THE FADING MIRAGE OF REVOLUTION: THE FRENCH EXPEDITIONARY FORCE'S DISILLUSIONMENT WITH AMERICA, 1780-1782

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Author: Cody E. Nager
Date: Fall 2019
From: The Historian(Vol. 81, Issue 3)
Publisher: Phi Alpha Theta, History Honor Society, Inc.
Document Type: Report
Length: 9,115 words
Lexile Measure: 1650L

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On 22 October 1782, a Westchester County sheriff entered the Crompond, New York, headquarters of General Rochambeau, the leader of the Expedition Particuliere, the French Expeditionary Force to North America. The sheriff's visit was not a friendly one. He presented a warrant for Rochambeau's arrest, charging the French forces with disassembling the fences of local miller Samuel Delavan for firewood. (1) In his journal, Captain Lauberdiere (one of Rochambeau's aides-de-camp), recorded that the sheriff grabbed Rochambeau's shoulder during the arrest, depicting a violent affront to the French aristocrat. (2) In his memoir, Rochambeau recalled that the sheriff placed a light hand on his shoulder, a subdued depiction of the sheriff's actions. (3) The discrepancy between their recollections of the arrest is symptomatic of the state of the Franco-American Alliance in 1782. As the American Revolution concluded, the public presentation of the alliance remained positive, even as many French officers privately questioned the character of the United States and of its residents.

The divergent depictions of Rochambeau's October 1782 arrest arose from a shift in French perceptions of Americans over the course of the American Revolution. After the Seven Years' War, French intellectuals developed a concept of the noble American who represented the promise of a society based on Enlightenment ideals such as religious, economic, and political liberty. Benjamin Franklin and others took advantage of these positive French perceptions of America to garner support for the American cause. (4) However, the advocates overpromised and America underdelivered. At the conclusion of the American Revolution, French revolutionary intellectual Brissot de Warville wrote that America was in "a state of perpetual chaos, in which life and property are constantly in the greatest danger." Rather than an orderly republican society, de Warville recalled an earlier depiction of North America as a savage wilderness. (5)

Historian Durand Echeverria suggested that the French image of America was best characterized as a mirage. French intellectuals were engrossed by the political promise of the American Revolution. When American and French political disorder caused a "shock of reality," the Franco-American relationship failed. (6) Echeverria concluded that with the 1794 counter-revolution of Thermidor (against Maximilien Robespierre and his supporters) came a shift in French conceptions of America. (7)

Peter P. Hill resituated the dissipation of this "mirage." Hill suggested that French disillusionment with America began during the 1780s, as French consuls experienced dysfunctional American governance. The French consuls dealt with "American ingratitude" and suspected enduring British influence over Britain's former colonial subjects. The 1794 Treaty of Amity, Commerce, and Navigation between the United States and Britain, also known as Jay's Treaty, formalized American "ingratitude" and sent Franco-American relations into decline. (8)

The moments highlighted by Echeverria and by Hill contributed to the decline of the Franco-American relationship, but the experience of the French Expeditionary Force preceded that of Hill's consuls and Echeverria's revolutionaries. For the officers of the French Expeditionary Force, the positive perception of America and its residents began to fade when they confronted the political disorder, immorality, and economic hardship of revolutionary Virginia. In Virginia, the officers realized that the image of America presented by French intellectuals and newspapers--patriotic, tolerant, moral, and prosperous--was not universal. America was a land of many peoples, and the newspapers, pamphlets, and advocates that constructed the perception of a common revolutionary sentiment were misleading. (9)

The disillusionment of the officers of the French Expeditionary Force foreshadowed the broader dissipation of the mirage throughout the following decade. When the French wintered in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1780-81, the officers recognized New England's commercial and cosmopolitan values, writing favorably of the town and the bearing of its citizens. However, by the following winter in Williamsburg, Virginia, French officers extensively criticized Virginians in their private journals. The desperation of the war-ravaged commoners, the pretensions of the planters, and the pervasive presence of plantation slavery did not align with French preconceptions of America. Recognizing the social and political differences between Newport, Rhode Island, and Williamsburg, Virginia, the officers of the Expeditionary Force reevaluated America more generally, and not for the better.

Prior to the Seven Years' War, the French perceived America as a savage wilderness. Montesquieu had famously proposed that climate and geography influenced social structures and the character of peoples. According to this theory, the New World was populated by savages because its climate was unfavorable to civilized peoples or ways of life. Therefore, Europeans who moved to the New World could be expected to degenerate under the influence of their new neighbors and new environment. (10)

The Seven Years' War gave rise to an alternative view that emphasized the phenomenal prosperity of the British colonies in North America. The prominence of the North American theater of war brought increased French interest in the British colonies. The near-simultaneous publication of Georges Marie Butel-Dumont's Histoire et commerce des colonies anglaises and Abbe Delaville's Etat present de la Pennsylvanie after the outbreak of conflict informed the French public about the British colonies and their residents. (11) Delaville's translation of William Smith's A Brief View of the Conduct of Pennsylvania included a compelling depiction of the politics and principles of Quakers, emphasizing their tolerance, morality, and prosperity. Smith, through Delaville, reinforced Voltaire's depiction of the "Good Quaker" who embodied much of the promise of the Enlightenment. (12) The French came to see the Americans as models of tolerance, morality, and prosperity.

The Seven Years' War prompted a reevaluation of the commercial basis of the French Empire, leading to additional interest in the British North American colonies. The Physiocrats, a group of French economists, argued that France should place agricultural production at the heart of its economy. They suggested that France could achieve greater prosperity by focusing on agriculture, simplifying the complex fiscal system to a singular land tax, and opening itself up to free trade. (13) Dumont claimed in his Histoire et commerce des colonies anglaises that the British colonies in North America formed a natural laboratory where observers could study commercial practices. He concluded that freedom from arbitrary regulation led to increased prosperity. (14)

The French image of America as tolerant and prosperous was solidified by the French interaction with Benjamin Franklin. Franklin, in London in 1767 as a representative for the British colonies, was invited to visit France. Known to French intellectuals for his 1751 pamphlet Experiments and Observations on Electricity, he was quickly accepted into the French intellectual community. He exchanged letters and oddities of natural history with astronomer Jean Chappe d'Auteroche and tracts on electricity with physicist Thomas-Francois Dalibard. (15) Taking advantage of longstanding anti-British sentiment, Franklin used his interactions with French intellectuals to create sympathy for the cause of the British colonies. (16) He identified American resistance to British commercial restrictions and taxes with the Physiocrats' disdain for arbitrary regulation. He claimed agriculture and the small farmer were the foundation of the colonial economy. Ftanklin oversaw Barbue-Duborg's translation of John Dickinson's Letters from a farmer in Pennsylvania, which emphasized similar themes and met with great publishing success. (17) He convinced many in the French intellectual community that residents of the colonies of British North America lived in prosperity marked by economic freedom, fraternity, and equality.

