George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Herbert, 19 June 1784

To William Herbert

Mount Vernon June 19th 1784

Dr Sir,

With pleasure I received the invitation of the Master & Members of Lodge No. 39, to dine with them on the Anniversary of St John the Baptist; if nothing unforeseen at present interfere’s, I will have the honor of doing it. for the polite, & flattering terms in which you have expressed their wishes, you will please to accept my thanks.1

Your Servant (who has been detained on Acct of some business in wch I was engaged) brings the bundle you enquired after for my Brother.

I heard yesterday of a Ship destined for Liverpool, from your port. I pray you therefore to give the Letter for Sir Edwd Newenham, herewith sent, into the particular care of the Captn—to be put into the Post Office on his arrival in England.2 With esteem & regd I am—Dr Sir Yr most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington


Lodge 39 (later 22) of the Grand Order of Masons in Alexandria was organized in February 1783. William Herbert (1743–1818), who came to Virginia from Ireland before the Revolution, was chosen secretary at the lodge’s first election on 21 Dec. 1783. Herbert was married to Sarah Carlyle Herbert, the daughter of the Alexandria merchant John Carlyle, and was himself a merchant in the town.

1GW’s invitation has not been found, but the following notice appeared above Herbert’s name in the Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser, 17 June: “The Brethren of Lodge No. 39 are requested to meet at their Lodge-Room at Eleven o’clock, on Thursday the 24th Instant, to celebrate the Anniversary of St. John the Baptist.” GW attended the dinner held at Wise’s tavern in Alexandria.

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