George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Sim Lee, 8 December 1780

New Windsor 8th Decr 1780


I have the honor of introducing to your Excellency the Marquis de la Fayette, Majr General in our Army and an Officer of rank in those of France—This Gentlemans character, illustrious birth and fortune, can not be unknown to you, though you may be unacquainted with his person.

I should be wanting in that justice which is due to his great merit—to his early attachment to the American Cause—and to his powerful support of it here & at the Court of Versailles, was I to permit him to depart for the Southern Army without this testimony of the Sense I entertain of his worth, & recommendation of him to your attention.

He will, probably, be accompanied by his brother in law the Viscount de Noailles, & Count Damas, Gentn of Family fortune & Rank in the French Army at Rhode Island, whose zeal to serve America has prompted them to make a Winters Campaign to the Southward, if permission can be obtained from the Count de Rochambeau, to be absent from their respective commands so long. With much esteem & Respect I have the honor to be Yr Excellys Most Obt Hble Sert

Go: Washington


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