George Washington Papers

To George Washington from David Longworth, 21 August 1797

From David Longworth

No. 66 Nassau Street New York Augt 21 1797

Perhaps your Excellency will be disposed to pardon, & think it a laudable ambition, which has stimulated me to endeavor to make my publication appear worthy your patronage—The whole of the materials & execution of the edition of Telemachus, now presented you, are entire american, my mode of hot pressing is on an entire new principle from that practised in Europe1—under these considerations I pray your Excellency to view with a favorable eye this attempt to improve the art of printing in this (my native) Country, & to excuse the forwardness of one who has taken this opportunity of usurping the honor of subscribing himself your Excellency’s Most Obedient & Most Humble Servt

David Longworth


1GW docketed the letter: “Mr David Longworth 21st Augt 1797 Who was requested to continue sending his nos. of Telemachus to G. W——n.” GW wrote Longworth from Mount Vernon on 31 Aug.: “Sir, Your note of the 21st instt, accompanying the first No. of the Edition of Telemachus, has been duly received; and I thank you for your politeness in sending the work, as I shall do for continuing it: the cost of which shall be paid to your order. The specimen wch you have exhibited of the work is very good—& the Materials being wholly American is strongly recommendatory thereof. I am Sir—Yr Obedt Servt Go: Washington” (ALS, NhD). The two-volume edition of Fénelon’s The Adventures of Telemachus, printed in 1797 in New York by T. and J. Swords for Longworth, was 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 484).

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