When Franklin returned as the American minister to France during the American War for Independence, he leveraged enduring friendships with many French intellectuals to garner support for the American cause. He presented himself as the quintessential philosopher, a cross between Rousseau and Voltaire, an embodiment of both pastoral simplicity and scientific ambition. (18) Franklin's bearing and actions were "different enough to be interesting but familiar enough not to be frightening," and he acted the part of "a Philadelphia rustic with years of experience at court, an American who mispronounced their language but could create a splendid bon mot." (19) Having cultivated this image in his earlier visit, Franklin again emphasized the connections between American prosperity and economic freedom, fraternity, and equality while minimizing the role of slavery, an institution increasingly criticized by French intellectuals. (20)

Whereas Franklin could influence French politicians and intellectuals in person, he engaged the French public through print. From 1776 until 1779, the French foreign minister Count Charles Gravier de Vergennes subsidized the publication of Les Affaires de l'Angleterre et de l'Amerique, which reported on the American Revolution. Les Affaires published documents relating to the conflict, such as the Declaration of Independence and extracts from Common Sense. The paper also accepted articles and letters from readers, including some from Franklin. (21) In 1780, the two major French-language sources for information about the conflict in North America were the Gazette de France and the Gazette de Leyde. The Gazette de France published twice a week, providing updates on the American conflict to roughly 12,000 subscribers. (22) While the French public may have read the Gazette de France, the officers of the French Expeditionary Force would more likely have gravitated to the Gazette de Leyde, a French-language paper published in the Netherlands, which provided thorough descriptions of battles. The editor of the Gazette de Leyde, Jean Luzac, was a strong supporter of the American cause and relied heavily on information that Franklin provided to him. (23) The gazettes portrayed the conflict as one in which American citizen-warriors, farmers or artisans turned soldiers, fought to defend their homes from British aggression. As no obvious social rewards could be reaped from military service (as was the case in European armies), readers were left to conclude that participants were driven by a sense of patriotic duty. (24)

George Washington's officer corps was composed of citizen-soldiers fighting out of patriotic duty, whereas the officer corps of Rochambeau's expeditionary force was representative of the larger French army. Ninety percent of the officers in Rochambeau's expeditionary force were nobles. The nobles mostly hailed from France's developed western and southern provinces, rather than the frontiers of the north and east. Roughly two-thirds of the officers were familiar with towns and cities rather than rural areas. (25) The officers of the French Expeditionary Force departed Brest on 2 May 1780, heading to assist the American cause. Franklin and other advocates for the American cause had set the officers' expectations quite high.

When the officers of the French Expeditionary Force arrived in Newport, Rhode Island, on 11 July 1780, they encountered a population and a city that fulfilled their expectations of America as a land of tolerance, morality, and prosperity. Like Delaville's depiction of Pennsylvania, the residents of Newport were tolerant. Like Dumont's depiction of British colonial commerce, they were prosperous. And like the gazettes' depiction of citizen-warriors, the residents of Newport appeared patriotic.

Although the war had dampened Newport's prosperity, it maintained the traces of a city that was once vibrant and connected to the currents of the Atlantic World. Merchants had made fortunes distilling rum, providing foodstuffs to Caribbean plantations, and outfitting slave voyages. (26) Commercial success led to an impressive built environment, with homes such as George Rome's 'little country villa' Bachelor's Hall, or Francis Malbone's estate and extensive gardens. (27) Newport demonstrated the "energy of commerce," clear "layout of streets," impressive "splendor of public buildings," and "beauty of private residences" that mattered to the people of discerning taste of the eighteenth century. (28) While the British occupation from 1776 to 1779 did deplete significant portions of Newport's pre-revolutionary splendor, many of the town's wealthy residents remained. Partial physical destruction did not intimidate Newport residents into wholesale changes of their communal values. (29)

Newport's urban environment and commercial success was familiar. Sixty percent of the French officers were from urban areas, and all of them had at least experienced Brest. (30) In Brittany, ports such as Nantes manufactured textiles, resupplied ships, and funded slaving voyages. (31) The contours of Newport's economy were more akin to Nantes, the largest French port, or even Brest, the port of the French Expedition's departure, than the plantation economy of Virginia. In Virginia, the French officers claimed that plantation slavery inculcated the planters with laziness and vice. In Rhode Island, slavery drove the pursuit of greater profits. In Rhode Island, the French officers saw echoes of Brittany.

Just as the commercial success of merchants in Newport supported the image of America as a land of prosperity, the merchants' attitudes reinforced the sense that Americans were tolerant and moral. The Anglican merchants of Newport's Trinity Church constituted the majority of the commercial class, though their social circle also included Congregationalists, Baptists, Quakers, and even a few Jews. (32) A merchant of any denomination on a visit to Newport was likely to find compatriots with whom to pray and barter. The close proximity of the denominations hastened their economic interdependence, and merchants' common pursuit of profit encouraged a partial climate of tolerance. (33) This permissiveness, even if compelled by the mutual pursuit of profit rather than true acceptance, still upheld French intellectuals' depictions of Americans as embodiments of religious, economic, and political liberty.

When the French arrived in Newport on 11 July 1780, they were received with caution, as their fleet was mistaken for a British one. (34) Newport had been under British occupation for three years, and the occupation's effects continued after the British had left. Jean-Francois Louis de Clermont-Crevecoeur, a lieutenant of the Auxonne Regiment, recorded "[the British] had evacuated nearly 10 months ago, at the time the Comte d'Estaing appeared in the neighborhood," referring to the failed joint Franco-American attempt to dislodge a garrison of 6,000 British soldiers in August 1778. (35) The British evacuation split the populace of Newport. The loyalists, "whether motivated by political principle or more visceral fears of retribution... preferred to leave Newport rather than remain there under patriot control." (36) As the loyalists fled, the remaining residents constituted a strong core of patriotic citizen-soldiers who espoused tolerance, morality, and prosperity.

