George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Rochambeau, 13 February 1784

From Rochambeau

Paris february 13th 1784.

here is, my Dear Général, one demand for the order of Cincinnatus of the most remarkable Kind, and which appears to me deserve the attention of the Society, here is inclosed the letter that M. de Lilancourt, before a general commander in St Domingo, has wrote to me upon this Subject.1 all the facts are exact in it, and you Know perfectly, well as me, how much obligations we owe to him for having Sent to us the detachment under the marquis de St Simon’s orders, that he was Strongly authorised, by the Silence of his instructions, to refuse us.2 I cannot then but particulary recommend his asking to your Excellency and to the general society. I am with respect Sir of your Excellency the most obeident and very humble Servant.

le cte de Rochambeau

LS, DSoC. The letter is one of those read on 11 May 1784 at the general meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati in Philadelphia. See note 1.

1The enclosure is a translation of Lilancour’s letter to Rochambeau of 8 Feb. 1784, written in the same hand as this letter from Rochambeau to GW. Lilancour (Lillancour, Lilancourt) enclosed a copy of his letter to Rochambeau, in French, in his letter to GW of 20 Feb. 1784. The content of Lilancour’s letter to Rochambeau is much the same as that of his letter to GW of 20 Feb. 1784. Jean-Baptiste, comte de Lilancour-Taste, was governor of Santo Domingo and commander in chief of the troops there from 1776 to 1783. GW and the Cincinnati agreed with Rochambeau that Lilancour’s courage in providing de Grasse the Santo Domingo troops for the Yorktown campaign on his own responsibility made him eligible for election to the French Society of the Cincinnati. See GW to Rochambeau, 15 May 1784, Appendix IV, in General Meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati, 4–18 May 1784.

2Claude-Anne de Rouvroy, marquis de Saint-Simon-Montléru (1743–1819), commanded the troops who went with de Grasse from Santo Domingo to Yorktown where Saint-Simon was severely wounded. He was an active Royalist during the French Revolution.

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