From Jean Le Mayeur
New York janr 20. 1784
I have the honor of taking my pen to apologize to your Excellency for my not waiting on you in Virginia at so Early a period as I had stipulated.
the Extrime severe weather added to my not having fully Complited some private arrengements which are absolutely necessairy before I take my departure from this City have hitherto prevented a[n]d will for a few days Longer, delay my journey for your hospitable Mansion and rob my of the honor I have so happily proposed to myself in paying my personnel respects to your Excellency soon and viewing your Countenance and thro you a favorable Reception with your highly honored fello Citizens.
since your Excellencys much regretted departure from this City I have had the plaisure of gratifying tow Ladies and tow Gentleman who I believe have the honor of being personally known to your Excellency by furnishing them with good living teeth in the Room of those which were broken or otherwise decayed. Miss Ried of New Jersey—daughter of General Ried of the British army and Miss Shaw the sister of lady Wheate and a Relation of Colo. Varick lately a secretary to your Excellency have been furnished with to each and Colo. Warick himself has four fronts and one Eye tooth, th[r]ee of which were transplanted in december and are at this day perfectly secure and tow others which have been transplanted some days since are in a promising state and will be perfectly ferm at the period of my departure from this place1 which is dependent on the completion of my arrengements first alluded to and which will positively take place in the Begining of february, when I have determind to proceed to the southward and honor myself with an immediate visit to Mount Vernon.2 I pray my best Respects to Mrs Washington and have the honor to be with Great Consideration and profound Respects your Excellencys most obedt and humble serviter ⟨doer⟩
Jean-Pierre Le Mayeur was a French dentist who worked on GW’s teeth at his headquarters in New York in 1783. See GW to Le Mayeur, 16 July 1783. For the dentist’s visit to Mount Vernon later in 1784, see Le Mayeur to GW, 14 Aug. 1784. For Le Mayeur’s visit in 1785 and a sketch of his life, see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:193–94.
1. Col. Richard Varick wrote a letter to GW on 15 Jan., which has not been found, testifying to the success of teeth transplants. See GW to Varick, 22 Feb.1784. John Reed (1721–1807), who was second in command to Bouquet in Pontiac’s War, was promoted to major general in the British army in 1781. Lady Wheate was Maria Shaw (d. 1856) of New York City. She was the daughter of David Shaw and married Capt. Sir Jacob Wheate of the Royal Navy.
2. The following item appeared in the Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser on 22 April 1784: “Dr. Lamayner, Dentist from New-York, who transplants Teeth, is now in this Town, and may be spoke with by calling at Mr. Perrin’s Store.”