George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Victor Marie Du Pont, 22 April 1788

From Victor Marie Du Pont

New York April’s 22, 1788.


I have the honor of forwarding your Excellency a letter which I received at Paris from the Marquis de la Fayette few days before I left that city, and which I had intended to have delivered myself. But fearing least it might contain some matters of importance, I have applied to Général Knox who has promised to inclose it in his own.1

I am very sorry that circumstances should have prevented me to be presently Bearer of it and from embracing at the same time that opportunity of offering your Excellency that testimony of vénération and respect which your elevated character and justly deserved fame has filled me with,2 and where with I have the honor of suscribing myself Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble servant

V. du Pont

ALS, DLC:GW; copy, in Du Pont’s hand, DeGH. The copy is dated 20 April.

Victor Marie Du Pont (1767–1827) had come to the United States to become an attaché of the French legation in New York. He was the older brother of Eleuthère Irénée Du Pont (1771–1834).

1Du Pont visited Mount Vernon from 2 to 6 Nov. with Moustier, Madame Bréhan, and her son (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:417). In his response to Du Pont (see note 2), GW indicates that Lafayette’s letter introduced Du Pont, but no such letter has been found.

2GW responded from Mount Vernon on 12 May: “Sir, I have lately had the honor of receiving your polite letter of the 22d of April, enclosing one from the Marquis de la Fayette, which would have given me double pleasure to have received from your own hands by informing me of the welfare of that much esteemed character, and giving me an opportunity of paying a proper attention to a person recommended by him; this pleasure, however, I flatter myself I shall yet receive by your visiting Mount Vernon.

“You will please, Sir, to accept of my best wishes that your tour to this Country may be perfectly pleasing, & conformable to your expectations, and that you may return to your native land with impressions favourable to America and its Citizens. I have the honor to be, Sir, Yr most Obedt Hbe Servt Go: Washington” (LS, in Tobias Lear’s hand, DeGH; LB, DLC:GW).

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