George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Gerard William De Brahm, 26 November 1798

From John Gerard William De Brahm

26d XI mo. 1798

Respected Friend

I feel a deep concern to revere, yea Love Eminent Men, who under the discipline of divine Goodness can be most Virtuously instrumental, what they cannot be in their own exertion for the good of Men, whom God does all the good they hinder him not, a drop of their blood is too precious in his Sight as to aprove of its Spilling, he preserves Men in most tender Love.

finding, that the Seed of the fever like embers under the Ashes conceiles in Some buildings and furnitures.

I under discipline of divine mercy made willing to do all good I can, hurry to Supplye the[e] with a Souvereign preservative, from which (tho by mercy kept from common complaints free) yet in my twelfth climacteric created Such infirmities, which are passd remedy, receive comfort from what I inclose in two Vials.1 I pray God to preserve and bless thee am Respectfully

J: G: W: de Brahm


The polymath John Gerard William De Brahm (1717–1799) is best known for his work as a military engineer and geographer in colonial Georgia, South Carolina, and East Florida. In 1751 he led a party of German Protestants to Ebenezer in Georgia. He soon thereafter was sought out by the governments of South Carolina and Georgia for his talents as a military engineer, and in 1764 the British government made him the surveyor general of the southern district of North America. During the Revolution he remained loyal to Britain, and in 1777 he went to live in London. After his return to America in 1791, he and his third wife, Mary Drayton Fenwick De Brahm of Charleston, S.C., lived in Philadelphia, and De Brahm, who became a Quaker, devoted his writing to alchemy and mystical philosophy (De Brahm’s Report description begins Louis De Vorsey, Jr., ed. De Brahm’s Report of the General Survey in the Southern District of North America. Columbia, S.C., 1971. description ends , 7–59).

1While in England De Brahm wrote Queen Charlotte offering to send her an “admirable salt” for George III’s illness (ibid., 56).

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