york. [Va.] 12 Sept. 1784
It is with every imaginable Regret that I renounce representing in person to your Excellency, the Lettre which I have the honor of addressing to you 1—Charged by the King to visit these States at the head of a Squadron, I considered as the highest Satisfaction connected with this mission, that of finding myself within the reach of presenting to your Excellency the homage of the Military Marine of France, and my Respect, and my particular Admiration—Adverse causes oblidge me to quit this Bay without having enjoyed that honor,2 and to quit America without having satisfied My most lively Desire, that of assuring your Excellency in Person of my Veneration & of the Respectful Sentiments with which I am Sir your Excellency’s most Humble and most obt Servant—
Translation, DLC:GW; ALS, NHi: Naval History Society Collection. For a transcription of the ALS in French, see CD-ROM:GW.
1. Among these letters was one from Gimat, dated 12 July, introducing Kersaint to GW.
2. GW wrote from Mount Vernon on 25 Nov.: “I regret exceedingly that my absence from home should have happened at a time when you intended me the honor of a visit. I shall consider the tour I made, on that account, as unfortunate. If the orders of your Prince, or a desire to see these shores again, should ever bring you into this Country, I pray you to be assured of the pleasure I should feel in the honor of a visit from you. For the favourable sentiments you are pleased to express for me, you have a claim upon my gratitude” (LB, DLC:GW).