To Joseph Mandrillon
Mount Vernon 22d Augt 1785.
Thro’ the hands of Mr Van-Berkel, I had the honor to receive your letter of the first of March.1 It rests with a General Meeting of the Society of the Cincinnati to admit foreigners as honorary members; tho’ it has been done by many of the State Societies, where the subject proposed was a resident. The general Meeting is triennial, and will not assemble again before May 1787; but if my memory serves me, there were some particular reasons given at the last, which induced a resolution to suspend the further appointment of honorary members, as well Citizens as foreigners: but if I should be mistaken in this, I shall have great pleasure in proposing you as a member of that body, which have associated for the purpose, amongst others, of commemorating the great events to which, under providence, they owe the deliverance of their Country from systematic tyranny.2 With a grateful sense of the flattering expression of your letter, & with much esteem & regard I have the honor to be &c.
1. Mandrillon’s letter of 1 Mar. 1785 has not been found, but on this day, 22 Aug., GW wrote Pieter Johan Van Berckel (1725–1800): “Sir, The letter which your Excellency did me the honor to write to me on the 5th of last month, came to this place whilst I was from home—or I should have paid my respects to you at an earlier period.
“I thank your Excelly for your care of Mr Mandrillons letter, & take the liberty of troubleing you with the enclosed answer to it; and of congratulating you on the safe arrival of Miss Van Berkel who I hope enjoys good health. I have the honor to be with sentiments of esteem respect & consideration Yr Excel’ys &c. &c. G: Washington” (LB, DLC:GW).