George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Captain Destouches, 2 March 1781

To Captain Destouches

Morehouses [Dover, Dutchess County, N.Y.]1 March 2d 81


I had the pleasure of receiving the letter which you did me the honor to write by the Baron De Coleson, the third day after its date, informing me of the resolution you had taken of renewing the attempt in Chesapeak bay with your whole fleet.2 Persuaded that this determination is warranted by prudence as well as a spirit of enterprise, I receive the intelligence of it with peculiar pleasure. It is the strongest proof of your desire to be useful to these states; and I hope will be productive of correspondent advantages.

On receiving the information I immediately set out for Rhode Island, where I shall be happy to arrive in time to have the happiness of a conversation with you and of assuring you personally of my wishes for your success and of the perfect esteem and attachment, with which I have the honor to be Sir Your most Obed. & hum. serv.

G: Washington

I shall arrive at New Port early the 6th. In my way to this place I met your dispatch of the 27th of February.

LS, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, NjMoHP; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. GW signed the cover of the LS, which was addressed to Destouches at Newport Harbor. The final sentence of the postscript appears only on the LS.

1Lieutenant General Rochambeau’s aide-de-camp Ludwig von Closen, who accompanied GW on this phase of his journey to Newport, wrote in his journal entry for this date: “From Fishkill we went on to sleep at Colonel Morehouse’s residence, which is 25 miles farther on. He has paid very dearly for his devotion to his father-land, for the English have already plundered it twice” (Acomb, Closen Journal description begins Evelyn M. Acomb, ed. The Revolutionary Journal of Baron Ludwig von Closen, 1780–1783. Chapel Hill, N.C., 1958. description ends , 62).

Andrew Morhouse (Morehouse), Sr., a colonel in the Dutchess County militia, owned a mansion house in Dover, and he also operated a tavern in the town. GW “often” visited Morhouse in Dover during the war (Morhouse to GW, 29 May 1789, in Papers, Presidential Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Presidential Series. 19 vols. to date. Charlottesville, Va., 1987–. description ends , 2:413–14).

GW’s expense account for his travel to and from Rhode Island in March 1781 includes $1,034 disbursed to cover his expenses at Morhouse’s home (see Revolutionary War Receipts, 1775–1783, DLC:GW, ser. 5).

2See Destouches to GW, 25 February. Closen evidently delivered that letter as he did Rochambeau’s letter of the same date (see also Rochambeau to GW, 27 Feb.).

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