Paris 20th Octr 1785
Desirous of that which leads to Glory, & the Protection of those, who Commands, I aspire to that of your Excellency, in Demanding to be admitted into the Military Order of Cincinnatus, the Marechall de Richelieu whose Lieutenant I am, & who will be Answerable for me, as he has been a Witness of my first Campaigne at Port Mahon, in the Electorate of Hanover; The Orders of My King, having Oblig’d me to America, whc. I have done my Endeavours to Shew you, by the Writing & Cerficate; that I have now the Honour to Inclose you. If Mr Suffren, whose Relation I am, had been at Paris, he would have Join’d his Supplication to mine, having told me the last year, to ask this favour of your Excy, Emulous of your Esteem my General, Certain of your Justice, I Conjure you beforehand, the Profound Respect, for your Goodness, & the Gratitude, that a Heart like mine owes to the Kindnesses, of a Great Soul like yours, whc. does So much honour, to Humanity I am with the most Profound Respect My General your Excys most Obed. H. S.
to Mr le Cte de Grouchet lieut. of the Marechl of France at Dept of St Germain en Paye ches le Marechall de Richelieu in his Hotel at Paris.1
Translation, DLC:GW; ALS, in French, DLC:GW. There is a copy of the translation in DLC:GW misdated 20 Oct. 1786.
1. GW responded from Mount Vernon on 19 June 1786 in these terms: “Sir, I have had the honor to receive your letter of the 20th of Octr 1785. together with the certificate of the Duke de Richelieu, Marechall of France.
“The high estimation in which I hold the French nation in general, & the particular respect which I have for those Gentlemen who served in America in the late war, would lead me to grant to a person of your merit every request which I could consistently comply with; but at the last general meeting of the Cincinnati (which is holden but once in three years) those Gentlemen in France who are of that order, were empowered to examine the claims of those of their countrymen who should apply for admission into it, & judge of their qualifications.
“I have not the least doubt Sir, but that upon an application to those gentlemen, (at the head of whom are the Counts d’Estaing & rochambeau) you will meet with every attention you could wish. I am Sir &c. G: Washington” (LB, DLC:GW).