Unlike the recollections of Rochambeau or the journal of Lauberdiere, Jean-Francois Louis de Clermont-Crevecoeur viewed America from the perspective of a minor aristocrat. As a provincial aristocrat from Lorraine, on France's eastern frontier, Clermont-Crevecoeur lacked the social standing to enter a more distinguished military academy, so he enrolled in the Royal Artillery School at Metz, graduating in 1769. In 1780, as a first lieutenant in the Auxonne Regiment stationed at Metz, Clermont-Crevecoeur joined the French Expeditionary Force. (37) Clermont-Crevecoeur's standing at the margins of French nobility gave him a unique sensitivity toward American manners and values even as he judged them harshly.

Newport's cold reception thawed as its residents lived alongside the new French arrivals as the army prepared for an attack on British-occupied New York City. However, delays regarding military strategy forced the French Expeditionary Force to winter in Newport. (38) The French paid to repair the housing stock of Newport after the destruction of the British occupation and converted a few residences into barracks for the rank and file French soldiers. French officers were offered residence in the stately houses of Newport but were obligated to pay the residents for billeting them. (39) Clermont-Crevecoeur was impressed with the accommodations offered to him. He wrote, "The houses are charming, of simple architecture, and quite well planned for the convenience of each owner... everything is so simple and clean that you could see your face in it." (40)

In addition to the simple yet dignified manner of living, the values and actions of the populace also fulfilled the idealized expectations of the French officers. In his memoir, Rochambeau recorded an anecdote that he claimed: "is strikingly characteristic of the manners of the good republicans." When Rochambeau traveled to Hartford to meet with Washington to discuss plans for the upcoming military campaign, his carriage broke. Rochambeau dispatched Axel von Fersen, an aide-de-camp, to the house of a nearby wheelwright, who lived a mile from the broken carriage. Despite a strict code of not working overnight, the wheelwright, having heard of Washington and Rochambeau's meeting from the papers, pledged to have the carriage repaired by six in the morning, a promise he kept. Another wheel broke on the return trip from Hartford, and the same wheelwright again worked overnight to repair the carriage. The conclusion that Rochambeau drew from the hardworking wheelwright was that "almost all the inland cultivators and all the land owners of Connecticut are animated with that patriotic spirit, which many other people would do well to imitate." The French officers were suitably impressed by New Englanders' dedication to the Revolution. (41)

As in Rochambeau's wheelwright anecdote, the intersection of commercial and political exchanges promoted cooperation between the French and the residents of Newport. As Clermont-Crevecoeur noted, "little by little the houses and shops were opened to us, and some merchandise was offered." (42) As a consequence of their involvement in foreign trade, many Newport merchants had a workable knowledge of the French language, much to the pleasure of the officers. For those who were not fluent, advertisements for French-English lessons and French-English dictionaries appeared in the Newport Mercury throughout the winter. For example, on 30 December 1780, Phineas Solomon Lemonnier published a bilingual advertisement in the Newport Mercury for "a FRENCH and ENGLISH SCHOOL, at the house of Mr. Robert Potter, no 485, on the Long Wharf." (43) Reco gnizing these efforts, Clermont-Crevecoeur concluded that "we were received as brothers rather than foreigners, we took up quarters in town to the great delight of the residents, who lodged us very well." (44)

Georg Daniel Flohr, whose journal is the only known record of a non-officer in the French Expeditionary Force, also found Newport and its residents to be to his liking. The twenty-four-year-old Flohr had enlisted in the Royal-Deux-Ponts in the Duchy of Zweibrucken in 1776 and kept a journal detailing his observations of America and its inhabitants. (45) Flohr recorded that he "got along very well with them [the residents of Newport]," and was "full of praise for their hospitality." The women of Newport were of particular interest to Flohr, and he praised the "beautiful American maidens" named "Hanne" and "Malle" who lived near the encampment. While Flohr did not directly interact with Newport's merchant elite, his journal reveals satisfaction with the depth of support for the French Expeditionary Force across the social spectrum of Newport. (46)

In spring 1781, the French Expeditionary Force departed Newport for the Chesapeake campaign which would end with the victory at Yorktown. Louis-Alexandre Berthier, Rochambeau's general staff officer in charge of cartography (and the son of King Louis XV's director of military surveys), wrote that "the whole army had spent a delightful winter in Newport, and as each man got the word and prepared to leave the pleasures ceased and gave way to regrets in which the whole town joined." (47) The winter encampment in Rhode Island did nothing to overturn the idealized view of America that the officers inherited from the intellectuals and newspapers back in France.

With the conclusion of the Yorktown Campaign on 19 October 1781, the Expedition Particuliere settled in the Virginia Peninsula for the winter, a very different landscape from what they had experienced in Newport. Williamsburg did not seem to embody the values of tolerance, morality, and prosperity that the French perceived as familiar in Newport. When the French arrived, they noted "an appearance of wretchedness" in Williamsburg, and a number of flies that "exceed all description, unless you look into the eighth chapter of exodus for it." (48) To their eyes, the fly-ridden town was more akin to Egypt than Rhode Island. In an observation that recalled Montesquieu's theory of climate, Baron Ludwig von Closen, an aide-de-camp to Rochambeau and member of the Royal-Deux-Ponts regiment from Zweibrucken, wrote that the "oppressively hot Climate of Virginie has some influence upon its inhabitants," resurrecting the degeneracy argument in an attempt to explain the shocking social differences between New England and Virginia. (49)

In contrast to Newport's familiarity as an Atlantic port, Williamsburg and its environs carried the indelible mark of plantation slavery in everything from the built environment to the attitudes of the residents. During the Revolution, Virginia was a divided and hierarchical society with obvious social and economic inequalities. (50) For the French officers, Virginia did not reflect the patriotism, tolerance, morality, and prosperity promised by the American advocates, but recalled the wild and savage characterizations of America that had predominated in France prior to the Seven Years' War.

The difference in prosperity between Newport and Williamsburg was evident from the built environment. Von Closen noted that Williamsburg had only "three, large very well constructed buildings: The College, the Capitol, and the Governor's Palace." (51) All three buildings were less imposing than the estates that Malbone and other elite Newport merchants built from the proceeds of their Atlantic trade. Rather than reflecting the prosperity of Virginia, the dwellings and public buildings of Williamsburg attested to the decentralized spread of the Virginia aristocracy across independent plantations. The wealth produced by plantations was not funneled into the improvement of Virginia's built environment but instead squandered on luxuries, dress, and equipage. (52) Virginia did not support the physiocratic ideal of the citizen-farmer promised by French intellectuals and Franklin.

