Philadelphia June 1st 1787.
Under this cover you will do me the honor to receive a letter directed to the President, or Senior Officer of the Society of the Cincinnati in France; enclosing a resolve of the General Meeting of that Society in these United States, holden in this City, last month.1
If any thing, Sir, could add to the pleasure I feel in obeying the orders of this Society, it is the favourable opportunity that is afforded me of expressing to you the Sentiments of admiration and respect with which your character has inspired me; and to assure you of the esteem and consideration with which I have the honor to be Sir Yr Most Obedt and Most Humble Servt
ALS (facsimile), Contenson, La Société des Cincinnati de France, description begins Baron Ludovic Guy Marie du Bessey de Contenson. La Société des Cincinnati de France et la guerre d’Amérique, 1778–1783. Paris, 1934. description ends following p. 279; LB, DLC:GW.
François-Claude-Amour de Bouillé, marquis de Bouillé (1739–1800), served as a general in the French army in the West Indies during the American Revolution. He was elected an honorary member of the French Society of the Cincinnati.
1. The enclosed letter from GW to d’Estaing as president of the French Society of the Cincinnati, also dated 1 June from Philadelphia, reads: “Sir, The enclosed resolution of the General Meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati, which I have the honor to transmit to Your Excellency, is the best apology I can make for the trouble I am now about to give you.
“Persuaded I am that, Your Excellency will derive as much pleasure from offering to, and investing the Marquis de Bouillé with the Order of the Cincinnati, as it gives me to communicate for these purposes the Sentiments of the Society. With the greatest Consideration & respect I have the honor to be Your Excellencys Most obedt & most H. Ser. Go: Washington” (ALS [photocopy], Contenson, La Société des Cincinnati de France, description begins Baron Ludovic Guy Marie du Bessey de Contenson. La Société des Cincinnati de France et la guerre d’Amérique, 1778–1783. Paris, 1934. description ends 256; LB DLC:GW). The resolution enclosed in this letter to d’Estaing is dated 17 May 1787 and is photocopied between pp. 272 and 273, ibid.