George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lieutenant General Rochambeau, 16 November 1780

From Lieutenant General Rochambeau

Newport November, 16th 1780


There is arrived at Plymouth a Vessel, 300. Tons burden, that has been taken by our Frigates, on the night of the 28. Last month The same night that they set sail, It was from Portugal, bound to New york, its cargo consisting of Port wine, Brandy & Lemons.1 The Count de Custine, Brigadier, The marquis de Laval, The Count de Deux Ponts, Colonels & Major Fleury are the Bearers of this Letter, and are exceeding happy to have it in their power to wait on your Excellency.2 I am with respect Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient most humble servant

le Cte de Rochambeau


1The French-language Gazette Françoise (Newport) for 17 Nov. reported that the Hermione had captured a ship with fourteen cannon and sent the prize to Portsmouth, Rhode Island. For the French frigates that sailed on 28 Oct., see Rochambeau to GW, 29 Oct., and n.1.

Rochambeau again wrote GW from Newport on 18 Nov.: “I have had the honor to write to your Excellency, by the favor of the Viscount de Noailles, and the Count de Custine But as it may happen that this Last may arrive before the one I have given to the Count de Custine, I have the honor to tell your Excellency that our frigates have sent into Plymouth a Prize of 300. Tons burden, which they took in the night of the 28th, that they set sail. That ship came from Portugal, was Loaded with Port wine, Brandy and Lemons, We have no other news of any kind whatsoever. Our Courier is very near arrived by this time, at Least I hope so. the two other frigates are cruising untill further orders, and Arbuthnot seems earnest to pass the winter in Gardner’s bay” (LS, DLC:GW). GW replied to Rochambeau on 27 November.

2For French officers desiring to visit GW, see Rochambeau to GW, 14 Nov., and n.1 to that document.

GW replied to Rochambeau on 10 December.

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