George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Gordon, 16 February 1786

From William Gordon

Jamaica Plain [Mass.] Feby 16. 1786

My dear Sir

Yesterday I recd from Boston the box with the shrubs. They look as well as I could expect, & am greatly obliged to you for them. How far the severe frosts may have damaged them, must be left to the approaching spring to discover. I have some thoughts of taking a number of them with me to London. Should Providence fix me in that spot or neighbourhood, shall endeavour to furnish your garden & shrubbery, with flowers & plants, that may keep up the remembrance of an absent friend.1

Since writing about the Memoir &c. have had an opportunity of satisfying myself as to several particulars. Still I am obliged to you, for what you have written.

The enemy came out in force from Philadelphia to surprize the Marquis; but I have not yet met with positive proof of their being commanded by Genl Howe in person. This matter I shall be able to ascertain when in London.2

I rejoice most sincerely, that the difficulties respecting the navigation of the Patowmack decrease instead of increasing.

The obliging manner in which your Excellency & your Lady have been pleased to accept the trifling token of my strong gratitude is peculiarly pleasing.

When young people fulfill engagements of long standing, they do themselves honour & prove the genuineness of their affections. May your nephew & niece live long mutual blessings to each other; & a joy & comfort to all around them. I pray to be kindly remembered to them; as also to the Dr & his lady & children at Alexandria; not forgetting Mr & Mrs Lund Washington, & upon no account my young friend.

Have reason for thankfulness, that upon the whole we enjoy good health.

Have drawn out the cypher (which I shall enclose) & given a specimen of the mode of working with it.3 To you it may have no novelty. I remain with sincerest regards Your Excellency’s very humble servant

William Gordon

Col. Henley is likely to be a widower in a short time.4


2For the correspondence between Gordon and GW regarding a memoir of Lafayette’s role in the Revolution written by James McHenry, see McHenry to GW, 1 Aug. 1785, n.1.

3The enclosed cipher is in DLC:GW.

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