George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Clinton, 21 January 1781

To George Clinton

Head Quarters New Windsor Jany 21. 1781

Dr Sir

I have just received a letter from Mr Des-touche, commandant of the French fleet, of which the inclosed is a translation.1 I am persuaded Your Excellency will do every thing for the accommodation of our allies, which the extreme necessities of our own army will permit. I shall be obliged to you to inform me how the matter Mr Des-touche mentions may stand, and how far it will be in your power to comply with his request. I wish to write to him on the subject as soon as possible.2 I have the honor to be with the greatest regard Yr Excellenys Most Obed st


Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1The enclosure has not been found.

In his 20 Dec. 1780 letter to GW, Captain Destouches informed GW that Clinton had taken flour purchased for the French naval squadron to instead supply the American army. He sought GW’s assistance to replace the flour immediately.

2GW wrote Destouches from New Windsor on 24 Jan.: “The letter you did me the honor to write me the 20th of last month by some inexplicable delay did not reach me till the 20th instant. I immediately wrote to Governor Clinton on the subject and received an answer of which the inclosed is a copy. The letter from him to you which accompanies this will I hope give you a satisfactory explanation of the disappointment you mention in the flour destined for the fleet. You may rely on the assurances the Governor gives you of his disposition to promote the operations for procuring your supplies in this state; and that nothing will give me greater pleasure than frequent opportunities of being useful to you” (Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW). Clinton’s letter to Destouches has not been identified, but see Clinton’s reply to GW of this date.

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