George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Diego de Gardoqui, 10 August 1790

To Diego de Gardoqui

New York Augst 10th 1790.


Colonel Humphreys, who, as you know, has been many years in my family, expects in his present tour to Europe to visit Spain.1 Should it be his good fortune to meet with you in that Kingdom, he will undoubtedly profit of the circumstance by renewing his acquaintance with you. In that case, he will have an opportunity of expressing on my part the sincere & great regard which he knows I entertain for you. And your civilities in return to him will be considered as very acceptable to me.

We have lately seen by the public Papers, that your Sovereign has been pleased to place you at the Head of the Administration of the Revenues & Finances of the American Department.2 I am confident you will do me the justice to believe, Sir, that I rejoice extremely in your prosperity. On so honorable & confidential a mark of the Royal favor, I should certainly be the first to congratulate you in the most cordial manner. But at the same time I must have candour enough to assure you, that I feel the most sensible regret that this circumstance, so flattering & advantageous to yourself, should forever cut us off from the hope of seeing you in this Country again. It is for the sake of your good alone that we shall be forced to acquiese; and you must not esteem it as an unmeaning Compliment when I say, that, I presume, No man in His Most Catholic Majesty’s dominions could be more acceptable to the Inhabitants of these States. That all persons who may be employed in the intercourse between the Dominions of His Most Catholic Majesty & the United States, may serve to promote a mutual good understanding, and to advance reciprocally the substantial interests of the two Nations (which, I am convinced, are not only entirely compatible with, but may be highly promotive to each other) is the constant & ardent wish of, Sir, your Most obedt & Most humble Servant.3

Df, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1For the background to David Humphreys’s mission to Spain, see Thomas Jefferson to GW, 8 Aug. 1790 and notes.

2Diego Maria de Gardoqui, who served in America from 1785 until October 1789 as Spain’s first encargado de negocios, or chargé d’affaires, to the United States, was appointed director of the Department of Commerce of the Indies and secretario del despacho de Hacienda. After several years in the finance ministry and as a member of the Consejo de Estado, he was appointed ambassador to Turin and to Cerdeña (Gardoqui to GW, 24 July 1789, source note; Nasatir, Before Lewis and Clark description begins Abraham P. Nasatir, ed. Before Lewis and Clark: Documents Illustrating the History of the Missouri, 1785–1804. 2 vols. St. Louis, 1952. description ends , 1:130, n.1).

3For Gardoqui’s reply to GW’s 10 Aug. letter, see Gardoqui to GW, 3 Jan. 1791.

Index Entries