George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Judith Sargent Stevens Murray, 5 November 1796

Boston Franklin Place November 5th 1796


The homage of the heart sanctioned by a judgment resulting from the most deliberate investigation, will ever be the involuntary tribute of incomparable abilities, animated, and directed, by illustrious virtues. From this incontrovertible truth, it follows, of course, that every reflecting American will, without hesitation, prostrate before the luminous manifestations, of that assemblage of excellence, which is embodied by, and so eminently distinguishes the present head of the Columbian Union.

No subject of an absolute Monarch ever approached her Sovereign with more reverential duty, glowing affection, and ardent wishes for his continued Celebrity, and prosperity than the ambitious writer of this address, approaches the Patriot Warrior who has endowed her Country with all that independence, and freedom, which can consist with a due administration of wholesome laws; and who has so conducted the public weal, as to produce for our Citizens an establishment at once lucrative, and respectable.

I am sensible, Sir, of the temerity of this address—but, when I recollect the day (and it is numbered among the fairest, and most splendid of my life) upon which I was introduced to you, and your meritorious Companion, during your residence in New York—when I recur to the dignified Condescension, and mild benignity, with which you banished from my bosom those timid fears, which your unequalled name, and transcendant superiority, had grouped about my heart—when I remember that I am the sister of Colonel Sargent—I indulge a hope, that these circumstances may be considered as palliatives of my presumption.

Deign, Honored Sir, to set your name to the inclosed proposals, and thus give Eclat to the production which they announce. Presumption produces presumption—and I have yet another favour to ask—suffer your Secretary to return the inclosed proposals—with whatever attention you shall judge they merit—under a cover, directed to me—No. 5 Franklin Place.

If I am still honored by a place in the remembrance of Mrs Washington—Please to present her my most respectful regards—The flower piece done by Miss Custus is still situated among the most pleasing ornaments of my parlour—May the matrimonial election of that amiable and admired young Lady, augment her [society], and may every thing conspire, to render supremely happy, the setting Life of our Matchless Hero, our Benignant Father, and our Invariably disinterested Friend. Permit me to say, honored Sir, that I am with sentiments of inexpressible veneration and perfect esteem, your most obedient humble servant, and faithful Admirer

J. Sargent Murray

A Mr Jackson, who I expect will have the honor to present you this—will take charge of your responces—a line written by your own hand, would be preserved with sacred veneration through life, and bequeathed, at my death, as a legacy to the most favoured of my friends. Doubtless you know how to pardon the arrogant Pretender—and will not refuse to extend to me, that clemency which you are in the habit of practicing.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

Index Entries