George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 16 November 1780

To Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Head Quarters Passaic Falls 16th Novemr 1780.


Your Excellency’s favor of the 10th reached me yesterday.1 It gives me great pleasure to hear that your Troops have entered their Quarters, in a manner, agreeable to themselves and to the inhabitants.

I shall be extremely happy in seeing the Chevalier de Chattelus—Count de Custine—Marquis de Laval and Count de deux ponts, at my Quarters. I will endeavour to render the time, which they spend with the Army, agreeable to them, and when they incline to visit Philadelphia, they may be assured of that permission which you, so politely make to depend upon me.

I have heard nothing lately from the Chesapeak Bay. An intelligent person, who is employed to keep a look out from the Heights of Monmouth, informs me, that on Friday and Saturday the 10th and 11th instants, a Fleet consisting of between 52 and 58 sail, of which six were Men of War from 40 to 60 Guns, came from the southward and anchored within the Hook. My informant is of opinion that it is the Fleet returned from Virginia, which sailed the 16th ulto from the Hook.2 But I rather think it is the long expected Cork Fleet, as my intelligence from New York announces the arrival of that Fleet on sunday last.3 I shall however ascertain the matter very shortly, and I will communicate the result to Your Excellency.

I had heard a Report of the discovery of a plot concerted by one Ross of Virginia, but I believe it was without foundation.4 I have the honor to be with very great Respect Your Excellency’s Most obt and humble Servt

Go: Washington

LS, in Tench Tilghman’s writing, CtY-BR:R; Df, DLC:GW; Rochambeau’s French translation, CtY-BR:R; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

3The ships were part of a British supply fleet from Cork, Ireland (see Lafayette to GW, 14 Nov., and n.1 to that document).

4Rochambeau replied to GW from Newport on 24 Nov.: “The Intelligence that your Excellency gives me of the arrival of the cork fleet in your Letter of the 16th, is so much the more likely, that the day before yesterday nine vessels were seen entering Gardner’s bay, coming down the Sound, It is thought they were bringing victuals, and that they very likely are a party of the above fleet, which I think would be a proof that Arbuthnot proposes wintering in that excellent Harbour. We have had all this month a most tempestuous weather and I was a great deal concerned for the Troops of Your Excellency, if they be yet encamped” (LS, DLC:GW; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 7; LB, in French, DLC: Rochambeau Papers, vol. 8). GW acknowledged this letter when he wrote Rochambeau on 10 December.

Index Entries