George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Diego Joseph Navarro, 11 March 1778

From Diego Joseph Navarro

Havana the 11 March 1778.


Dn Juan de Miralles one of the most honourable Inhabitants of this City, as well by his personal qualifications as his Affluent circumstance,1 has informed me the misfortune which obliged him to put into Charles Town, in his Passage to spain in the Setie Our Lady of Carmen, Capn Dn Francisco Pruna,2 as allso the Genteell and Polite reception he was honoured with by the Governour and commander in Chief of Charles Town.

He allso informs me that disgusted by the cause which obliged him to put back, and the disagreable situation he was in on board during his Navigation he had resolved to remain some time in the Continent of America untill he could return to this Island and proceed to spain in a more convenient manner and with more security. depending on the Affection and Esteem he knows I profess for him, he has desired I would recommend him to your Excellency’s Protection and Favour. convinced of his personal Merit I do it with the greatest Pleasure and beg your Excellency will be pleased to honour him with your Protection and Favour during his residence in your Continent,3 Permit me in return to Offer your Excellency my Will and inclination to serve you as far as my Faculties and Power will permit. I pray to God to preserve your Excellency many years. I am Your Excellencys Most humble & most &ca

Diego Jph Navarro

Translation, DLC:GW; LS in Spanish (two copies), DLC:GW; copy in Spanish, SpSeAG, Legajos Cuba, 1301; translation, CSmH; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW. One of the LSs is marked “Tripdo”; the Sprague transcript was made from the translation at CSmH.

Diego Joseph Navarro (Diego José Navarro García de Valladares; 1708–1784) served as captain general and governor of Cuba, 1777–80.

1Don Juan de Miralles (d. 1780) had been appointed by Navarro in December 1777 to visit Congress in the guise of a merchant and gather information about the war and “any design prejudicial to Spain and her American possessions” that might be attempted by Britain or the United States (see Smith, Letters of Delegates description begins Paul H. Smith et al., eds. Letters of Delegates to Congress, 1774–1789. 26 vols. Washington, D.C., 1976–2000. description ends , 10:82–84). He remained in the United States as an agent of the Spanish government until April 1780 when he died while visiting GW’s headquarters.

2The ship Nuestra Señora del Carmen reportedly left Charleston on 27 Mar. carrying rice for Cadiz but was captured by a British warship and retaken by an American privateer (Francis Lewis to John Langdon, 12 June 1778, ibid.).

3GW apparently did not receive this letter or meet Miralles until his visit to Philadelphia in late December 1778 and January 1779. He replied to Navarro on 4 Mar. 1779.

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