George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gardoqui, 19 May 1787

From Gardoqui

New york 19th May 1787.


Nothing but absolute impossibility wou’d have prevented me from doing myself the honor of waiting on your Excellency upon the first good news of your Excellency’s arrivall at Philadelphia, but unluckly for me I had then two Packetts upon my hands, one of which is already at Sea, so that I was depriv’d of the so much wish’d for honor of visiting your Excellency as soon as I expectted, however the hopes of doing it immidiatly after I have dispatch’d the present business releaves part of my disapointment, & for the mean time give me leave to congratulate your Excellency on your safe arrivall, & to wish with a sincere heart that the presence of so respectable a character & of the other worthy Delegates to the Convention may succeed in arranging such meassures as may produce the happiest effects to the United States.

Beleive me Sir that such is my unfeign’d wish & that no Foreigner will feel a greater satisfaction in seeing it realiz’d than myself.

I reserve the pleasure of converssing on the subjects of your Excellency’s favor of the 1st Decre for the happy moment of waitting on your Excellency, observing by the by that you wou’d make yourself eassy on the she Ass, as my request was made to a Brother of mine who has some Interest at Court to gett permission & no doubt he will have done as a private affair of his own or mine.1

I agree perfectly in what I understand of your Excellency’s letter regarding Treaties, but I wish most heartly that some resolutions of your Excellency’s State had not been taken as I fear they must have made an unhappy impression on the other side of the watter.2

Give me leave to repeatt that I long for the honor of a personal acquaintance with your Excellency & that in the mean time I am with the greatest respectt & consideration Your Excellency’s most obedt & very humble Servt

James Gardoqui


1GW replied to Diego de Gardoqui from Philadelphia on 31 May: “Sir, The letter with which your Excellency was pleased to honor me (under cover to General Knox) did not get to my hands till yesterday, altho’ dated the 19th—occasioned by that Gentlemans having left the City before it arrived, and its following him back to New York.

“As I look with much pleasure to the moment which promises me the honor of a personal acquaintance with your Excellency—and you have assured me that this is not far distant, I will not, now, take up your time in professions of that esteem, regard and respect with which I have the honor to be Sir, Yr Excellencys Most Obet Humble Servant G. Washington” (LB, DLC:GW). See Henry Knox to GW, 29 May. On 9 Sept. GW recorded that he dined at Robert Morris’s “after making a visit to Mr. Gardoqui who as he says came from New York on a visit to me” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:184). Under the dateline “Philadelphia, Sept.14,” the Virginia Gazette, and Weekly Advertiser (Richmond) reported on 27 Sept.:“On Saturday night last arrived in this city from New-York, his excellency Don Diego de Gardoqui, minister from his Catholic Majesty to the Honorable Congress of the United States, on a visit to his excellency general Washington, previous to his departure for his seat at Mount Vernon.”

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