George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Carmichael, 19 December 1785

To William Carmichael

Mount Vernon 19th Decr 1785.


One of the Jacks with which his Catholic Majesty was pleased to present me, has arrived safe; & the enclos’d to his Minister is a testimony of my gratitude for this singular mark of his royal notice—I pray you Sir, to do me the honor of presenting it. I hesitated a while, whether to express my sense of this obligation at first, or second hand; but considering the value of it, I determined on the former—& at the same time that I would enclose you a copy of what I had written.1

The Spaniard, Seignior Pedro Tellez who accompanied the Jack which arrived safe, has expressed a wish to obtain a line of approbation from me; by means of which he thinks he could obtain some low office in the King’s Customs: but it was a liberty I could not take, further than to express in the Certificate I have given him, my sense of his care of the animal which was entrusted to him.2 But if a word my good Sir, could occasionally drop from you to this effect, it might do an essential service to the poor fellow, (who it seems has a wife & children) & would be considered as an additional favor conferred on, Sir Yrs &c.

G: Washington


1The text of GW’s letter of 19 Dec. to Floridablanca is: “Sir My homage is due to his Catholic Majesty for the honor of his present. The value of it is intrinsically great, but is rendered inestimable by the manner, and from the hand it is derived.

“Let me entreat you therefore, Sir, to lay before the King my thanks for the Jack Asses with which he has been graciously pleased to compliment me; and to assure his Majesty of my unbounded gratitude for so condescending a mark of his royal notice & favor.

“That long life, perfect health, and unfading glory may attend his Majesty’s reign, is my fervent wish. With great respect and consideration I have the honor to be Sir yr Excellencys Most Obedt & most oblig’d Hble Servt Go:Washington” (ALS, Archivo Historica Nacional Estado; LB DLC:GW).

2The text of GW’s certificate for Pedro Tellez is quoted in note 2, GW to Francisco Rendon, this date.

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