George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William le Washington, 1 November 1785

From William le Washington

Philadelphia 1st Novr 1785


I have the Honour to Inclose your Excellency a Lr which Charles Anderson Pelham Eqr. Member of Parliamt in England gave me, w’erein he inform’s me he has acquainted your Excellency who I am & my Intent of making a Tower of America.1

Having Deposited fifteen hundread Pounds Stirling in the Hands of Messrs Saml Smith & Son, Bankrs—London, of which they, give me an acknowledgment in their Lrs of Credit to me dated the 7th, & 9th July 1785—to be disposed of in Bills of Exchange as I may find it Necessary—Upon which Lrs I have received One Hundread pounds Stirling of Nath. Tracy Esqr. Boston, but Some Merchts in this City not knowing Messrs Saml Smith & Son, Sign[at]ur[e] made difficultys in taking my Drafts.

Mr Pelham likwise informes me he has a Short time ago had the Honour of Introducg a gent. to your Excellency so that his Sign[at]ur[e] I make no dought but is known to your Excellency.

As I find a Difficulty in disposing of my drafts as afore mentioned, I take the Liberty of forwarding the Inclosed Letter of Introduction from Mr Pelham to your Excellency requesting that if your Excellency find the Inclos’d Lr to your Sattisfaction that you’ll do me the Honour of a Letter by the Earliest Oppertunity which may give Sattisfaction to the Merchts of this City in regard to my person & Cercumstances.

As Soon as I have Setteled my Affairs in this City I Shall have the honour to pay my respects in person to your Excellency as I pass for South Carolina—and I most Sincearly wish that my personally Acquaintance may procure me an Oppertunaty in having it in my power to return the great Obligation which your Excellency will lie me under by applying with my request. I have the Honour to ratify myself with the Highest respect & Esteem Your Excellencys most Obedt & most Hble Servant

Willm le Washington

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection. On the cover Washington gives his address in Philadelphia as “at Mrs Hous’s Fifth Street Cornr Mkt St.”

1The letter ostensibly written by Charles Anderson Pelham on 7 July 1785 from Arlington Street in London reads: “Sabo William le Washington Kt of the Grand Sword of Asia—Son of Sir Charles Lee Washington Kt F.R.S. informs Me he intends makeing a tower of America & not haveing any Letters for your Excellency I take the Liberty as a Member of the British Parliment to Introduce him to You so far as to inform your Excellency that Sabo William, is a Man of Independant Fortune & is Travelling entirely for his Amusement.

“If it Should ever be my good Fortune to have it in my power to serve any of your Excellency’s Freinds how happy will it make Me. I have the honour to be with the highest respect & Esteem Yr Excellencys Most Obedient & Most hble Sert C.A. Pelham” (MH: Jared Sparks Collection). Charles Anderson Pelham (1749–1823), who had added Pelham to his name in 1763, owned large estates in Lincolnshire and was a member of Parliament from 1768 to 1794, sitting for Lincolnshire from 1774.

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