George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Major General Lafayette, 26 December 1780

From Major General Lafayette

philadelphia december the 26th 1780

My dear General

Clel Laurens having Been Appointed By Congress to Go to france and Sollicit Succours for the Next Campaign he has also been directed to take Your orders at head Quarters—I am By order of Congress to have A Conference With him, and intend Giving him Many letters for france1—As in Your instructions to Laurens The presence of one who Knows these people May be Agreable to You, I shall Set out for head Quarters friday or saturday Morning.2

some officers who are Arriv’d from Newyork Report that An Embarkation of eighteen hundred Men has Sail’d a few days Ago.3

A Vessel from havanna Arriv’d yesterday By Which We Learn that the pensacola expedition has Much Suffered in The Storm—sixteen hundred men Are Arriv’d at Campêche—the Remainder of the transports has Not Yet Been heard off—the Ships of the line put Back into havanna But Were Nearly Refitted and Going to pursue the Same operation—Nothing about St Augustine—The Governor writes only two lines to francisco and promises a longer letter By The Return of A dispatch Boat4—I have Communicated these intelligences to General Greene By an express that Was just Going.5

in expecting the pleasure of Seeing You Before long, I have the honor to be, My dear General Your Most Affectionate friend and humble Servant


in the Virginia Gazette there is an extract of A letter from an officer at the Southern Camp Mentionning the defeat of tarleton By Sumpter—each of them had (it is Said) from Six to Seven hundred Men6—I Beg, My Dear General, You will present My Respects to Mrs Washington and Remember me to the family.

ALS, PEL; Df, in French, Lafayette Papers, La Grange, France.

1See John Laurens to GW, 23 Dec., found at Laurens to GW, 6 Nov., n.2, and JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 18:1183–88.

2The next Friday was 29 December.

3For this British expedition to Virginia, see GW to Samuel Huntington, 27 Dec., and n.2 to that document.

4Diego Joseph Navarro, governor and captain general of Cuba, presumably supplied this intelligence to Francisco Rendon, Spain’s unofficial representative to Congress (see Rendon to GW, this date).

The Mexican port city of Campeche lies south of the Gulf of Mexico on the Yucatan Peninsula.

5For Lafayette to Nathanael Greene, 25 Dec., see Lafayette’s second letter to GW, 5 Dec., n.3.

6A short account of Brig. Gen. Thomas Sumter’s victory over British lieutenant colonel Banastre Tarleton at Blackstocks, S.C., on 20 Nov. appeared in The Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Nicholson; Richmond) for 16 Dec.; see also Greene to GW, 7 Dec., n.12.

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