George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Madame de Mauduit, 8 May 1793

From Madame de Mauduit

Kingston Jamaica 8th May 1793


The widow of Colo. Mauduit duplissis, the french Officer who fought victoriously under your orders, and merited your eulogies, charges M. Pascalis Ouviere with this letter for your Excellency.1 This is not only to give him a title to your high protection, but it is likewise to have the opportunity of presenting to you my respectful homage. I flatter myself that this tribute will be acceptable to your Excellency, to whom is due the admiration & gratitude of all the family of Colo. Mauduit Duplissis.

M. Ouviere who has been unfortunate in France & in St Domingo—who had the friendship of my unfortunate husband—who was a witness to his last efforts to preserve the Colony2—who has acquired all our esteem by his talents & his merit—is obliged by the circumstances of the war to go from Kingston to Philadelphia. If I dared to contribute to that which he has the honor to present to your Excellency, I would leave it to your beneficient Virtues & to his own worth to obtain more.

As to myself, a refugee at Kingston with my uncle the Chevlr d’aulnay,3 I wait for some event to put an end to the troubles of St Domingo & permit us to return to our own estate. If this hope should be frustrated, Illustrious General, I think to go to the dearest Country in the world—that great Nation over which Your Excellency presides, that in which the life of my husband was honored & his death regretted. I am, with the most profound respect Your Excellency’s most Hbe & Obet Sert

Guyot Ve De Mauduit

Translation, in Tobias Lear’s writing, DLC:GW; ALS, in French, DLC:GW. The French text of the original receiver’s copy appears in CD-ROM:GW.

1Thomas-Antoine, chevalier de Mauduit du Plessis, was killed at Saint Domingue in March 1791 (Desbrosses to GW, 22 Mar. 1791, note 1). Felix Pascalis Ouviere (1762–1833) later gained prominence in New York and Philadelphia as a physician. A sericulturist and member of the Chemical Society of Philadelphia, he was best known for his experiments in treating yellow fever.

2For the slave uprising in the French colony of Saint Domingue, see Samuel Wall to GW, 16 Sept. 1791, and note 1.

3In the original French document, this name is given as “le chev. d’aulney de chitry.” The uncle of Madame de Mauduit, d’Aulnay de Chitry, was a deputy in the Assembly of Saint-Marc (Saint-Domingue), but left that post after the Assembly demonstrated efforts to remain legislatively independent from France. He is likely the brother of Pierre d’Aulnay de Chitry, deputy of Croix-des-Bouquets, Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), who is said to have married one of his daughters to the chevalier de Mauduit du Plessis (Jacques Cauna, "Vestiges de Sucreries dans la Plaine du Cul-de-Sac," Conjonction: Revue Franco-Haitienne, 165: 51; J. Saint-Amand, Histoire des Révolutions d’Haïti [Paris, 1860], 1: 136-37).

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