The French arrived in Williamsburg during a transition of values among Virginia planters, from open homes to a more limited form of hospitality. Prior to the Revolution, planters had generously opened their doors to travelers. In 1759, British traveler Andrew Burnaby recorded that he and his traveling companion, Col. Bernard Moore, stayed at the plantation of a Col. Symes without being prior acquaintances. (53) However, by 1780, open house customs had fallen out of favor among refined planters who were more apt to control visitations. The new culture of closed houses and limited hospitality reflected the development of a domestic insulation from an atmosphere that was characterized by uneasiness and vigilance. (54)

French officers noted the change in atmosphere. Clermont-Crevecoeur wrote that one of the major differences between Virginia and other states was that "wherever else you travel in this country you find nothing locked; Americans sleep peacefully with their doors unlocked whether in Pennsylvania, the Jerseys or Connecticut." (55) However, in Virginia everything was under lock and key. Clermont-Crevecoeur blamed the culture of wariness on "the negros, who are great thieves." (56) Von Closen agreed, writing, "It is true that they [enslaved people] recoup themselves often with their light-fingered hands and pilfer some victuals, even money, with incredible dexterity." (57) The social tensions and implications of slavery permeated Williamsburg, and they would complicate the relationship between the French officers and white Virginians as well.

The surrender of the British at Yorktown meant that the return of fugitive slaves was under the combined jurisdiction of the Continental and French armies. Clermont-Crevecoeur recorded that after Yorktown, "negros without masters found new ones among the French and we garnered a veritable harvest of domestics." (58) However, many of these newly acquired domestics were previously the property of Virginia planters. Determining to whom these fugitive slaves belonged presented a host of logistical and legal challenges. Von Closen noted, when Rochambeau and his retinue visited the estate of Governor Thomas Nelson, Offley Hoo in Hanover County, that "Nelson was one of the richest Personages in Virginia; he had 700 negros before the war. He has now only 80 or 100." (59) Even with Nelson's government position and immense wealth, tracking down all 600 of the missing enslaved people would have been a nearly impossible task.

Nevertheless, the impossibility did not prevent Virginia planters from attempting the herculean feat, irritating the French officers and reinforcing perceptions of the Virginia gentry's greed and immorality. In the spring of 1782 the Virginia Legislature passed an "act for the recovery of slaves, horses, and other property, lost during the war," which declared that since "great numbers of slaves, horses, and other property belonging to the citizens of this commonwealth" were confiscated, lost, or stolen "the owners should be enabled to recover their property in an easy and expeditious manner." (60) The legislature assisted Virginians in rebuilding their lives disrupted by years of conflict. However, the property return process prescribed by the act had unintended consequences.

The law's directive that recovery take place in an "easy and expeditious manner" was an admonition to return the stolen or misplaced property by 1 October 1783, if the owner was known. If the owner was unknown, an announcement had to be published in the Virginia Gazette on three occasions. If the published announcement did not receive any responses, a fifty-pound fee would be imposed on the person issuing the announcement and the property would thereafter be considered his or hers. However, the law provided little guidance for arbitration after a claimant came forward. The property return process described by the law burdened the person making the announcement with distributing the information regarding the recovered property, while the claimant just had to submit a claim for the property. Since the process favored the claimant and no arbitration guidelines were provided, French officers spent significant administrative effort sorting through a vast number of claims, strengthening their perceptions of Virginians' greed. (61)

Often, the French Expeditionary Force had to fund the logistics of property return out of their own coffers, strengthening the officers' distaste for the system. On 6 and 13 April 1782, the Virginia Gazette published an announcement regarding the return of fugitive slaves. According to the announcement, French Brigadier General Claude Gabriel, Marquis de Choisy, had "by order of his excellency the governor" delivered seventeen fugitive slaves to a Colonel Thomas Reade of Charlotte. Choisy was required to participate in Virginia's system of plantation slavery because of his military appointment and had little choice but to return the fugitive slaves. When the owners sent for these fugitive slaves, they were required to provide compensation for the fugitive slaves' care and protection as wards of Virginia. However, no compensation was given to Choisy for his collection, caretaking, and delivery of the fugitive slaves to Reade. (62)

Despite their distaste for the return of fugitive slaves, the French officers were not anti-slavery. In the aftermath of Clermont-Crevecoeur's aforementioned "harvest" of domestics, only the two Germans from Zweibrucken expressed disdain for slavery. In his journal, Von Closen observed, "in New England there are almost no negro slaves any longer, whereas in the southern provinces all negroes are still enslaved." Von Closen concluded that slavery was closely related to despotism and aristocracy, which were "the rule in Virginia more than elsewhere." (63) Von Closen noted that his domestic servant Peter was born to free parents in Connecticut and was "faithful as gold." (64) Georg Flohr, the common soldier from Zweibrucken, also expressed disdain for slavery. Flohr recorded that slavery "was completely against human nature" and held that it exerted a negative influence upon the moral character of Virginians. (65)

Flohr's judgment regarding the deleterious impact of slavery on the Virginian character was shared, in rare moments of clarity, by some planters. In 1766, plantation owner Nathaniel Savage bemoaned that planters' "myriads of slaves" inculcated the Virginia gentry "from their cradles, in idleness, luxury and extravagance." (66) In Newport, the French lived alongside residents who emphasized tolerance, morality, and prosperity in a familiar Atlantic port environment. Meanwhile, in Williamsburg, the French were being asked to engage with a society in which, as Clermont-Crevecoeur succinctly observed, "an individual's wealth is gauged by the number of negros he owns." (67) Much to the dismay of the French, rather than appearing as the patriotic tolerant and moral America of the intellectuals, Franklin, and the gazettes, the residents of Virginia were insatiable as they filed claims for financial restitution and property return.

