George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Patrick Henry, 14 October 1785

From Patrick Henry

Richmond October 14th 1785

Dear sir.

I beg Leave to introduce to your Acquaintance the Bearer Capt. Lewis Littlepage who wishes for the Honor of being known to you. I have no Doubt but the Merits of this young Gentleman will render him agreable to you. I have spent some little Time in his Company very happily, & feel myself interested in his future Welfare.1

As soon as the Report concerning the intended Water communication with Carolina is made, I shall certainly communicate it to you.2 I expect it now daily. With the highest Regard & Esteem I am dear sir your very obedient Servant

P. Henry


1Lewis Littlepage (1762–1802), of Hanover County, did not arrive at Mount Vernon with this letter until 8 November. He carried with him a draft of £300 on the state of Virginia for Houdon in Paris in partial payment for Houdon’s statue of GW and was en route to Poland where he was to enter the service of King Stanislas II. Upon leaving Mount Vernon on 9 Nov. he wrote his stepfather, Maj. Lewis Holladay (1751–1820) of Spotsylvania County, from Alexandria: “I have just arrived here from General Washington’s, and shall set out in Tomorrow’s stage. I was highly pleased with my visit at Mount Vernon, and the General has been kind enough to furnish me with letters of introduction, one to the Governor of Pensylvania in case I should be detained in Philadelphia, and some others of the same nature for other parts. In other respects I found General Washington much less reserved in conversation than I had been taaught to expect, and was peculiarly happy in having an opportunity of informing myself of many interesting circumstances of the american war, which no person but the General can properly attest” (Holladay Papers, ViHi). For the controversy with John Jay in which Littlepage became embroiled after his arrival in New York, see Lafayette to GW, 6 Feb. 1786, n.10, and Jay to GW, 2, 16 Mar. 1786.

2Governor Henry enclosed the commissioners’ report on the Elizabeth River Canal, dated 15 Oct., in his letter to GW of 11 November. See note 2 of that document.

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