To William Vans Murray1
[New York, July–August, 1800]
My Dear Sir
Give me leave to introduce to your acquaintance and good offices the Chevalier De Colbert who is the bearer of this letter.2 This Gentleman is among those who have been victims to an attachment upon principle to the royal cause. It is possible nevertheless that the course of things and imperious necessity may at length lead him to seek an accommodation with the present Governing Power of his own Country. If he does he will of course act with honor and fidelity towards it. I am not apprized of his particular views in going to Europe. Perhaps his plan may be to take a near view of the ground and act according to circumstances.
It is enough for me to tell you that he has acquired my esteem and regard, and that I shall be much gratified by any attentions compatible with your public situation which you shall shew to him. You will find in him the Sentiments and manners of a Gentleman and at least a pleasing acquaintance.
With sincere attachment I remain Dr Sir Yr. very Obed ser
Wm. V. Murray Esq
ALS, Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.
1. Murray, a Maryland Federalist and lawyer, was a member of the House of Representatives from 1791 to 1797. On March 2, 1797, he was appointed Minister Resident to The Hague, and he arrived in the Netherlands in June, 1797. In 1800 he was in France as a member of the commission, along with Oliver Ellsworth and William R. Davie, appointed by John Adams in 1799 to negotiate peace with France.
2. Edouard Charles Victurnien, chevalier de Colbert, had served with the French navy during the American Revolution. Soon after the outbreak of the French Revolution, which he opposed, he went to England. After participating in the landing at Quiberon in June, 1795, and in the Vendémiaire insurrection in October, 1795, he returned to England. In the winter of 1796–1797 he emigrated to the United States, where he lived until 1800, when he returned to Europe. After traveling on the Continent, he settled in France in 1802.