Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing papers
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Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing papers

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Georgia Historical Society
Creator: Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794.
Title: Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing papers
Dates: 1778-1778
Extent: 0.05 cubic feet (1 folder)
Identification: MS 0237

Biographical/Historical Note

Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing (1729-1794) was a Vice-Admiral of France, Lieutenant General of the Armies of the King, Commander-in-Chief of his most Christian Majesty's Forces in America. "The King (Louis XVI) never had a subject who loved him better, and who is a more worthy citizen," remarked John Paul Jones in 1778 of d'Estaing's long military career in service to France. In August 1779, d'Estaing sailed from Santo Domingo to Savannah with a large fleet transporting 4,000 land troops to aid the Americans.

Scope and Content Note

The Comte d'Estaing Papers contain five items which refer to d'Estaing's service in aiding the Americans against the British in 1778. Included are two letters from the Comte to General George Washington updating Washington on naval activity in Long Island sound off the coast of Connecticut, August and September 1778. D'Estaing's mission is outlined in these letters, to clear the sound of all English vessels and attack Newport, Virginia. He informs Washington on the status of his men, the destruction of English vessels, and the delays of the attack. A copy (written in French) of extracts from the Minutes of Congress, October 17, 1778, commends d'Estaing's service. An engraved portrait of Comte d'Estaing, undated, and a presentation plate with the inscription "Offert A la Ville de Savannah, Par Rene Giscard d'Estaing" are in the collection.

Index Terms

Estaing, Charles Henri, comte d', 1729-1794.
Letters (correspondence)
Minutes (administrative records)
United States--History--Revolution, 1775-1783.
Washington, George , 1732-1799.

Administrative Information

Custodial History

Items 1-4 given to the City of Savannah by Rene Giscard d'Estaing through His Excellency M. Paul Claudel, Ambassador from France to the United States.

Preferred Citation

[item identification], Charles-Henri, Comte d'Estaing papers, MS 237, Georgia Historical Society, Savannah, Georgia.

Acquisition Information

Items 1-4 given by the City of Savannah. Item 5 given by Mrs. W. W. Roberts.


Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to the Georgia Historical Society. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Division of Library and Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Georgia Historical Society as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.


Encoding funded by a 2012 Documenting Democracy grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

Container List

Item 1: Letter, Comte d'Estaing to George Washington, 1778 September 25 ( 4.0 p. )
Concerning military and naval affairs.
Item 2: Extracts from the Minutes of Congress, 1778 October 17 ( 1.0 p. )
Session minutes outlining a commendation for d'Estaing.
Item 3: Engraved portrait of d'Estaing, undated
Item 4: Presentation plate "Offert A la Ville de Savannah, Par Rene Giscard d'Estaing"
Item 5: Letter, Comte d'Estaing to George Washington, written at sea, 1778 August 3
Letter outlines delays encountered before the planned attack on Newport, Virginia.