Dudley Digges, a onetime resident of Yorktown and the appointed liaison between Virginians and the French Expeditionary Force, served as the sole arbiter of claims for financial restitution or property return against the French Army. (68) During the French stay in Virginia, Digges compiled three books, two of claims and one of disbursements. Any time Digges accepted tenuous evidence, he exacerbated the irritation of the French and strengthened negative perceptions of Virginians. (69)

The claimants in the first book, the "General Return of Damages Inflicted by the French Army during the siege of York," provided documentation for property commandeered by the French Army. Therefore, claims that appeared in the "General Return" did not cause hard feelings among French officers. Digges' entries recorded a person's name, their county of residence, the items taken, and the compensation sought. For example, Edmund Wynne of Warwick County had fifty feet of ropes, 1,500 bundles of fodder, and eight bushels of corn confiscated by Rochambeau's troops. Wynne sought compensation of five pounds and four pence for the commandeered goods and provided Digges a receipt given to him by the French at the time his property was confiscated. (70) Clear property claims with exact listings and evidentiary backing were met with little opposition from either Digges or French officers. Wynne was given his five pounds and four pence.

The claimants in the second book, the "List of claims against French Army and Continental Army where no receipts were given for the articles mentioned therein," could not provide documentation for provisions commandeered by Rochambeau's army. Since these claims were unsupported, they were open to manipulation by unscrupulous Virginians and subject to heightened scrutiny by the French. The tenuous nature of these claims was reflected in the formatting of the book. Instead of the ledger format of the "General Return," the "List of claims" used a paragraph format to record the information of claimants. For example, John Wood, also of Warwick County, claimed the French Army had confiscated forty feet of ropes and 400 bundles of fodder. Wood could not present a receipt that listed the value of the ropes and the fodder. Therefore, Digges was required to appraise the confiscated goods. He valued Wood's claim at [pounds sterling]2.00. (71) In the absence of documentation, Digges was allowed significant leeway in assessing unclear claims. However, unclear claims were open to contest by French officials who could force a claimant to pass through multiple layers of bureaucracy to receive their desired financial restitution.

The outcome of Wood's undocumented claim is unknown. However, the contest over the claim of Cary Wilkinson demonstrates how property return could create mutual resentment and strengthen French perceptions of Virginian greed. Wilkinson was the plantation manager for John Paradise, the owner in absentia of an estate on which Wilkinson claimed the French Army had cut down trees for firewood. Wilkinson's claim was contested by Benoit-Joseph de Tarle, Rochambeau's intendent tasked with the management of finances, because Wilkinson made the claim for financial restitution on behalf of another individual with whom he shared an unclear relationship. De Tarle demanded a letter from Paradise confirming that he employed Wilkinson and authorized his actions. Additionally, De Tarle asked for proof that Paradise "is neither a British subject nor a refugee, nor that his estate is in noways forfeited." (72)

John Paradise was, in fact, a British aristocrat. He was the son of the British consul at Thessalonica and had married a Virginia woman, Lucy Ludwell, in 1768 in London. Paradise had never lived in Virginia and had inherited the plantation through marriage. (73) Though a response took a few months, Wilkinson was able to produce the documentation requested by De Tarle. While De Tarle was less than satisfied, as Paradise was a British subject, Digges and Virginia Governor Benjamin Harrison insisted Wilkinson be reimbursed. The delays caused by De Tarle's contest, including transatlantic verification, infuriated Wilkinson. Meanwhile, the insistence of Digges and the governor that Wilkinson be reimbursed even though Paradise was a British subject irritated De Tarle. Wilkinson's poorly documented claim demonstrates how the property return process for ill-defined claims created significant friction between French officers and Virginians. (74)

Digges' third and longest book was the "Receipts for sundry claims, against the French army," which recorded the names of claimants and the payments disbursed. The book of receipts contains the most entries of the three books, suggesting Digges ended up disbursing funds for many of the tenuous claims against the French Expeditionary Force. The receipts are recorded in an informal paragraph format. For example, the entry for the disbursement of the claim of William Williams reads "Received of Dudley Digges, May 1st 1782 the sum of three pounds for my claims against the French Army." (75) Digges did not record the goods for which Williams was compensated. By recording the payees' name, the date of payment, and the amount paid, Digges could ensure the Virginian and French authorities had a complete record of expenses. However, by not listing the goods that were compensated, Digges opened his records for manipulation in favor of Virginian claimants. When Governor Harrison claimed that Digges "finished the business much to the satisfaction of the people," the French officers were clearly excluded from those who were satisfied. (76)

The French officers may have inflamed the same Virginian greed they found so distasteful by paying in specie, rather than paper currency. Virginians had a less than trustworthy relationship with Continental paper currency, which had become worthless during the Revolution. (77) The Virginia Gazette publicly reported on 12 January that a French frigate docked in Hampton Roads brought "specie for the payment of French troops in this state." (78) On 13 April, the Virginia Gazette reported that the French ship Emeraude had arrived at Newport on 18 March and brought "dispatches to his excellency count Rochambeau and a sum in specie equal to 200,000 guineas, for the use of the army under his command." (79) Less scrupulous Virginians could use the arrival of vessels carrying French payroll and specie to opportunistically file claims. However, even the honorable ones would take the opportunity to raise prices, much to the ire of the French. (80) As a result, French officers came to perceive Virginians as dishonest and cupidinous.

French officers may have privately recorded unsavory observations regarding Virginians, but they valued their working relationship with Virginia officials. Therefore, their discontent rarely appeared in correspondence with elite Virginia officials. One notable exception was a December 1781 letter from Antoine Charles du Houx, Baron de Viomenil, to the governor of Virginia. Viomenil was stationed with the French Army near Yorktown. He wrote to the governor to defend himself from complaints regarding his appropriation of property. Rumors circulating among Virginians contended that Viomenil had occupied most of the residences in Yorktown to quarter soldiers. Viomenil vigorously denied that he appropriated private homes, writing "I am ignorant who are the inhabitants of York Town that have brought complaints that the Greatest part of their homes had been taken from them for the establishment of the French troops." Rather than occupying the homes, he had "ordered almost all of them to be repair'd" and he "took care to preserve to the owners of the said house, the lodging that were necessary to themselves and their family." (81) Viomenil's letter reveals his discontent with the lack of gratitude on the part of the residents of Yorktown. Rather than appreciate his assistance in rebuilding their war-ravaged town out of French coffers, Viomenil was subjected to rumors and complaints.

