Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from George Washington, 24 March 1784

From George Washington

Mount Vernon 24th. March 1784.

Dear Sir

Your letter of the 15th. came to my hands the 22d. at the moment the Governor and some other company came in. I can do no more at present than to acknowledge the receipt of it, but will take the first leisure moment to write fully to you on the points it contains. Capt. Barney informs me that he has two packages on board, from the Marqs. de la Fayette; the enclosed to him contains a request to land them under your care ’till I shall send for them, which will be in the course of a few days. They are valuable, and I pray you to give them house room. I am very truly &c. &c.,

G: Washington

FC (DLC: Washington Papers). Recorded in SJL as received on 26 Mch. Enclosure (FC in DLC: Washington Papers): Letter of 24 Mch. 1784 to Capt. Joshua Barney, requesting him to deliver the two packages “at the lodgings of Mr. Jefferson,” to be held until a carriage calls for them; printed in Writings, ed. Fitzpatrick, xxvii, 368.

Washington had written Lafayette from Princeton on 30 Oct. 1783 requesting him “to send me of the plated wares (or what formerly used to be called French plate) the articles contained in the enclosed memoranm. to which, as I am not much of a connoisseur in and trouble my head very little about these matters, you may add any thing else of the like kind which may be thought useful and ornamental, except Dishes, plates and Spoons, of the two first I am not inclined to possess any, and of the latter I have a sufficiency of every kind” (same, xxvii, 215–17; a list of the ware desired is printed at p. 217–18). But when the British evacuated New York, Washington was able to purchase “so many pieces of the plated Ware” as to meet his needs; he therefore tried to cancel the order of 30 Oct., but without success (Washington to Lafayette, New York, 4 Dec. 1783; same, xxvii, 258–9). On 4 Apr. 1784 Washington acknowledged receipt of the plate and thanked Lafayette for his “great attention to my request though I endeavoured to countermand it” (same, xxvii, 384).

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