George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Benjamin Vaughan, 5 February 1785

To Benjamin Vaughan

Mount Vernon 5th Feby 1785


I pray you to accept my acknowledgement of your polite letter of 31st of October; & thanks for the flattering expressions of it.1 These are also due in a very particular manner to Doctr Price, For the honorable mention he has made of the American General, in his excellent observations on the importance of the American revolution—“Addressed to the free and united States of America” which I have seen & read with much pleasure.2

Capt. Haskeill in the Ship May arrived at the port of Alexandria a few days since; but the frost which at present interrupts the navagation of the river, has prevented my sending for the Chimney piece; by the number of cases in which it is packed, I greatly fear it is too elegant & costly for my room & Republican stile of living—I regret, exceedingly, that the politeness of your good Father, should have overcome my resolution, & thereby occasion the trouble & difficulty which this business seems to have involved. Nothing could have been more remote from my intention than to give this; & I earnestly, but in vain, entreated Mr Vaughan to countermand the order for its shipment.3 I have the honor to be Sr, Your most obedt humble Serv.

G: Washington

Copy, ViMtvL; LB, DLC:GW. GW sent his letters of this date written to Samuel Vaughan and his son Benjamin under one cover addressed to “Saml Vaughan Esqr. Philadelphia.” Samuel Vaughan made this copy of GW’s letter to Benjamin Vaughan, printed here, on GW’s cover to the two letters, and then presumably forwarded the original letter to his son. The differences between it and GW’s letter-book copy are few and unimportant.

1Letter not found.

2For references to GW’s receiving several copies of Richard Price’s pamphlet on the American Revolution and to GW’s reaction to the pamphlet, see Richard Henry Lee to GW, 16 Jan., n.1, and GW to Richard Henry Lee, 8 Feb. 1785, n.5.

3By April 1784 GW knew that Benjamin Vaughan’s father, the London merchant Samuel Vaughan, was sending him a marble chimneypiece for his “New Room” at Mount Vernon. See GW to Samuel Vaughan, 6 April 1784, and 5 Feb. 1785. The boxes containing the pieces of the marble mantle were opened at Mount Vernon on 6 April, but they were not installed until work on the room was resumed in 1786 (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:114, and GW to Tench Tilghman, 30 Nov. 1785).

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