George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gouverneur Morris, January 1790

From Gouverneur Morris

[January 1790]

Accept I pray you the Seeds sent herewith. They are from the King’s Gardens and as you will observe by the within List the trees and Plants are from the Southern Provinces of this Kingdom—I think therefore they will flourish at Mount Vernon. I am always truly yours.


The original of this undated note is filed at the end of January 1790 in the Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, as it was probably assumed that Morris would most likely have sent the seeds in time for spring planting at Mount Vernon. Further evidence shows that the note must have been written before 1 Feb. 1790 and probably dates to 22–24 January. On 26 Aug. 1790 Morris wrote to GW that he delivered the originals of two letters of those dates “to the wife of Mr Le Couteulx de Caumont having waited a long time and till late in the Evening [of 1 Feb. 1790] to see him. He was to have left Paris, as he had told me, the next Day but staid I beleive one or two Days longer. My other Letters by him were received by those in America to whom they were directed but Heaven knows what he did with those directed to you. There was among them a pretty large Package containing the Seeds of various Shrubs Plants and Trees from the South of France which I had obtained from the King’s Gardens hoping they might have contributed some little Ornament to Mount Vernon” (DLC:GW; Morris, Diary of the French Revolution, description begins Beatrix Cary Davenport, ed. A Diary of the French Revolution by Gouverneur Morris. 2 vols. Boston, 1939. description ends 1:402). Although GW wrote Morris on 17 Dec. 1790, when he acknowledged receipt of the seeds, that he had immediately forwarded them to his gardener at Mount Vernon, no such letter to John Christian Ehlers of this period has been found (DLC:GW). See also Morris to GW, 6 July 1790, DLC:GW.

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