George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles Thomson, 10 November 1787

To Charles Thomson

Mount Vernon Novr 10th 1787.


In compliance with the resolve of Congress—contained in your letter of the 25th Ult.—I have the honor of sending you a copy of the paper enclosed in Mr Presidt Laurenss letter to me, of the 19th of Febry 1778, endorsed “Committees report.”1

It would, I confess, give me great pleasure to hear that the importt Services of the Baron de Steuben could meet with a reward adequate to his merits & sacrafices. What may have been his verbal, or other engagements with Congress, is not for me to say, further than is contained in the paper herewith enclosed but certain it is, he hazarded his life and fortune at a critical period of our affairs, without those obligations on his part, which impelled Americans to the measure; and from that moment to the close of the War, rendered essential Services to the cause in which we were engaged. I embrace this, as I shall do every occasion, of expressing to you the esteem & regard with which I am—Sir, Your Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, DNA:PCC, item 19; LB, DLC:GW; copy, DNA: RG 46.

1The enclosed copy of the certificate, endorsed “Copy—Examined Go:Washington,” is in DNA:PCC, item 19: “The Baron Stuben who was a Leiutenant General and Aide de Camp to the King of Prussia—desires no rank—is willing to attend General Washington, and be subject to his orders—does not require or desire any command of a particular Corps or Division, but will serve occasionally as directed by his General—expects to be of use in planning Encampments &c. and promoting the discipline of the Army—he heard, before he left France, of the dissatisfaction of the Americans with the promotion of foreign officers, therefore makes no terms, nor will accept of any thing but with general approbation and particularly that of General Washington. Signed by Mr Wetherspoon, Mr F. L. Lee[,] Mr McKean[,] Mr Henry.” See also the report of Congress on Steuben, 23 Jan. 1788, in JCC, description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends 34:13.

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