George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Knox, 16 October 1783

West point 16th October 1783

My dear General,

Major L’Enfant will have the honor to wait upon your Excellency to solicit leave of absence and to obtain the certificate, I requested, of his being a [member].

His zeal to serve the Cincinnati has been conspicuously displayed in the emblems of the bald eagle, designs of the medals, seal, and of that noble effort of genius, the diploma. He proposes to attend the execution of these several objects in France, where they will be performed by the first artists. The seal, however, is excepted from this arrangement, as not having been proposed to the convention, who framed the institution. It will therefore be left to delay its execution, untill the general meeting should have decided upon it.

He will detail to your Excellency his intentions, and the arrangements he has made with the treasurer.

Colonel Gouvion has requested a certificate of his being a member of the Cincinnati, which will probably be the case with most of the foreign Gentlemen in our service. And this appears but reasonable, as they have not received the diploma.

Their numbers are not great, and the labor will not be much. I have taken the liberty to enclose an attested certificate which if your Excellency should approve and sign, might serve as a form untill the diplomas could be obtained. I am my dear General with the greatest respect and attachment Your obedient Servnt

H. Knox


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