Philadelphia May 16th 1784
nothing pain me more than to trouble so often your Exellency in requesting new favors while I feel shur if I live long my days will hardly be sufficiant to thank you for thoses you have allready bestowed on me, more particularly thoses which were a proof of your friendship—every step I take now with your Exellency is ambarassing to me, and although I hope to succeed, my fear of displeasing is much greater than my hope, but after all I wrait & say, the general will do as he like & surely will be assured that my unlimited Confidence in him will never permit me to think that he has not acted properly, even in refusing my request—my friends wrait to me that from the Conduct of the ministre & his ansaeres on my subject, I may flatter my self to be made a brigadier in france at my arrival there & to have an agreeable Command—they tell me that a lettre from you to the ministre at war on the subject would fixe the matter, but that if you do not wishes to wrait to him—I am still assured to be placed on the above mentioned footing in our army if your Exellency would wrait to Count de rochambeau—mentioning that it would be pleasing to you to see me have the rank of brigadier in france & that having had the Command of a legion during all the time of my services here, Exept in 1777 that I commanded a Corps of light infantry, your wishes also to see me provided with a Command in france—Count rochambeau whose dispositions are friendly to me will by your lettre be authorised to speak officially to the ministre & mention the particulars it may contain of your satisfaction of my services—thus I am assured I will have the great pleasure of being once more indebted to your Exellency for my advancement.1
although when I had the honor to mention this subject to your Exellency you gave me Expectations that you would wrait—if from further Consideration it was displeasing to you—then do not wrait, I may run with a great deal of philosophy all chances in the world but that of displeasing you—I am going to europe in a week or two, may I beg leave to wrait some times to your Exellency—I am sure men of a much higher importance than I am are highly flattered by the liberty of a Correspondance with your Exellency, but I dare say non could be influenced to this request by stronger motives of attachement & respect than I am—I have the honor to be with thoses sentiments Sir your Exellency the most obdt hble srt
1. GW gave Armand a letter of recommendation addressed to Rochambeau on this day: “This letter will be handed to you by our mutual friend General Armand, Marqs de la Rouerie. The merits of this Gentleman, and his military Services in this Country, are too well known to you to require any recommendation from me—if they did he is possessed of the fullest testimony.
“He now wishes promotion & employment in the Service of his own Country; and, as he is deserving of it, so, I wish he could be endulged—but good wishes is all I can afford him, for it has been an established principle with me to avoid personal applications.
“The disposition of his Prince to reward the brave & meritorious—the justice of his government will, I am perswaded, confer those honors on him which he shall appear to deserve. And this, even if I was not restrained by the consideration just mentioned is all I could ask” (DLC: Rochambeau Papers). The letter is in GW’s hand. There is also a letter-book copy in DLC:GW.