George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Rochambeau, 9 September 1784

From Rochambeau

Paris the 9th September 1784.

My Dear General

I have the honour of Sending to you the new promotion Which has been done lately for the order of Cincinnatus according to the resolutions of the last meeting of the general Society.1 I also inclose in it the copy of a letter from M. le Mal de segur bearing the permission of his majesty for these new aggregated. you will See by it, at the Same time, that his majesty Stops all kind of farther demand, Which will disingage you, my Dear General, of great many demands Which certainly have been very troublesome to you.2

I profit With the liveliest pleasure of all—these opportunities for giving to you the new assurances of the respect and inviolable attachment With Which I am my Dear General, Your most obedient and Very humble servent

le cte de Rochambeau

the Prince henry, Brother of the King of Prussia Which has dined at my house has Seen your Picture with great pleasure.3

LS, DLC:GW. There are two signed copies of this letter, both in English and in the same hand, and two copies of each of the enclosed translations: (1) the “promotion” of new members of the Society of the Cincinnati and (2) the letter from Ségur to Rochambeau. The accent marks in Rochambeau’s letter printed here have been omitted.

1Rochambeau’s “List of the officers Which have been promoted to the rank of Colonel since their Return from america” (DLC:GW) includes the names of twenty-three men, all of whom became original members of the French Society of the Cincinnati. See Hume, Society of the Cincinnati, description begins Edgar Erskine Hume, ed. General Washington’s Correspondence concerning the Society of the Cincinnati. Baltimore, 1941. description ends 207–8.

2The translation of Ségur’s letter of 28 Aug. 1784 informed Rochambeau that Louis XVI “Will permit no more for the future that any of his subjects be yet admitted in it [the Cincinnati]. as it appears that you, Sir, and M. le Count d’Estaing have been look’d upon by the Général Washington as the chiefs of this Society in Europe, I refer it to you to make him an answer conform to the dispositions of his majesty” (DLC:GW).

3GW gave the life-size, three-quarter-length portrait by Charles Willson Peale to Rochambeau before he returned to France in 1783. On 25 Nov. 1784 GW acknowledged from Mount Vernon the receipt of this letter from “my dear Count” in these terms: “Your favor of the 9th of Septr, enclosing the copy of a letter from the Marqs de Segar, is this moment received.

“The repeated instances of the honor, conferred on the Society of the Cincinnati by His most Christn Majesty’s indulgent recognition of it, is highly flattering to the Order; and merits the most grateful acknowledgements of all its members.

“The pleasure with which you say Prince Henry of Prussia viewed my Picture at your house, is very flattering. I can never too often assure you of my affectionate regard ...” (ALS, DLC: Rochambeau Papers). There is also a letter-book copy (DLC:GW).

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