Grasse, comte de

VA — 5 September 1781.
Yorktown, VA — Site of the Jamestown settlement, this site also overlooks Chesapeake Bay where the Battle of the Capes (between British and French) helped secure the victory at Yorktown in 1781.
VA — 28 September - 19 October 1781.

America had a common language, unlike the European nations, none of which was linguistically homogeneous. in 1789 the majority of Frenchmen did not speak French but were divided by a variety of provincial patois. Englishmen from Yorkshire were incomprehensible to those from Cornwall and vice versa. By contrast, Americans could understand one another from Maine to Georgia. It was very obvious why this should be so, said John Witherspoon, president of Princeton. Since Americans were much more unsettled, and move frequently from place to place, they are not as liable to local peculiarities, either in accent or phraseology.

Gordon S. Wood
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)