George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Macarty de Marteigne, 18 July 1786

From Macarty de Marteigne

Baltimore 18th July 1786

My Lord

As a Father to this Country, You ought to be One, to those who had the Honour of defending it, I Served under the Command of Monsr le Compte, d’estaing, & was afterwards aboard the Ship of Monsr le Marquis de Vaudreuil: My Brother Commanded the Magnifique, which the Pilote unluckily lost in Boston River, he has at the Same time the happiness to be adorned with your Order, whc. I have not had. I now find myself, My Lord, in this Country by the loss of a Ship, whc. I was aboard of, & whc. Going into the Missisipi, without knowing that New Orleans belongs at present to the Spaniards; a person is thought little of in this Country, when in Distress, but that whc. embarrasses me most, is being without Succour in this Country. I have had the Honour of Seeing the French Consul, who has not made me the least offer of Assistance,1 I hope more, from Addressing myself to you, My lord, & am perswaded that you will make me an Offer of your Assistance, & will not Abandonn a person in Distress, & with these Sentiments, I have the Honour to be your Excellys My lord Very Hble & Obedt servt

le Chevalier Macarty, Macteigue

Translation, from the French, DLC:GW; ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection. A transcript of the letter in French is in CD-ROM:GW.

The younger Macarty de Marteigne (Marteigue) was lieutenant de vaisseau in Le Fendant, commanded by the marquis de Vaudreuil, while it was in American waters between 1779 and 1781. He burned the palm of his left hand while seeking to put out a fire on the ship during an engagement with a British naval force off Grenada on 6 July 1779 (Les combattants français de la guerre américaine, 1778–1783 [Paris, 1903], 76).

1Charles-François-Adrien le Paulmier, chevalier d’Annemours (d’Anmours; b. 1742), left France for America in 1754 and came to the United States in 1777. He served as France’s consul in Baltimore from 1779 to 1789.

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