George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Carmichael, 25 March 1785

From William Carmichael

Madrid 25 March 1785

P.S. As I have lately recd Letters from the Marquis & Marchioness de la Fayette which announce his arrival in Europe,1 I take the Liberty of sending you a Triplicate of a Letter which I had the honor to write you under cover to the Marquis the 3d of Decr 1784. His return to Europe may otherwise occasion surmises which would hurt me as a delay of this communication might appear Singular on my part. I shall have the honor to send you with the Jack Asses an acct of the mode of treating them & of rendering them useful to the propagation of Mules.2 Mr Gardoqui I hope will be in America & treating with Congress before this can reach you. I beg your Countenance to this Gentleman, who Mr Jay will inform you, has had ever the most Liberal Sentiments with respect to America. I am informed the English wish to blow the flame of Discord between us & Spain in America on acct of the Navigation of the Missisippi. I can assure you that the Same Endeavours are imployed here—The Minister of G.B. has just left me, holding the Same Language, while I know he holds the Contrary to the Ministers of this Country.3 Union & Energy in the Representants of the States & activity in each State respectively to support the Confederation will soon show the futility of these little political maneuvres & place America on that firm basis of Political consistance which must make the United States Usefull friends or dangerous Enemies. Their Consequence in the political & Commercial scale may be accelerated by the Turn affairs are like to take in Europe. In the meantime I cannot but counsel from what I see & what I know, but firmness, a proper sense of National honor & vigor & unanimity the Most Cordial in every State.

I am not afraid of hazarding these Sentiments to you. They are your own. With the highest respect & affection I have the honor to repeat Myself your Most Obedt & Most Humble Sert

Wm Carmichael

ALS, DLC:GW. This was written as a postscript to a copy of a letter Carmichael initially wrote to GW on 3 Dec. 1784, which GW did not receive. See the source note, Carmichael to GW, 3 Dec. 1784. The postscript, written nearly three months after the letter to which it was attached, is printed here as a separate document.

1Neither Lafayette’s letter to Carmichael nor Lafayette’s wife’s letter has been found, but on 10 Mar. 1785 Lafayette wrote Carmichael: “A few days Ago I Had the pleasure to write You a line, inclosing Mde. de Lafayette’s letter” (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 5:300–302).

2For the jackasses presented to GW by the king of Spain, see Carmichael to GW, 3 Dec. 1784, nn.1 and 2.

3Philip Stanhope, earl of Chesterfield, was the British ambassador to Spain.

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