Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, PARIS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VIII (1779-1780)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
TO THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, PARIS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VIII (1779-1780) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VIII (1779-1780).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO THE MARQUIS DE LAFAYETTE, PARIS.
West-point, 12 September, 1779.
My dear Marquis,
Often since you left this Country I have written to you, but have not been favored with a single line from you since you lay in Boston harbor. This I shall ascribe to any cause, rather than a decline of friendship. I feel my own regard for you so sensibly, that I shall never suspect a want of it in your breast. I intended to have wrote you a very long letter by Monsr. Gerard, whom I have been expecting at this place on his way to Boston for two days past; but I am this instant informed, that he either has embarked or is upon the very point of Embarking at Philadelphia. Not choosing that he should go without carrying some testimony of my constant remembrance of you, I do in much haste scribble these lines.
Most sincerely, my dear Marquis, do I congratulate you on the great and glorious exploits of Count d’Estaing in the West Indies; the bright prospect of European affairs; and our little successes in America; the last of which, though small on the great scale, will nevertheless weigh in the ballance. By our little successes I mean the storming of Stony point and the surprise of Paules hook (within cannon-shott of the City of New York), and capture of the garrisons, the first amounting to six hundred men, the other to two hundred; driving the enemy out of South Carolina; and defeat of the Indians; which last event I have within these few days received an acct. of from General Sullivan, who is now in the heart of their country with 4000 men, and informs me, that on the 29th ulto. he advanced to their Intrenchments, at a place called Newtown, where the warriors of seven nations, some regulars and Tories, commanded by the two Butlers,1 Brant, and a Captn. McDonald, had been assembled eight days to oppose him. The position was well chosen and their disposition well made; but on finding themselves hard pushed in front, and their left flank in danger of being turned, they fled in great confusion and disorder and with much precipitation, leaving their packs, camp-kettles, Trinkets, and many arms on the ground, and eleven warriors which they could not get off dead. The prisoners—of which a few were taken—say, that their slain and wounded were carried off during the action on horses and in Canoes. Our loss was trifling; in the whole, to the date of this Letter, under a hundred killed and wounded, although he had advanced to and destroyed fourteen Towns, large and most flourishing Crops of Corn, pulse, &c. He was proceeding in his plan of chastisement, and will convince them, it is to be hoped, of two things; first, that their cruelties are not to pass with impunity; and, secondly, that they have been instigated to arms and acts of Barbarism by a nation, which is unable to protect them, and of consequence has left them to that correction, which is due to their villany.
The Bostonians have made an unfortunate expedition to a place called Penobscot, where a body of about 800 men from Halifax, under the command of Brigr. Genl. McLean, had made a lodgment, as is supposed, for the purpose of getting masts and spars for their shipping. This armament from the Massachusetts Bay, (consistg. altogether of militia,) went there to dispossess them, but were so dilatory in their operations, that Sir George Collier, with a superior naval force to theirs, appearing, occasioned the destruction (by themselves) of all their shipping, and the Troops to get off as well as they could by land. This, and the conflagration of Fairfield, Norwalk, and New Haven, by the intrepid and magnanimous Tryon, who, in defiance of all the opposition that could be given by the women and Children, Inhabitants of these Towns, performed this notable exploit with 2000 brave and generous Britons, adding thereby fresh lustre to their arms and dignity to their King.
Admiral Arbuthnot, with about 3 or 4000 troops, is arrived at New York, and will, it is to be presumed, afford Sir Henry Clinton an opportunity of displaying his intentions or orders. I every moment look for the Chevalier de la Luzerne on his way from Boston to Congress. By him, I please myself with the hope of receiving a letter from you. If I am disappointed in this, I shall assuredly hear of you. I have spun my letter to a much greater length than I expected, and as Monsr. La Colombe is waiting, I will only detain him, while I can add that, with every sentiment of esteem, regard, and affection, I am, my dear Marquis, &c.
[1 ]John Butler, and his son Walter.