Mount Vernon 1st Feby 1784
My Dear Duke,
I have had the pleasure to receive your favor of the 11th of Octor from L’Orient: every testimony which you give of my holding a place in your remembrance, is as pleasing as it is flattering to me; & I pray you not to deprive me of them.
After seeing the British forces withdrawn from New York, & Civil Government established there, I repaired to Congress (at Annapolis) & surrendered into their hands all my public employments—I am now a private Citizen on the banks of the Potomac, meditating amidst Frost & snow (which at present encompass me) upon the structure of walks for private life; in any of which I should be happy to meet you, but in none with more pleasure than at this seat of retirement from the bustle of the busy world.
As I feel myself interested in every thing that concerns you, permit me to congratulate you with the warmth which friendship dictates, upon your late promotion; & to assure you that I derived much pleasure from the Accot you have given me of it.1 Mrs Washington accepts your kind remembrance of her with gratitude, & offers best wishes in return. My Compliments are presented to Count Dillon, & the other officers of your Corps with whom I have the honor of an acquaintance; & with sentiments of the greatest regard & esteem, I have the honor to be Your Graces, &ca
Armand-Louis de Gontaut, duc de Lauzun (later duc de Biron;1747–1793), commanded Lauzun’s legion at Gloucester during the siege at Yorktown and was chosen to take to Versailles the news of Cornwallis’s capitulation. After Lauzun’s return to America, he replaced Rochambeau as commander in chief of the French army in January 1783. Lauzun was a lieutenant general in command of one of the French armies in 1793 when he was arrested and, on 31 Dec, guillotined.
1. In his letter of 11 Oct. 1783, Lauzun reported that “the king has been so good to appoint me Major General and to keep my regiment in the peace establishment” (DLC:GW).