Unlike the Newport Mercury, which mirrored the relationship of mutual respect found in the journals of the French officers, the Virginia Gazette did not reflect the officers' growing concerns caused by property return and perceptions of greed. Instead, the Virginia Gazette was a theater for public demonstrations of goodwill, recalling the Gazette de Leyde's portrayal of patriotic and dignified citizen-warriors. On 19 January, the town council of Williamsburg published an open letter to Rochambeau which congratulated the French monarch on the birth of the royal heir, the dauphin. The town council wrote, "the present occasion enables us also gratefully to acknowledge [...] that discipline and good order, which has been so strictly observed by the troops quartered in this city." Rochambeau's response, printed directly below the letter from the Williamsburg Town Council, gave his thanks for the wishes regarding the new heir and stated "the discipline observed by the troops, and with which you are pleased to be satisfied" came from the "ardent desire which all the subjects of a just sovereign" found most agreeable. (82) The town council and Rochambeau took advantage of the wide reach of the Virginia Gazette to praise their counterparts before a broad audience. Despite these public proclamations of gratitude and solidarity, the relationship between the French officers and the residents of Virginia were by then clearly strained.

Over the winter 1781-82 in Virginia, the French officers experienced an America that was different from their preconceptions, which had been shaped by French intellectuals, Benjamin Franklin, and the gazettes. Franklin, the French philosophers, and European newspapers had painted a picture of Americans as patriotic, tolerant, moral, and prosperous citizen-soldiers, even in the face of social disorder. While Newport, Rhode Island, seemed to accord to those values, Virginia was a plantation-slavery society, with a populace that appeared greedy and immoral. French officers' discontent in Virginia shaped their perceptions even after they left their winter encampments. When, in October 1782, miller Samuel Delavan put forward his claim that the French encamped at Crompond, New York, had chopped up his fence for firewood, his claim recalled Cary Wilkinson's charge that the French had cut down trees for fuel on the estate of John Paradise. Lacking an official liaison like Dudley Digges through which he could bring a claim against the French Army, the local sheriff was Delevan's best option. After the incident at the encampment with the sheriff produced the disparate reactions of Rochambeau and Lauberdiere, Rochambeau sent his commissary, Jacques-Pierre Orillard de Villemanzy, to Delavan's home. The resultant arbitration produced Delavan an award of two thousand francs in damages. (83)

When Rochambeau's expeditionary force began to leave the United States in the winter of 1782-83, most French soldiers and all of the officers departed. Of the roughly 6,000 who sailed from Brest in May 1780, about 4,900 common soldiers made the return voyage. The rest had died, deserted, or been discharged. (84) Of all the members of the French Expeditionary Force mentioned in this paper, only Georg Flohr, the common soldier from Zweibrucken, ever returned to the United States. In 1793, fleeing the wars of the French Revolution, Flohr moved to Virginia's Appalachian frontier as a Lutheran pastor, residing far away from the coastal plantations he despised. Flohr passed away in Wytheville in April 1826. (85) The others, who had only journeyed to America for a military campaign, were hardly eager to return.

The French Expeditionary Force's encounter with the political and social disorder of Virginia foreshadowed the experience of French consuls who negotiated commercial and diplomatic policy with the United States throughout the following decade. The French consuls of the 1780s complained in private letters that quarrelsome states, muddled finances, and a weak central government undermined their efforts to leverage American goodwill for France's benefit. (86) Any French consul who claimed that gratitude for assistance during the Revolution deserved a reciprocal relationship was met with strong displays of American self-interest. (87) Just as the property return claims of Virginians had dismayed the French officers, the greed of Americans irritated the French consuls.

Despite the disillusionment of the officers and then officials, the French public's perception of the United States continued to be largely positive. The French public still saw Americans as patriotic, tolerant, moral, and prosperous. (88) Upon their return to France, Rochambeau's officers took advantage of the French public's interest in the new nation and published their recollections. The five recollections published between 1783 and 1789 tended to offer positive portrayals of the United States. Authors such as Francois Jean de Beauvoir, Marquis de Chastellux, maintained the public presentation of Americans as tolerant, moral, and prosperous citizen-soldiers who fought out of patriotic duty. (89)

However, the positivity of these recollections masked more critical views of the United States. Indeed, Chastellux was aware that his portrayal of the United States was a simplified and idealized one. In September 1785, Thomas Jefferson had written a lettet in which he responded to an early extract from Chastellux's work. Jefferson wrote that Chastellux's assessment of Americans as "aristocratical, pompous, clannish, indolent, [and] hospitable" was an accurate portrayal of American traits. To further explain, Jefferson then added characterizations of the residents of various regions, suggesting that northerners (those who resided in Pennsylvania or above) were "sober," "laborious," and "persevering," while southerners were "fiery," "voluptuary," and "indolent." (90) Jefferson's more nuanced portrayal of Americans was what appeared in the journals of the officers of the French Expeditionary Force and the letters of the French consuls who followed them. (91)

The differences between published recollections of the French officers and their private correspondence recalls the divide that appeared between the articles of the Virginia Gazette and the private journals over the winter 1781-82. Publicly, in both France and Virginia, the French officers worked to maintain a transatlantic relationship. Privately, the French officers expressed their concerns over the direction of that relationship. The private journals of the French officers suggest that French disillusionment began during the conclusion of the American Revolution, even if the impact was overshadowed by France's own revolution. Nathan Perl-Rosenthal recently suggested that common transatlantic cultural practices could form the base of a new contextual history of the Age of Revolutions. As participants in the Age of Revolutions whose cultural experiences spanned two continents, the private journals of the officers of the French Expeditionary Force offer valuable insights into the formation and dissipation of the Franco-American relationship and the construction and limits of a common cultural substrate. (92)

In the 1790s, the non-idealized view of America and its residents appeared before a broader French public. France's own revolution had re-contextualized the Franco-American relationship. Whether the ultimate collapse was driven by the debate over American neutrality in the latest Anglo-French conflict, the counter-revolution of Thermidor, or Jay's Treaty, Americans were no longer perceived as a people who encapsulated the promise of a society based on Enlightenment ideals. The mirage of the American Revolution had faded. The officers of the French Expeditionary Force had been among the first to recognize that it was an illusion.

CODY E. NAGER

Cody E. Nager is a doctoral student in the history program at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He studies Atlantic migration, with a primary focus on revolutionary and early national America. He thanks David Waldstreicher for his invaluable advice on numerous drafts. The author appreciates Joshua Piker's guidance in the development of this project. The insightful feedback of Adrian O'Connor and the anonymous reviewers strengthened the final article.

