George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to William Henry Drayton, 12 July 1778

To William Henry Drayton

Head Quarters Paramus [N.J.] July 12. 1778

Dr Sir,

Permit me to assure you, that the cordial terms of your obliging favour of the 5th afford me the most sensible pleasure.1 It, naturally, is my ardent wish, that my well-meant endeavours, for the prosperity of my country, may meet the approbation of my countrymen; and I cannot but be peculiarly flattered by every instance of esteem, from the discerning part of them.

The want of a longer personal acquaintance rather increases, than lessens my obligation, for your politeness on the present occasion, which certainly could need no apology on that, or on any other account. I need not say, I shall be happy in every occasion of cultivating a continuance of your friendship, and convincing you, that I am, with great regard, Dr Sir Your most Obedt serv.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The address to Drayton on the draft is in GW’s writing.

1Drayton had written GW from Philadelphia on 5 July: “While I am sensible that I hazard your Excellency’s censure of my discretion; yet, I cannot resist the impulse I feel, to pay you my little tribute of thanks for the important Victory of Monmouth; and to express, how much I feel myself tenderly & anxiously interested in every thing respecting your safety and glory. Your Excellency’s invariable conduct, naturally exposes you to such intrusions; and I rely upon it, that your good nature will pardon this.

“Personally almost unknown to you as I am, yet Sir, this obstacle is too weak to prevent a gratification on my part, which gives me the highest pleasure: Some how or other, Nature has composed me of materials, which are apt to force the bounds of common decorum, when my affections and gratitude are excited.

“That your Excellency’s life may long be preserved in your glorious and disinterested defence of your country; & in the enjoyment of the fruits of your labours and victories, is my most fervent prayer” (MH: Jared Sparks Collection).

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