From Jedidiah Morse
Charlestown [Mass.] June 8th 1797
I take the liberty to enclose you a copy of my American Gazetteer, whh is just from the press, & pray you to accept it as a mark of the great & affectionate esteem I bear to your person & character, & of the high sense I entertain of your past services to this country.1 If, Sir, it shall contribute in any degree to increase the satisfaction whh you cannot fail to enjoy in your most honourable & delightful retirement, it will give me the most lively sensations of pleasure; for be assured, sir, I feel that I owe you much. Please, sir, to accept for yourself & Mrs Washington, my most sincere wishes for your health, long life & happiness.2 Believe me to be, sir, with the most perfect esteem & respect your most obdt servt
Jedidiah Morse (1761–1826), the famous geographer, visited Mount Vernon in November 1786. He had been pastor of the First Congregational Church in Charleston, Mass., since 1789.
1. Morse’s The American Gazetteer, Exhibiting in Alphabetical Order, a Much More Full and Accurate Account, Than Has Been Given, of the States, Provinces, Counties, Cities, Towns, Villages, Rivers, Bays, Harbours, Gulfs, Sounds, Capes, Mountains, Forts, Indian Tribes & New Discoveries on the American Continent. . . . (Boston, 1797) was in the library at Mount Vernon at the time of GW’s death.
2. GW responded on 20 June from Mount Vernon: “Dear Sir, The last Eastern mail brought me your favor of the 8th Inst., accompanyed by a copy of the american Gazetteer; for the latter I pray you to accept my best acknowledgments, & the assurance of my belief that it will be found a most useful & valuable work—as evidence of this belief, I had just before the receipt of Your letter, requested my Correspondent in Philadelphia (where I found they were to be had) to send me a copy, and for the kind and flattering Sentiments which you have expressed for me and Mrs Washington in the former, I offer you my grateful thanks, being with much Esteem & respect Dear—Sir—Your obliged & obedt Hble Servt Go:Washington” (LB, DLC:GW).