(1.) Cortlandt Pell Auser, "Le Comte [de Rochambeau] at Crompond: October, 1781," The Westchester Historian 36:2 (April-June, 1960), 39-40, and 36:3 (July-Sept., 1960), 64-67; see also Norman Desmarais, "Rochambeau's Arrest," Journal of the American Revolution, 16 November 2016. http:/allthingsliberty.com/2016/11/rochambeaus-arrest/

(2.) Louis-Francois-Bertrand du Pont d'Aubevoye, comte de Lauberdiere, "Journal de l'Armee aux ordres de Monsieur le comte de Rochambeau pendant les campagnes de 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783 dans l'Amerique septentrionale." Archives Nationales de France, Paris (NAF 17691), Cahier 3, fol. 196-197.

(3.) Jean-Baptiste-Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, Memoirs of the Marshal Count de Rochambeau, Relative to the War of Independence of the United States, ed. and trans, by M. W. E. Wright (New York: The New York Times and Arno Press, 1971), 93-94.

(4.) Durand Echeverria, Mirage in the West: A History of the French Image of American Society to 1815 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968), 14-15, 23, 40, 46, 70.

(5.) Jacques Pierre Brissot de Warville and Ettienne Claviere, De la France et des Etats-Unis (London, 1787), 304-5.

(6.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, xi.

(7.) Ibid., 175.

(8.) Peter P. Hill, French Perceptions of the Early American Republic, 1783-1793 (Philadelphia, PA: American Philosophical Society, 1988), X, 22, 111.

(9.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, 175; Robert Parkinson, The Common Cause: Creating Race and Nation in the American Revolution (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2016), 18-20.

(10.) Allan Potofsky, "French Lumieres and American Enlightenment during the Atlantic Revolution," Revue francaise d'etudes americaines 92:2 (2002): 52-3.

(11.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, 19.

(12.) Ibid., 17; William Smith, A Brief View of the Conduct of Pennsylvania, for the year 1755... (Philadelphia, PA: Bradford, 1756).

(13.) Pernille Rege, "A Natural Order of Empire: The Physiocratic Vision of Colonial France after the Seven Years' War," in Sophus Reinert and Pernille Roge, eds., The Political Economy of Empire in the Early Modern World (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillan, 2013), 32.

(14.) Paul Cheney, Revolutionary Commerce: Globalization and the French Monarchy (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2010), 105.

(15.) Benjamin Franklin, "Letter to Jean Chappe d'Auteroche, 31 January 1768," in William B. Wilcox, ed., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1972), v. 15, 33-34; Benjamin Franklin, "Letter to Thomas-Francois Dalibard, 31 January 1768," in Wilcox, ed., The Papers of Benjamin Franklin, v. 15, 35.

(16.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, 24; Potofsky, "French Lumieres and American Enlightenment during the Atlantic Revolution," 49.

(17.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, 25-6.

(18.) Ibid., 48.

(19.) Jonathan R. Dull, "Franklin the Diplomat: The French Mission," Transactions of the American Philosophical Society 72:1 (1982): 27.

(20.) Echeverria, Mirage in the West, 24; David Waldstreicher, Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin. Slavery, and the American Revolution (New York: Hill and Wang, 2004), 203-4; Madeleine Dobie, Trading Places: Colonization and Slavery in Eighteenth Century French Culture (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010), 220-225.

(21.) Frank Becker, "The American Revolution as a European Media Event," European History Online (EGO) published by the Institute of European History (IEG), Mainz, 2011-09-30.

(22.) Jeremy Popkin, News and Politics in the Age of the Revolution (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1989), 48.

(23.) Ibid., 87, 129-31.

(24.) Julia Osman, Citizen Soldiers and the Key to the Bastille (Hampshire, UK: Palgrave Macmillian, 2015), 83-4.

(25.) Samuel Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy: The Transformation of the French Army During the Age of Revolution (Niwot, CO: University Press of Colorado, 1998), 7, 10; for biographical information for all known officers of the French Expeditionary Force see Gilbert Bodinier, Dictionnaire des officiers de l'armee royale qui ont combattu aux Etats-Unis pendant la guerre d'Independance: 1776-1783. (Vincennes: SHD, 2005).

(26.) Elaine Forman Crane, A Dependent People: Newport, Rhode Island in the Revolutionary Era (New York: Fordham University Press, 1985), 22, 24, 47; Christy Clark-Pujara, Dark Work: The Business of Slavery in Rhode Island (New York: New York University Press, 2016), 46, 63.

(27.) Carl Bridenbaugh, Cities in Revolt: Urban Life in America, 1743-1776 (New York: Capricorn Books, 1964), 339-40.

(28.) Richard L. Bushman, The Refinement of America: Persons, Houses, Cities (New York: Vintage Books, 1993), 139.

(29.) Crane, A Dependent People, 123, 139, 144.

(30.) Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 7.

(31.) Herbert Klein, The Middle Passage: Comparative Studies in the Atlantic Slave Trade (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1978), 177-80; Pierre H. Boulle, "Slave Trade Commercial Organization and Industrial Growth in Eighteenth Century Nantes," Revue Francaise d'Histoire d'Outre-Mer 59:214 (1972): 80, 89-91, 107.

(32.) Bridcnhaugh, Cities in Revolt, 216, 378.

(33.) Benjamin L. Carp, Rebels Rising: Cities and the American Revolution (New York: Oxford University Press, 2009), 99, 111, 116.

(34.) Stephen Bonsai, When the French Were Here... (Garden City, NY: Douhleday, Doran And Company, 1945), 22; Lee Kennett, The French Forces in America, 1780-1783 (Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1977), 48; T. Cole Jones, "Displaying the Ensigns of Harmony," The New England Quarterly 85:3 (2012): 433.

(35.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1780, in Howard Rice and Anne Brown, The American Campaigns of Rochambeau's Army, 1780, 1781, 1782 (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1972), 1:18.

(36.) Travis Glasson, "The Intimacies of Occupation: Loyalties, Compromise, and Betrayal in Revolutionary-Era Newport," in Patrick Spero and Michael Zuckerman, eds., The American Revolution Reborn (Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2016), 35.

(37.) Bodinier, Dictionnaire des officiers, 308; Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:5-13.

(38.) Rochambeau, Memoirs of the Marshall Count de Rochambeau, 14.

(39.) Kennett, The French Forces in America, 55, 58; Bonsai, When the French Were Here, 55; Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 34.

(40.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1780, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:20.

(41.) Rochambeau, Memoirs of the Marshall Count de Rochambeau, 18-20.

(42.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1780, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:18, 20

(43.) "Newport, December 30, 1780," Newport Mercury (Newport, RI), 30 Dec. 1780: America's Historical Newspapers; Jones, "Displaying the Ensigns of Harmony," 452-3.

