To Jeremy Belknap
Mount Vernon 5th Jan. 1785.
A few days ago, under cover from Mr Hazard of Philadelp[hi]a, I was honored with your favor of the 19th of July; and the first volume of your History of New Hampshire.1 For both, I pray you to accept my thanks—but my acknowledgments are more particularly due, for your favorable expression in the former, of my past endeavors to support the Cause of liberty.
The proof you have given of your approbation of this, is interesting—I receive it with gratitude—and am with great respect Revd Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt
ALS, MHi: Belknap Papers; LB, DLC:GW.
1. After writing his letter to GW on 19 July 1784, Belknap sent it to his friend Ebenezer Hazard in Philadelphia. Hazard, who had been supervising the printing of Belknap’s first volume of his history of New Hampshire, wished to send to GW a properly bound copy of the History along with Belknap’s letter (see Belknap’s letter of 19 July and notes). On 13 Nov. 1784 Hazard wrote Belknap: “I have been waiting all this time to have one of your books neatly bound for General Washington; but Mr [Robert] Aitken cannot get a binder. . . . I have now concluded to send the General one in boards, with an apology for not sending him one sooner. The date of your letter will shew that your attention to him was seasonable” (Belknap Papers, description begins The [Jeremy] Belknap Papers. 3 vols. Boston, 1877-91. In Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 5th ser., vols. 2–3; 6th ser., vol. 4. description ends 1:405–7). Finally, on 21 Dec. 1784, Hazard sent Belknap’s letter and book to GW, who responded on 5 Jan. 1785: “A few days ago I was favored with your Letter of the 21 st ulto enclosing the first Volume of the history of New Hampshire, & a letter from the Author, the revd Mr Belknap. I thank you for your attention in this matter—& pray you to be at the trouble of forwarding the enclosed to that Gentln for whose pleasing remembrance of me, I feel myself obliged” (LB, DLC:GW). Hazard’s letter has not been found, nor has the letter by which he forwarded GW’s letter to Belknap. Upon receiving GW’s letter forwarded to him by Hazard, Belknap wrote Hazard on 11 Feb. 1785: “After very long but not patient waiting, I was so happy last night as to get yours of the 17th ult., enclosing one from General Washington, which, I suppose, from the character I have formed of him in my mind, though it is short and expresses but little, means something very pertinent and interesting. I shall, as you guess, rank it among my valuables” (Belknap Papers, description begins The [Jeremy] Belknap Papers. 3 vols. Boston, 1877-91. In Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society, 5th ser., vols. 2–3; 6th ser., vol. 4. description ends 1:412–15).
In the inventory of GW’s library taken after his death, the first volume as well as a three-volume set of Belknap’s History of New Hampshire were listed.