You are here

Marie-Joseph-Paul-Yves-Roch-Gilbert du Motier marquis de Lafayette to Patrick Henry, June 7, 1785

Sir: Paris June the 7th. 1785.

I Have been Honored with your Excellency’s Commands dated in Council March the 30th., and find myself Happy to Be Employed in the Service of the Virginia Militia, to whom I am so particularly bound by Everlasting sentiments of Regard and Gratitude.


As soon as your favor Came to Hand, which was only a few days ago, I Have waited on Mr. Barklay, and at His request, with Mr. Jefferson’s Advice, I Applied to Mons. de Goibeauent, lieutenant General and Commander in chief of the French Artillery. From this very learned Gentleman I Have Got a Return, Containing the manner in which the ten thousand pounds, may, Agreeable to your directions, be laid out. As to the Expense, it May be reduced to the price Contracted for by the king, and the Arms and powder will be proved by the officers of the Royal Corps, after which I shall myself inspect them with the most scrupulous attention. Those papers I have put this day in Mr. Barklay’s Hands, and by the end of the month Hope to get farther information from the Manufacturers, enabling us to adopt the best and cheapest Method to Execute your Commands, in which Mr. Jefferson and myself will be Happy to Give Mr. Barklay Every Assistance in our power.


Indeed, sir, the Virginia Militia deserves to be well armed and properly attended. I pray to God these warlike stores may never be of use. But should America unfortunately Have Any future Occasion for soldiers, I Hope she will not leave out of Her list, one, who was early adopted in her service, and who, at all times, will most Readily and most devotedly offer His Exertions.


With Unbounded wishes for the Complete prosperity of the State of Virginia, and with affectionate sentiments of the most perfect Respect for your Excellency, I Have the Honor to be, Sir, Your Excellency’s Most obedient Humble servant.


Lafayette. To His Excellency Patrick Henry Esq.

Printed in William Wirt Henry, Patrick Henry: Life, Correspondence, and Speeches (1891), 3: 298.