(44.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1780, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:18, 22.

(45.) Robert A Selig, "Georg Daniel Flohr's Journal: A New Perspective," Colonial Williamsburg 15:4(1993): 47-53.

(46.) Robert A Selig, "A German Soldier in America, 1780-1783: The Journal of Georg Daniel Flohr," The William and Mary Quarterly 50:3 (July 1993), 580.

(47.) Louis-Alexandre Berthier, Journal, June 1781, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:245.

(48.) Henry St. George Tucker to his wife, "My Dear Fanny," Williamsburg, 11 July 1781 in J.A. Steven, ed. The Magazine of American History v. 7 (1881), 207-8.

(49.) Evelyn M. Acomb, "The Journal of Baron von Closen," The William and Mary Quarterly, 10:2 (April 1953), 211.

(50.) Michael A McDonnell, The Politics of War: Race, Class, and Conflict in Revolutionary Virginia (Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 2010), 10.

(51.) Acomb, "The Journal of Baron von Closen," 212.

(52.) An American, American Husbandry, ed. Harry J. Carman (1775; rep. ed. New York, 1939), 170-176, in Emory G. Evans, A "Topping People": The Rise and Decline of Virginia's Old Political Elite, 1680-1790 (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009), 116.

(53.) Andrew Burnaby, Travels through the Middle Settlements of North America, in the Year 1759 and 1760 with Observations on the State of the Colonies, Third Edition (London: T. Paine, 1798), 32.

(54.) Rhys Isaac, The Transformation of Virginia, 1740-1790 (Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 1982), 302-3; Jan Lewis, The Pursuit of Happiness: Family and Values in Jefferson's Virginia (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1983), xiv, 65, 122, 220.

(55.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1781, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:66.

(56.) Ibid.

(57.) Acomb, 'The Journal of Baron von Closen,' 223.

(58.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1781, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:64.

(59.) Acomb, 'The Journal of Baron von Closen,' 217.

(60.) "An act for the recovery of slaves, horses, and other property, lost during the war," Spring 1782, from William Waller Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia [...], vol. 11, 23.

(61.) Hening, ed., The Statutes at Large, vol. 11, 24-25.

(62.) "Richmond, March 28, 1782," The Virginia Gazette, or Weekly Advertiser [Richmond, VA] 6 Apr. 1782: Microform; "Richmond, March 28, 1782," The Virginia Gazette, or Weekly Advertiser [Richmond, VA] 13 Apr. 1782: Microform; Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 79.

(63.) Acomb, "The Journal of Baron von Closen," 223.

(64.) Ibid., 217, 223.

(65.) Selig, "A German Soldier in America," 583.

(66.) Nathaniel L. Savage to [John Norton?], 22 July 1766, Norton-Dixon-Savage Papers, Huntington Library, in Evans, A "Topping People," 116.

(67.) Clermont-Crevecoeur, Journal, October 1781, in Rice and Brown, The American Campaigns, 1:67.

(68.) "To Thomas Jefferson from Dudley Digges, 14 May 1781," The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 5, 25 February 1781-20 May 1781, ed. Julian P. Boyd (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1952), 644.

(69.) Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 80.

(70.) Entry of Edmund Wynne, "General Return of Damages Inflicted by the French Army during the siege of York." 19 April 1782. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(71.) "List of claims against French Army and Continental Army where no receipts . . . were given for the articles mentioned therein." 16 April 1782. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(72.) Ja[me]s Le Pellier, Williamsburg, [to] governor. 17 Feb. 1782. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(73.) Archibald Boiling Shepperson and Colonial Williamsburg, John Paradise and Lucy Ludwell of London and Williamsburg (Richmond, VA: Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1942), 5.

(74.) Ja[me]s Le Pellier, Williamsburg, [to] governor. 17 Feb. 1782. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(75.) "Receipts for sundry claims, against the French army, paid by Dudley Digges." 29 April--4 May 1782. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(76.) Governor Harrison to the Speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, 30 May 1782, Officiai Letters of the Governors of Virginia Vol. III (Richmond, VA: Virginia State Library, 1926), 237.

(77.) Woody Holton, Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia (Chapel Hill: Published for the Omohundro Institute of Early American History and Culture, Williamsburg, Virginia, by the University of North Carolina Press, 1999), 183-5; "Wednesday, January 8th, 1777," Nicholas Cresswell, The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774 to 1777 (New York: The Dial Press, 1924), 180; McDonnell, The Politics of War, 428, 437; John Selby, The Revolution in Virginia, 1775-1783 (Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1988), 299.

(78.) "Richmond, January 12," The Virginia Gazette, or Weekly Advertiser [Richmond, VA] 12 Jan. 1782: Microform.

(79.) "Richmond, April 13," The Virginia Gazette, or Weekly Advertiser [Richmond, VA] 13 Apr. 1782: Microform.

(80.) Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 81.

(81.) Count de Viomenil, York Town, [to] governor, Dec. 1781. Governor's Letters Received, July 1776 to November 1784. Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA.

(82.) Letter from Williamsburg Town Council to Rochambeau and his Response, The Virginia Gazette, or Weekly Advertiser [Richmond, VA] 19 Jan. 1782: Microform.

(83.) Rochambeau, Memoirs of the Marshall Count de Rochambeau, 94.

(84.) Scott, From Yorktown to Valmy, 127.

(85.) Ibid., 106; Selig, "Georg Daniel Flohr's Journal," 52-3.

(86.) Hill, French Perceptions, 48.

(87.) Ibid., 171.

(88.) Osman, Citizen Soldiers, 98.

(89.) Ibid.. 102.

(90.) Thomas Jefferson, Letter to the Marquis de Chastellux, 2 September 1785, in Julian P. Boyd, Charles T. Cullen, and John Catanzariti, eds., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1950), VIII, 467-69.

(91.) Jefferson's critical analysis of America and its residents for a French audience that appears in the letter to Chastellux also forms key background to his project in Notes on the State of Virginia. See Thomas Jefferson, Notes on the State of Virginia: With Related Documents, ed. David Waldstreicher (Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, 2002), v; Arthur Scherr, Thomas Jefferson 's Image of New England: Nationalism Versus Sectionalism in the Young Republic (Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2016), 9-10.

(92.) Nathan Perl-Rosenthal, "Atlantic Cultures and the Age of Revolution," The William and Mary Quarterly 74:4 (October 2017): 672, 695.

Source Citation

Source Citation   

Gale Document Number: GALE|A603979704