George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lafayette, 8 October 1786

From Lafayette

Paris October the 8th [1786]

My dear General.

This Will Be presented By Mr le Coulteux a Relation to the Respectable House of french Merchants By that Name who is Going to Settle in America—I Beg You to Honour Him With Your patronage and Advices.1

Not Knowing when this Will Reach You I only add My Respects Most Affectionate to Mrs Washington—Remember me to George, to the Young ones, to all friends.

A treaty of Commerce is Signed Between france and England Who are to treat Each other like the Most favoured European Nation—Which Will not interfere With the Views of the United States. With those Sentiments of Respect and love which My dear general Knows to Be So deeply Rooted in my filial Heart I Have the Honour to be Your Most affectionate friend



1Louis Etienne Le Couteulx de Caumont (1756-1840) became an American citizen in Philadelphia in July 1787 (Couteulx to Timothy Pickering, 9 Oct. 1800, quoted in Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 25:241–42). See also Thomas Jefferson to Charles Thomson, 20 Sept. 1786 (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 10:395). Le Couteulx went back to France in 1789, but he returned to America in 1790 and eventually settled at Buffalo, N.Y. (Martha J.F. Murray, "Memoir of Stephen Louis LeCouteulx de Caumont," Publications of the Buffalo Historical Society, 9[1906]:431-83). There is no indication that Couteulx visited Mount Vernon. I. L. and C. Le Couteulx was a French banking house about which Thomas Jefferson wrote GW on 14 Nov. 1786 (ibid., 531–35).

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