Philadelphia may 10th 1784
When mr l’enfant returned lately from france, he communicated to me a lettre which he was to lay before the Grnl assembly of the Cincinnati & of which I have the honor to inclose an Extract1—as he does Express the desire of the Cincinnati in france to form a society there similar to those of the respectives states of america, & that their representatives a[t] this time, be taken from amongst the french at present here which belongs to the Cincinnati—myself & the other gentlemen in the same Circumstances who consist of 12th or 15th, thought it was proper we should wait in america for the answer which the gnl assembly would give to mr l’enfant’s lettre, that in Case the Cincinnati in france were formed into one state society and of Course had representatives either by an appointment from your Exellency or an appointment by their own votes, we might be here to represent them.2
we do not presume to express here our desire to be admitted or not admitted as representatives of the Cincinnati in france. the gnl assembly has alone to determine on the alternative & we are sensible they will determine for the best, but it concern us much to know what is their determination, that in case the Cincinnati in france were not formed into a states society, or it should not be thought proper to admit at this time its representatives, we might be at liberty to go from here.
Having received no official lettre from france relative to the interest of the Cincinnati there, I do not mean to intimate here any desire or ideas of their own, further than what may be understood from the above mentioned lettre of mr l’enfant, the step I take here Concern more immediately the french officers who are present in Philadelphia—they have desired me to state their ideas to your Exellency & request an answer. I have the honor to be with the highest respect Sir your Exellency’s the most obdt hble srt
C. armand: Mqis de la Rouerie
ALS, DSoC. Armand’s acute accents on various and sundry e’s have been dropped.
1. Armand heads the enclosure: “Extract of a letter from Mr l’enfant to his Exellency gnl Washington concerning the Cincinnati in france.” It is in fact Armand’s version of the last paragraph of L’Enfant’s letter to GW of 29 April 1784.
2. The general meeting’s response to Armand, dated 15 May, was: “The letter which was address’d by you to the President of the Society of the Cincinnati was read with attention the 10th Instant.
“As the revisions of the Institutions was then under consideration of a Committee no answer could be given to your letter until their report was made.
“The Society have not heretofore formed a meeting in france, and as there was no delegation from that Country, there could not, consistently, be any particular representation admitted into the general meeting—which, being a full representation of the Society at large, hath given due attention to the particular circumstances of the Members in france, who are provided for in the Institutions as amended by this meeting” (DSoC).