George Washington Papers

To George Washington from François Barbé de Marbois, 14 September 1785

From François Barbé de Marbois

New york Septr 14th 1785.


I have had So many proofs of your Excellency’s interest to my concerns that I hope you’ll learn with pleasure that the King has appointed me an Intendant for his Colony of hispaniola. This appointement is the more agreeable to me as the connection with america is not entirely broke of for me by my removal, & especially as I Shall have the pleasure to meet there the Count de la luzerne as the commandant of the Colony: to his brother the Chevalier I owe especially this mark of the King’s confidence, I wish I may answer it fully, but though I Know all what I want for Duly discharging the trust, it will be neither Zeal nor a desire of doing good.1

I hope your former dispositions & friendship will accompany me in this new Station, & I would be truely happy if it could afford me opportunities to Evince my respect & veneration for you2 & the consideration with Which I have the honour to be, sir, Your excellency’s Very humble obedient servant

De Marbois


1César-Henri, comte de La Luzerne (1737–1799), the elder brother of the French ambassador to the United States from 1779 through 1783, Anne-César, chevalier de La Luzerne, went in 1786 to the West Indies as governor of the Îles sous la Vent and remained only one year. Marbois remained the intendant at Santo Domingo until 1790.

2On 25 Sept. GW congratulated Marbois on his appointment in these terms: “Sir, I have had the honor to receive your favor of the 14th Instt from New York.

“At the moment I congratulate you on your late appointment, and on this fresh instance of your Sovereigns attention to your merits, I cannot but express my sorrow that you are so near the eve of your departure from America.

“I shall remember with pleasure, Sir, the friendship you have always expressed for me; and with gratitude shall recollect the many instances of your partiallity, and attention towards me. I shall receive with great satisfaction the account of your safe arrival at Hispaniola, and of every other event which is interesting and pleasing to you; being with much truth, and great esteem & regard Sir Your most Obedt & Very Hble Servt Go: Washington” (ALS, Staatsbibliothek, Berlin: Darmstaedter Autograph Collection; LB DLC:GW). The dateline reads: “Mount Vernon 25th Sep. 1785.”

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