which You Will Send or Detain as Your Excellency thinks proper2—Agreable to the Arrangements of Signals Made By Mr p——, would it not be possible to hurry the Movements of the Ennemy without giving them time to Ripen theyr Measures?3 With the Most tender friendship and high Regard I have the honor to be dear General Your Most obedient and Afectionate servt


ALS, PEL; ADf, in French, Lafayette Papers, LaGrange, France.

1Lafayette likely was near Fort Lee, N.J. (see n.3 below).

2Lafayette wrote Lieutenant General Rochambeau in French on this date that spies had reported that the British might conceal an embarkation against Rhode Island among transports slated to sail for Great Britain (CtY-BR-R; see also David Forman to GW, 1 Sept., and n.1 to that document).

3No reply from GW to Lafayette has been found. Lafayette wrote Lieutenant Colonel Noailles from camp near Fort Lee on this date that he wished the British “would go attack Newport and we would take action here at the same time” (Lafayette Papers description begins Stanley J. Idzerda et al., eds. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790. 5 vols. Ithaca, N.Y., 1977-83. description ends , 3:156–59, quote on 158).

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