From Robert Morris
Richmond July 3d 1788
Capt. Stephen Gregory the bearer of these lines being called by business to Dumfries, cannot think of returning from thence without gratifying his earnest desire of paying his respects to Genl Washington, a gratification which he is very ambitious to obtain on proper terms, but which his modesty forbad him to seek without an introduction.1 Excuse me therefore my Good Sir for presenting to you, a Gentleman that has Served with Reputation as a Lieutenant in our late Infant Navy under Capt. Barry & others and who since the Peace has Commanded a Ship of mine & so Conducted himself as to induce me to give favourable testimony to his merit. With great respect I have the honor to be Dear Sir Your most obliged & obedient humble servt
1. When Gregory visited Mount Vernon on 9 July, GW identified him as “a french Gentlemn. who served in the American Navy last War” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:359). Gregory dined at Mount Vernon again on 31 Aug. and on 2 Sept. (ibid., 386, 387). Gregory was master of the Comte d’Artois, trading between Bordeaux and Virginia. Thomas Jefferson, who sometimes used Gregory’s vessel to ship wine to friends, called Gregory “a good humoured agreeable man” (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 11:378–79). Gregory wrote GW on 6 July 1789, sending him a miniature ship as a gift, and again on 12 Aug. requesting an appointment in the new government.