George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles Carter, 5 February 1788

To Charles Carter

Mount Vernon Feby 5th 1788

Dear Sir,

At length I have got some answer to my application for Wolf Dogs—I wish it was more satisfactory—but such as it is, I give it; as suspence, of all situations, is the most disagreeable.1

The information comes from Sir Edward Newenham, a Gentleman of family & fortune in Ireland; and is in these words. “I have just received a letter from your noble & virtuous friend the Marquis de la Fayette, in which he communicates your wish to obtain a breed of the true Irish Wolf dog; and desires me to procure it; I have been these several years endeavouring to get that breed without success; It is nearly annihilated; I have heard of a dog in the South, and a bitch in the North of Ireland, but not of a couple any where; I am also told that the Earl of Altamont has a breed that is nearly genuine, if he has, I will procure two from him; The Marquis also wants some at his domain, where he is troubled by the Wolves; If Mastiffs would be of any Service I could send you some valuable large ones; which are our guard dogs; you will honor me with your commands about them. They are very fierce—faithful—& longlived.”2

If under this information, you think I can be further useful, I shall be happy to render any services in my power. Mastiffs, I conceive, will not answer the purposes for which the wolf dog is wanted—They will guard a pen, which pen may be secured by its situation, by Cur dogs, & various other ways—but your object, if I have a right conception of it, is to hunt and destroy wolves by pursuit for wch end the Mastiff is altogether unfit. If the proper kind can be had I have no doubt of their being sent by Sir Edward who has sought all occasion to be obliging to me.3 I am—Dear Sir Yr Most Obedt & Affecte Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, ViMtvL.

1Carter may have inquired about wolf dogs in his missing letter to GW of 21 Oct. 1787. See GW to Carter, 14 Dec. 1787.

2Sir Edward Newenham’s letter of 10 Aug. 1787 has not been found.

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