George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Paul Jones, 15 May 1781

Head Quarters New Windsor 15th May 1781


My partial acquaintance with either our naval or commercial affairs makes it altogether impossible for me to account for the unfortunate delay of those Articles of Military Stores and Cloathing which I have been informed have been so long provided in France. Had I have had any particular reason to have suspected you of being accessory to that delay, which I assure you has not been the case, my suspicions would have been removed by the very full & satisfactory answers which you have, to the best of my judgment, made to the questions proposed to you by the Board of Admiralty, and upon which, that Board have, in their report to Congress, testified the high sense which they entertain of your Merits and services.

Whether our Naval Affairs have in general been well or ill conducted would be presumptuous in me to determine. Instances of bravery and good conduct in several of our officers have not however been wanting, delicacy forbids me to mention that particular one which has attracted the admiration of all the World and which has influenced the Most illustrious Monarch to confer a mark of his favor, which can only be attained by a long and honorable service, or by the performance of some brilliant Action.

That you may long enjoy the reputation you have so justly acquired is the sincere Wish of Sir Yr most obt and very hble Servt.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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