George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Sinclair, 18 May 1792

From John Sinclair

Whitehall London. 18th May 1792


Among the other respectable characters, to whom I take the liberty of sending the inclosed papers, it is impossible for me not to request General Washington’s acceptance of a copy.1

It would give me, Sir, particular pleasure, to understand, that they are fortunate enough to meet with your approbation.2

The objects to which they relate, are great and important, and, I flatter myself, the plans therein recommended, will be thought intitled, to the cordial co-opperation and support, of every real friend to the interests of society. I have the honour to be, with great esteem & respect, Sir—your most obedient & very humble Servant

John Sinclair

ALS, PHi: Dreer Collection.

John Sinclair (1754–1835) of Caithness, Scotland, who had been educated at Edinburgh and Glasgow in the 1760s, served in Parliament 1780–1802 and 1807–11, and he sat on the British board of agriculture 1793–98 and 1806–11. Between 1792 and GW’s death in 1799, the two men exchanged many letters, and Sinclair continued to send GW statistical reports and agricultural surveys compiled and published under the auspices of the agricultural board (see Griffin, Boston Athenæum Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 89–95, 183).

1Although the enclosures, which GW in his response to Sinclair of 20 Oct. 1792 referred to as a “Pamphlet & papers,” have not been identified, they were probably the same works that Sinclair sent Thomas Jefferson on 18 May: Specimen of the Statistical Account of Scotland (Edinburgh, 1791) and Prospectus d’un ouvrage intitulé: Analyse de l’état politique d’Écosse, d’après les rapports des ministres de chaque paroisse . . . (London, 1792) (see 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 23:524). Neither work was in GW’s library at the time of his death, however.

2GW expressed his approval of Sinclair’s efforts in his letter of 20 Oct. 1792.

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