George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jean-Baptiste de Montesquieu, 2 May 1785

From Jean-Baptiste de Montesquieu

Bordeaux [France] 2d May 1785

My Son has Order’d me to Send to your Excellency One Hundered & Twenty Bottles of White Wine, made at Bordeaux.1 he Told me that during his Stay in America, He never had Seen So good a Sort of Nutts, as those in France, I have Sent at all events Some Nutts of a very fine Sort, although the Season for Sowing them is over. There will be possibly Some one that will Spring up & will Produce a Tree, Provided there be Some Care taken of it, as Soon as Your Excellency will receive them, you must make them be Steep’d in Water, for the Space of Two or Three Days. Directly Sow them in Good Earth Mouldered, or Sifted, Water them very often, & keep them from the Excessive Burning heat of the Sun.2 I am very happy of this opportunity to Offer my Respect, the most Profound, to the Hero of the World, who has Reunited, all the Virtues of Ancient Rome, with all the Politeness of the Grand World.

Translation, DLC:GW; ALS, DLC:GW.

Jean-Baptiste de Secondat de Montesquieu was the only son of Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu, the famed author of L’Esprit des Lois, and the father of Charles-Louis de Secondat de Montesquieu (1749–1824), Chastellux’s aide-de-camp in America during the American Revolution.

2GW thanked Montesquieu père for the letter, wine, and walnuts on 20 August.

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