George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Francisco Rendon, 28 November 1780

From Francisco Rendon

Philadelphia 28th November 1780


On the 24th Inst. I had the honor to receive the Letter with which Your Excellency was pleas’d to favor me, under date of the 18th by it’s Contents I observe Your Excellency has been so kind as to acquaint me with the Sailing fom Sandy Hook on the 15th of Admirald Rodney with five or Six Ships of the Line and a number of Transports all under his Command, their destination being So much reserved that Your Excellency cou’d not ascertain it, but only think he may go to the Eastward to make a Conjunction with Admirald Arbuthnot, to the West Indies, or to the Southward, not knowing the Number of Troops they had on board.1

I am highly Oblig’d to your Excellency for the advise of so Important Intelligences, as also for the Conjectures on their Proyects, and according I have imparted them to the Superiour Government of Havana that they may transfer them to the Officer Generals who are to Operate against the Common Enemy, to whom I dont doubt will be exceeding agreable to warn & direct their Operations to the best end possible.

I have the pleasure to acquaint Your Excellency that on the 21st Inst. arrived at this River from the Havana, an American Vessell, the Captain informs me that on the 16th Ulto Sail’d from that Port, the Expedition directed against Pansacola, Composed of Six Ships of the Line, four Frigates, and fifty Transports with four thousand Regular Troops & Militia on board2 that there were Seven Ships of the Line & Some Frigates Still remaining in that Harbour, & that three more Battle of Ships were daily expected from Vera Cruz (a Port on the Coast of the Gulph & Kingdom of Mexico) where they were Sent for the purpose of bringing the Treasure home; On their arrival its very probably will proceed to form the Second Expedition which I had the honor to Impart Your Excellency in my former Letters.3

I have not received any Packets from the Governor of Havana, because a Vessell that I Charter’d for that purpose Sail’d from the Said Port in Company with the One arriv’d here, whose Captain assures me that the other Vessell had my Packets on board from the Govor:4 I expect with the greatest Impatience her arrival, which I think will provide me with a Number of Interesting Intelligences all which I Shall makebold to acquaint Your Exccy with.5 I remain with the utmost respect. Your Excy’s most Obedt and most Humble Servant

Francisco Rendon


2A hurricane scattered this Spanish expedition to Pensacola (see Rendon to GW, 26 Dec.).

The Pennsylvania Evening Post (Philadelphia) for 25 Nov. reported the arrival on 22 Nov. of “the schooner Buckskin, capt. Perryman, from the Havanna, after a tedious and disagreeable passage of five weeks, having, in a violent gale of wind, been obliged to cut away his main mast. Six ships of the line, four frigates, and one hundred transports, sailed on a secret expedition from the Havanna a few days before capt. Perryman.”

3Rendon also had informed GW about an expedition to St. Augustine (see his letter to GW, 30 Sept., n.2).

4Capt. John Perryman advised Rendon regarding communications from Diego Joseph Navarro, captain general and governor of Cuba (see also n.2 above).

5GW acknowledged this letter when he wrote Rendon on 14 Dec., postscript.

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