From George William Fairfax
Bath 25th January 1786.
My Dear Sir
This will I hope be presented to you by John Anstey Esqr. in his Tour through America. He goes upon particular business with the approbation of our Ambassador Mr Adams from whom he has Letters to Congress, Doctor Franklin &c.
Mr Ansteys Father is a very worthy Gentleman of Fortune in this City, no Person more respected, and what must be allowed to be a recommendation to Us, he always Execrated the American War. It is with pleasure, I assure you that the young Gentn bears an excellent Character, and is much esteemed by all that know his worth, it is his wish to make himself agreable in America, and as his good Father assures me, his only object is ascertaining the Claims of the Refugees. I may with Propriety request that He may meet with the favorable reception. I belive he merits as a private Gentn from You, and every respectable Person in Virginia.1 I am with great regard, Dear Sir Your Affect: and most Obedient Humble Servant
Go: Wm Fairfax
ALS, DLC:GW. In the dateline Fairfax wrote what appears to be 25d, and GW dockets it 25, not 23, January.
John Anstey (d. 1819), son of Christopher Anstey (1724–1815) of Bath, visited Mount Vernon on 11–12 Dec. 1786 en route to Charleston, S.C., in his capacity as a member of the Commission for Enquiry into the Losses, Services, and Claims of the American Loyalists (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:77).
1. John Jay wrote GW from New York on 20 Oct. 1786 introducing Anstey: “Travellers who have judgment to direct their curiosity will in passing thro’ the United States, naturally prefer the Road which leads by Mont Vernon. Mr. Anstey purposes, in his way to Carolina, to pay you his respects; and I introduce him, without appologizing for that liberty, from a Persuasion that it will give pleasure to both. Handsome things are said of him, in his own country & in this and as far as my observations extends, his conduct & manners join with me in recommending him to your friendly attention” (Batchelder catalog, no. 11, item 73).