George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gardoqui, 12 June 1786

From Gardoqui

New york 12th June 1786.


Upon the arrivall of my good freind Collo. Grayson I was puntualy honour’d with your Excellency’s letter of the 20th Jany the contents whereof gave me the utmost satisfaction flattering myself with the continuance of your correspondence, to which I shall now add that you wou’d make free with, fully assur’d that nothing will be of so real pleasure than your freindly commands.

In a letter I had the honor to write to his Excellency Count of Floridablanca soon after I received your Excellency’s, I had the pleasure to copy the polite paragraph by which you express’d your gratitude to his Majesty, so that I make no doubt but your Excellency’s wishes have or will be complied with in the properest manner.

Spain does certainly afford some very particular curiosities both in Europe & their Americas, & the generosity of the King is always ready to satisfy the wishes of such deserving great characters as your Excellency. This subjectt leads me to take a liberty which I beg you wou’d excuse. Perhaps you have never had an oportunity to see his Majesty’s true manufactur’d cloth so notted for its richness, call’d Vicuña, made of the wool of an animal of that name produced only in Buenos Aires. I have lately been honour’d with some, & I gladly embrace the present oportunity to send you a few yards that you may examine it, & that you wou’d do me the honor to usse it.

I wou’d not have taken such a liberty if I was not contious of the rarety of it, for even in Europe there is none but that which his Majesty grants it, so I repeatt that you wou’d excuse & accept it as a mark of the great consideration & regard I have the honor to subscribe Sir Your most obt Humble servt1

James Gardoqui


1On 22 July Gardoqui, Spain’s chargé d’affaires in the United States, wrote this covering letter: “Sir[,] What stands on the other side is what I had the honor to write your Excellency as soon as Collo. Grayson ynform’d me that he was to return soon, but finding that his dayly expectations are delay’d by his Employment, I take the liberty to send the present by my freind Collo. H. Lee with a small box containing the 6 yards of the Vicuña Cloth, that your Excellency may honor me with your opinion about it, observing to you that it is of the natural collor of the wooll. Your Excellency’s wearing it & commanding me freely will be esteemed by Your mo. obt h[umbl]e Servt Gardoqui” (DLC:GW). Henry Lee, Jr., forwarded the letters and the vicuña cloth on 12 Aug.; GW wrote Gardoqui on 30 Aug. that he had received the letters and the cloth two days before.

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