George Washington Papers

From George Washington to David Ramsay, 3 June 1790

To David Ramsay

New York, June 3rd 1790.


A copy of your history of the american Revolution has been presented to me by Mr Allen of this city, in compliance as he informs me with your orders.1

I therefore beg, Sir, that you will accept my acknowledgments and best thanks for this mark of polite attention, from which I expect to derive much pleasure and satisfaction in the perusal, with very great esteem, I am Sir, your most obedient humble Servant

G. Washington


The historian and physician David Ramsay (1749–1815) was educated at the College of New Jersey and received his medical training at the College of Pennsylvania from which he was given his degree in 1772. In 1773 he began practice in Charleston, S.C., and served in the 1770s and 1780s in the South Carolina legislature and in the Continental Congress in 1782 and 1785. In 1785 Ramsay produced the History of the Revolution of South Carolina, criticized for including much verbatim material from the Annual Register, a charge that was also levied against his more important work, the History of the American Revolution, published in 1789.

1Thomas Allen, a New York bookseller and a partner in the firm of Hodge, Allen, and Campell, wrote GW on 1 June that “Doctor Ramsay has ordered me to present to you, a Copy of his History of the American Revolution” (DLC:GW). GW’s copy of Ramsay’s History is now in the Collection of Books from Washington’s Library at the Boston Athenaeum. Both volumes have GW’s signature on the title pages (Griffin, Boston Athenæum Collection, description begins Appleton P. C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 170–71).

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