From William Jackson
Philadelphia August 20. 1786
My dear General,
It was not till last evening I discovered that a packet, which I had done myself the honor to address to you by a private conveyance, had been forgotten by the person to whom it was entrusted. To prevent a similar accident, and to avoid any farther delay, I take the liberty to forward the enclosed pamphlets (which are transmitted at the request of our State Society) by post.
Unable to decline, though very unequal to fulfil, the task which was assigned me on the fourth of July—I hope it will be unnecessary to bespeak your indulgence of an essay produced at the pressing instance of friends, whose partiality prejudiced their discernment.1 With every wish for your happiness, which the most respectful esteem and affection can suggest, I am, my dear General Your obliged obedient Servant
1. William Jackson’s An Oration to Commemorate the Independence of the United States (Philadelphia, 1786) was not listed in the inventory of GW’s library taken after his death, but on 28 Sept. GW acknowledged its receipt in these terms: “Dear Sir, I have received your letter of the 20th Ulto together with the Pamphlets enclosed. I consider your sending the latter to me as a mark of attention which deserves my warmest acknowledgments.
“I cannot join with you in thinking that the partiality of your friends, in assigning to you so honorable a task, prejudiced their discernment. The subject is noble, the field extensive; and I think it must be highly satisfactory, and indeed flattering to a man, that his performance, upon such an occasion, is approved of by men of taste & judgment. With sentimts of great esteem & regard I am—Dear Sir Yr Obedt Hble Servt Go: Washington” (ALS, PHi: Washington Manuscripts).