George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lafayette, 4 April 1784

To Lafayette

Mount Vernon 4th April 1784.

My Dr Marqs—

I have no expectation, that this Letter will find you in France. Your favor of Novr to me, & of Deer to Congress, both announce your intention of making us a visit this Spring.1 On this hope I shall fully rely, & shall ardently long for the moment in which I can embrace you in America. Nothing could add more to the pleasure of this interview than the happiness of seeing Madame la Fayette with you, that I might have the honor of thanking her in person for the flattering letter she has been pleased to write to me; and to assure her of the sincerity of my wishes, & those of Mrs Washington; that she wou’d make Mount Vernon her home, while she stays in America.2

Lest I should be disappointed of this gratification, I accompany this letter with another to the Marchioness; & if I could express to her half what I feel upon the occasion it would, if twenty years could be taken from the number of my days, make you diligent at your Post—Adieu—it is unnecessary to tell you how much I am Yours &a &ca

G: Washington

P.S. I have received the plate, you were so obliging as to send me by Captain Barney; and thank you for your great attention to my request though I endeavoured to countermand it. I shall be at Philada the first of May, when & where, I will buy a Bill, & remit you for the cost of it.3

G. W——n


1On 11 Nov. 1783 Lafayette wrote that it was “Certain I shall in a few Months Embrace My dear General, Spend with Him the Spring and Summer” (Idzerda, Lafayette Papers, description begins Stanley J. Idzerda et al., eds. Lafayette in the Age of the American Revolution: Selected Letters and Papers, 1776–1790. 5 vols. Ithaca, N.Y., 1977-83. description ends 5:162–65).

2Writing to his wife from Mount Vernon on 20 Aug. 1784, Lafayette told of his reunion three days before with his “dear general” and described the life that GW and his family were leading at Mount Vernon. “I have been asked,” he said, “to send the fondest regards from the whole household, and Mrs. Washington was saying the other day that since they were both old, we must not defer the pleasure they would have in entertaining you and our whole little family here. On my earlier trip, my dear heart, I made the most solemn promise to bring you with me” (ibid., 237–38).

3For GW’s dealings with Lafayette regarding silverware, see especially Lafayette to GW, 10 Jan., n.1, GW to Lafayette, 1 Feb., and to Joshua Barney, 24 Mar. 1784. When Lafayette was at Mount Vernon in the late summer of 1784, GW paid him £129.7.6, “to Discharge 2 Accts for Plated Ware Amountg to 2214 livres” (Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , 199).

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