From Robert Eden
Clarges Street piccadilly [London] 17th April 1778
Notwithstanding the different Parts, Sir, that we have taken in the unhappy differences still subsisting between Great Britain and America, I flatter myself there yet remains a mutual Share of Esteem between Your Excellency and me; And I hope you do me the Justice to think that, should the Commissioners, by whom I have the Honour of sending this, be fortunate enough to accomplish a Reconciliation, it will give me the highest Pleasure. When I inform Your Excy that my Brother, Wm Eden, whom I have a very great Regard for, is one of them,1 I have no Doubt of his meeting with all such Civilities as You, in your Station, can offer, or he, in his, desire. You may believe me when I assure you that he heartily wishes Success to his Undertaking; and that you will find in him as much Candour and probity as you could desire in a person you will probably have to treat with. He will assure you that I have endeavoured at all Times to do Justice to your Character, and that I shall be happy in meeting Your Excy again on the same free & freindly Terms we formerly lived. I beg my Compliments may be offered to Mrs Washington, & Mr & Mrs Custis; and have the Honour to be with great Regard, Sir Your Excys sincere freind & obedt humble Servant
ALS, ICHi; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.
1. William Eden (1744–1814), a member of Parliament from Woodstock, was one of three commissioners who arrived in America in early June 1778 empowered (along with Adm. Richard Howe and Gen. Henry Clinton) “to treat, consult and agree upon the means of quieting the disorders now subsisting in certain of the colonies, plantations, and provinces of North America”; for the act creating the commission, see GW to Henry Laurens, 18 April, n.6. Eden’s later career included a term in the Irish House of Commons; diplomatic service, mainly in France and Holland, in the 1780s and 1790s; and a number of other government posts including postmaster general and president of the Board of Trade. He was created Baron Auckland in 1789.