George Washington Papers

I: Resolution of the Virginia Legislature, 22 June 1784


Resolution of the Virginia Legislature

[Richmond, Va.] Tuesday June the 22d 1784

In the House of Delegates

Resolved that the Executive be requested to take measures for procuring a Statue of General Washington to be of the finest Marble and best Workmanship with the following Inscription on its Pedestal;1 vizt

The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia, have caused this Statue to be erected as a monument of affection and gratitude to George Washington—who uniting to the endowment of the Hero the virtues of the Patriot and exerting both in establishing the Liberties of his Country has rendered his name dear to his fellow Citizens and given the World an immortal example of true Glory. Done in the year of Christ——and in the year of the Commonwealth——.

1784. June 24th


Agreed to by the Senate

John Beckley Clerk ⟨h.d.⟩

Will: Drew C.S.

D, DLC:GW. The text of the resolution is printed in House of Delegates Journal, 1781–1785 description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia; Begun and Held in the Town of Richmond, In the County of Henrico, on Monday, the Seventh Day of May, in the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-One. Richmond, 1828. description ends , on 22 June 1784.

1Gov. Benjamin Harrison wrote Thomas Jefferson in Paris on 20 July: “The Assembly of this State have voted a Statue of our late worthy commander in Chief General Washington, and have directed their intentions to be carried into execution by the Executive. . . . we have unanimously fixed on you and my friend Doctor Franklin . . . to undertake it. . . . To enable the Artist to furnish [sic] his work in the most perfect manner I have ordered Mr Peale to send to your address a full length picture of the general as soon as possible. The intention of the assembly is that the Statue should be the work of the most masterly hand. I shall therefore leave it to you to find out the best in any of the European States” (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 7:378–79). See also Boyd’s note. The Virginia Gazette or the American Advertiser (Richmond) on 28 Aug. reported that Harrison had written to Charles Willson Peale about sending a picture of GW to Jefferson. Jefferson wrote GW on 10 Dec. 1784 that he and Benjamin Franklin had chosen Houdon to make the statue.

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