George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Earl of Buchan, 15 September 1794

From the Earl of Buchan

Dryburgh Abbey [Scotland] September 15th 1794.


I have had the honour & pleasure to receive your Letter of the 26th of May by the care of the American Minister yesterday & have carefully transmitted the Pacquets to Dr Anderson by Mr Somerville a worthy Gentleman farmer who goes to settle in the United States & sails by the Fame from the Port of Leith.1

Lady Buchan has received Mrs Washingtons Letter with the sentiments that are wished to be congenial between Mount Vernon & Dryburgh Abbey.2

I am happy to think yr Excellency is now there and enjo[y]ing The tibi te reddentis agelli,3 happy to think that whenever your Country will permit you will return to the Philosopher’s Wish & the Poet’s Eulogy. It is your glory & happiness Sir to anihilate yourself & to elevate yr Nation by being no more than the Organ of a great & free People.

Long may yr illustrious Example continue to excite congenial Sentiment, to make the Public every thing and Party nothing in yr Country & Nation.

I have the honour to be with sincere Esteem & with kind respects to Mrs Washington in which Lady Buchan joins Sir yr Excellency’s most Obedient & Obliged h. servt



1For the packet, see GW to James Anderson, 26 May. Anderson acknowledged its receipt in his letter to GW of 6 Dec. (DLC:GW). The Fame left Leith, Scotland, toward the end of September and arrived at Philadelphia on 20 Dec. with James Somerville on board (Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser [Philadelphia], 20 and 24 Dec.; Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser, 30 Dec.; Somerville to GW, 26 March 1795, DLC:GW).

2Martha Washington’s letter to Margaret Fraser, Lady Buchan, has not been identified.

3Buchan evidently was referring to phrases from Horace’s epistles: "silvarum et mihi me reddentis agelli" (epistle 14) and "te tibi reddat amicum" (epistle 18)—suggesting that time at Mount Vernon returns GW to his true self.

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