to Mr. Noyes.
Washington, June 24, 1881.
Sir: I am informed by the Secretary of the Navy, under date of 21st instant, that orders have been sent to Rear-Admiral John G. Howell, commanding the United States naval force on the European station, directing him to give passage in the United States flag-ship “Trenton” to certain persons who visit the United States in pursuance of the invitation of this government to attend the celebration at Yorktown, Va., on the 19th of October next, in commemoration of the surrender of the British army under Lord Cornwallis to the American and French forces in 1781.
It is desired that you will communicate to Rear-Admiral Howell at as early a date as practicable the names of the persons who are to be received as guests on the Trenton. You will accordingly inquire of Mr. Barthélemy St. Hilaire whether any of the representatives of the French Government will accept the hospitality thus tendered, and you will make like inquiry of the members of the family of Lafayette.
In this connection I beg you will take an early occasion to send to the Marquis de Rochambeau the inclosed personal letter, in which I convey to him the assurance of the pleasure it would afford the President, as well as myself, to have him visit the United States on this interesting occasion. If the marquis should so desire, the hospitalities of Admiral Howell may be extended to him likewise.
The “Trenton” will leave Nice on or about the 18th of September next. You will take care to notify Admiral Howell in ample season of the day on which his guests may be expected to repair, on board the “Trenton” at Nice.
I am, &c.,