George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Hill, 4 March 1797

From Henry Hill

Philad[elphi]a March 4th 1797


I should derive particular satisfaction from General Washington’s acceptance of a brace of Turkish pistols of curious workmanship now intrusted to a young gentleman with that view.

They once form’d part of the military equipage of Field Mareschal Count Lowenthal and descended to a worthy grandson who a few weeks before he died handed them to me.1 A Sense of personal obligation and his having actually accomplishd the best & greatest designs are motives of gratitude that would impel me to make the General a more precious tender.

But seeing the right intention captivates, & is prosper’d by, a noble mind, may not these things in your possession serve as honest signs of an early attachment that in the course of above forty-years-experience2 became fixed & inviolably maintain’d by, Sir Your most obedt hble servt

Henry Hill


1Ulrich-Frédéric-Valdemar de Lowendahl (1700–1755) was born in Hamburg, the son of a Danish general. In 1743 he entered the service of France, fighting at Fontenoy and in other battles during the War of Austrian Succession. His unusual military qualities brought him the rank of marshal of France in 1747.

2GW first ordered wine in 1759 from Hill, Lamar, & Hill (later Hill, Lamar, & Bissett), the company in Madeira with which the Philadelphia merchant Henry Hill (1732–1798) was associated. See Hill, Lamar, & Hill to GW, 28 Mar. 1760. Since that time GW had often ordered wine through Hill, and after the meeting of the two men at the Jockey Club in Philadelphia in 1773, they became friends.

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