George Washington Papers

To George Washington from André Michaux, 20 June 1786

From André Michaux

Alex[andri]a 20th June 1786


You will find herewith, the Seeds, that I Spoke of, to Your Excelly Yesterday.1 I will accept of the Offer, that you made me, in Sending to your Care, the Collections that I Shall make in the Distant Countries for the use of the King of France.2

I Shall Esteem it a Happiness, If I Can Discover any thing, that can be of any use to Your Excellency. I am very Respectfully Sir Your Very Obedt & Very Humble Servt

A: Michaux
Botanist to his Most Christian Majesty

Translation, DLC:GW. Both the unaddressed letter and the endorsement are in the hand of GW’s secretary, William Shaw, who on 20 June “went up to Alexandria on my business and returned in the afternoon” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:351).

1Michaux visited Mount Vernon on Monday, 19 June, with letters of introduction from Lauzun and Lafayette and remained for dinner. GW recorded in his diary on 29 June and 1 July the planting of the seed and plants sent him by Michaux, which included seeds of the Jerusalem thorn and pyramidical cypress, pistachio nuts, evergreen buckthorn trees, phillyrea latifolia shrubs, and golden chain trees (ibid., 354, 5:1).

2For Michaux’s current activities in America, see Lafayette to GW, 3 Sept. 1785, n.1. For GW’s earlier involvement in collecting seed and plants for Louis XVI’s gardens at Versailles, see Lafayette to GW, 17 Dec. 1784, Thomas Marshall to GW, 12 May 1785, and GW to Lafayette, 25 July 1785.

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