George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Diego de Gardoqui, 21 December 1789

From Diego de Gardoqui

Bilbao [Spain]
21. of December of 1789.

Most Excellent Sir.

Sir. I avail myself of the first Oppertunity with pleasure to communicate to your Excelly that I happily arrived at this Port the 13th of the last month after a severe Voyage, and not less perilous.1

The Surprises thereof, which, together with my Complaints, made me sufficiently to suffer, they brought on a painful disorder which has kept me suffering till the present Time, when already almost restored, I propose proceeding to the Court.

There, as well as in all places, I have no doubt that your Exy will do me the justice of believing that my sincere good wishes for the prosperity of the United States can never fail, nor the personal recognition of the many Honors which I have received from All in general, and very particularly from your Excellency.

In this Sentiment I beg your Excellency will be pleas’d to command my best Services, firmly persuaded that I shall receive the greatest Satisfaction in being employ’d in your Service[.] I can repeat the high Esteem, and perfect good will where with I entreat the Most High, to replenish your Excellency and the United States with the greatest Felicity.

May Our Lord preserve your Excellency’s Life many Years.2 Most Excellent Sir. Your Exys most Obedt Assured Servt

Diego de Gardoqui

L, translation, DNA:PCC, item 97; LS, in Spanish, DNA:PCC, item 97. The text is taken from a translation made by Isaac Pinto and probably prepared for GW.

1Diego de Gardoqui, Spain’s encargado de negocios in the United States since 1785, sailed for Spain in October 1789. See his letter to GW, 24 July 1789.

2A note at the bottom of the translation reads: “Duplicates original of Captain Albidar in Alexandria.” The original version of Gardoqui’s letter reads: “Mui Señor mio: Me aprovecho con gusto de la primera oportunidad para participar a V.E. que el 13 del mes ultimo llegué con felicidad a este Puerto despues de un viaje bien cruel, y no menos arriesgado.

“Los sobresaltos de él, que, junto con mis achaques, me hicieron sufrir bastante, produxeron una penosa enfermedad que me ha tenido padeciendo hasta el dia, enque ya quasi restablecido, propongo continuar a la Corte.

“Alli, como en todas partes, no dudo me hará V.E. la justicia de crér que jamas podrán fallir mis sinceros deseos por la prosperidad de los Estados Unidos, ni el reconocimiento personal â las muchas honras que he merecido de todos en general, y mui particularmente de V.E.

“En esta inteligencia pido a V.E. se sirva exercitar mi obediencia, firmemente persuadido de que me caberá siempre la maior complacencia, si empleandome en su obsequio, puedo reiterar el alto aprecio, y fina voluntad con que pido al Altisimo llene a V.E. y los Estados Unidos de las maiores felicidades.”

Gardoqui also included a second, more personal, letter of the same date to GW. The translation reads: “Permit me to add what few lines my health suffers me of my own hand in order to repeat my sincere thanks for all your Civilities, & to offer my most respectfull Complements to your worthy Lady with my best wishes for the happyness & prosperity of both & your lovely grand children & Famely.

“My Son joyns with me in the same good wish, & offers his respects to you & your Lady, & I beg leave to add my Complements to the three Gentn your good Aids & to Colo. Humphries.

“I propose to set out for Madrid in very few days, where I shall be sincerely happy to receive your commands. In the mean time I wish you the Complements of the Season & many prosperous New Years & remain with the highest respect Sir Your most obt hble servt” (DLC:GW).

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