George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Forrest, 20 June 1792

To Thomas Forrest

Philadelphia June 20th 1792.


The publication which you had the politness to send me last fall, intituled, “Proceedings relative to Ships tendered for the Service of the United East India Company,” reached my hands some time in April; And lately I have been favored with your voyage from Calcutta &c.1

These marks of attention are received with gratitude, and merit my best thanks, which I beg you to accept for you[r] very great politness. I am, Sir, with proper consideration Your most Obedt Servt.

Df, in Tobias Lear’s hand, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW. Lear’s draft was addressed to “Capt. Thomas Forrest Grafton Street—London.”

After serving briefly in the Royal Navy, explorer, navigator, and author Thomas Forrest (c.1729–c.1802) spent most of his career in the employ of the East India Company. Having been stationed almost continuously in the Indian Ocean since the early 1750s, he published extensively about the weather, sailing routes, and geography of the region.

1On 14 Nov. 1791 “Capt. Thomas Forrest Author of the Voy. to New——

[Guinea]” wrote GW from “London Grafton Str[ee]t near Fitzroy Chaple” to send “his best Respects to Mr Washington and . . . a late publication which will give his Excellency a deal of Information” (DLC:GW). Forrest’s Proceedings relative to Ships Tendered for the Service of the United East-India Company, from the First of January, 1780, to the Thirty-First of March, 1791 (London, 1791) and his Voyage from Calcutta to the Mergui Archipelago, Lying on the East Side of the Bay of Bengal (London, 1792) were both in GW’s library at the time of his death (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 71, 82–83).

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