George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Chastellux, 6 June 1787

To Chastellux

Philadelphia June 6th 1787

My dear Sir,

This letter will be handed to you by Mr Rutledge, Son to Govr Rutledge of So. Carolina—a young Gentleman of merit who is about to visit France.1

It is so long since a letter has passed between us, that I am not at this moment, able to determin which of us is the Debtor,2 nor is it essential as the only purpose of the present trouble is to introduce Mr Rutledge to your Civilities3 and to present you with a poetical work of an American Bard, (which I have not yet read it) is said to have some merit.4 With much truth and Affectn I am my dear Marqs Yr &c.

G. Washington


1John Rutledge, Jr. (1766–1819), traveled in Europe until mid–1790. See d’Estaing to GW, 8 June 1789, n.5.

2GW wrote Chastellux on 18 Aug. 1786 thanking him for his letter of 22 May 1786, which is missing.

3On this day GW also wrote on behalf of Rutledge to d’Estaing, Rochambeau, and Lafayette. His letter to d’Estaing reads: “Sir, The merits of Mr Rutlidge who will do me the honor of presenting this letter to you, is the best apology I can offer for the liberty of introducing him to your politeness and attention. He is the Sone of the Honbl. Mr Rutlidge of South Carolina formerly Governor of that State he is about to make a visit to France &c.

“At the sametime that Mr Rutlidge affords me the opportunity of acknowledging the receipt of the letter which you did me the honor of writing to me by Genl Duplissis (if my former should not have got to hand) a fresh occasion is given of assuring you of the respect and regard with which I have honor to be Sir Yr Most Obedt & most Hble Servant G. Washington” (LB, DLC:GW). To Rochambeau, he wrote: “My dear Count, Permit me to introduce to your civilities Mr Rutledge the bearer of this—Son of Govr Rutledge of South Carolina—and a young Gentleman of merit, who is about to travel, and will make his first visit to France.

“I shall make no apology for this liberty, because it gives me an opportunity of repeating to you the assurances of that esteem, regard, and Affection with which I have the honor to be Yr &c. G. Washington” (LB, DLC:GW). See also the letter to Lafayette, 6 June 1787.

4While in Philadelphia GW received twenty copies of Joel Barlow’s The Vision of Columbus, a poem in nine books. See GW to Elizabeth Powel, this date.

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