George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Cezar Du Buc, 7 July 1791

From Cezar Du Buc

Cambridge prés de Boston Le 7. Juillet 1791


Chargé Par Le Gouverneur Général de st Domingue de Remettre á Votre Excellence La Lettre Cy jointe1 et animé du desir de méler, Comme ami de L’humanité, mes hommages á Ceux que vous rendent tous Ceux qui Sâvent apprécier Les services qu’elle a Recu de vous, je me promettais de ne pas Laisser Echapper L’heureuse occasion que m’en fournissait Mr de Blanchelande, mais des Combinaisons de hazard me plaçant hors de mesure de pouvoir Realiser mon projet sous le moment j’ay L’honneur d’Envoyer á Votre Excellence la dépêche du Gouverneur de st domingue, et de La prier de me permettre de lui offrir en personne mes Respectueux hommages Lorsque voyageant dans Le Continent je me trouveray á portée d’elle. Je suis avec Respect Monsieur De Votre Excellence Le trés humble et trés obeissant serviteur

Cezar Du Buc

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. no contemporary translation of the receiver’s copy has been found, although Tobias Lear translated its enclosure (see n.1 below).

Cezar Du Buc (César Dubuc), sieur Saint-Olmype (Olimpe), was a Creole resident planter of La Croix des Bouquets who opposed the autonomous Saint Marc Assembly of Saint Domingue. Du Buc later corresponded with the émigré prince de Condé and requested in a petition to the British government during its occupation of the island that French citizens be allowed to adopt the British law of debt (see Geggus, Slavery, War, and Revolution description begins David Patrick Geggus. Slavery, War, and Revolution: The British Occupation of Saint Domingue, 1793–1798. Oxford, England, 1982. description ends , 76, 425, n.207).

1Philibert-François-Roussel (Rouxel), vicomte de Blanchelande (1735–1793), the French governor of Saint Domingue, fled Port-au-Prince the same day Col. Thomas-Antoine, chevalier de Mauduit du Plessis, the commander of the city’s French army garrison, was assassinated. Blanchelande was blamed for the colony’s unrest and was sent to France in chains in 1792, condemned to death, and guillotined. Lear’s translation of Blanchelande’s enclosed letter to GW of 9 May, written two months after the governor’s flight to Cap Français, reads: “An old Soldier, who glories to have appreciated the talents of Your Excellency, could not have been engaged in all the last war in the windward islands without being animated with the liveliest desire to have an opportunity of personally paying you that tribute of admiration which is due to you—but the discharge of my duties have been constantly opposed to this intention, but I hope that on leaving the government of St Domingo it will be in my power to carry this intention into effect. If one, Sir, might, on such an occasion, employ a substitute, it would certainly be the Person who is dearest to us—under this title I could not refuse to the solicitations of Mr Cesar Dubuc, who meditates a voyage, and perhaps an establishment in America, the means of being introduced to him, whose virtues have opened an Asylum, in the vast Continent, to the oppressed. Mr Cesar Dubuc (formerly the Sieur Olimpe) in mingling my homage with that he shall render to your Excellency himself, will not lessen the desire which I have to offer it in person. I will have to add thereto my expressions of gratitude should you deign a reception to Mr Dubuc—he is possessed of large estates in St Domingo, and his conduct in public affairs since the revolution have constantly proved his disinterestedness and the purity of his views. You will soon perceive, Sir, that Mr Dubuc unites with extensive knowledge and invariable honor the embellishments of mind and of society. I shall be the more obliged by Your Excellency’s goodness to Mr Dubuc as he is dear to me by the tenderest friendship” (DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; a transcription of the ALS, in French, of this letter is in CD-ROM:GW).

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