George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada, 17 July 1790

From Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada

St Augustine—Florida—17th July 1790. &c. &c.

Most excellent Sir
Sir

I impart to your Excellency that since the 7th Instant I enjoy the command of this Town & Province, which my royal Master has thought Proper to confer upon me. On which occasion, and flattering myself with the hope that some circumstance perhaps may afford me the honor of being useful, as well to your Excellency as to some of the States, I beg you will be pleased to accept the sincere desire with which I now offer myself in whatever you may please to employ my limitted faculties.

God preserve your Excellency many Years1

Juan Nepomno d Quesada

Translated faithfully from the Original, by Isaac Pinto2

L, translation, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; ALS, in Spanish, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB (in both Spanish and English), DNA: RG 59, Domestic Letters; LB, in Spanish, DLC: East Florida Papers. Text is taken from translation prepared for GW; the receiver’s copy, in Spanish, appears in CD-ROM:GW.

Juan Nepomuceno de Quesada y Barnuevo, the governor and intendant of Honduras from 1783 to 1789, served as the second governor of Spanish East Florida from 1790 until being recalled due to ill health in February 1796. Georgian slaveholders were not disappointed in their expectation that, as the new governor, Quesada carried orders from his government prohibiting recognition of runaway American slaves seeking refuge in Spanish territory as free persons (Jefferson to GW, 27 Oct. 1790; Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 17:472–73n., 638).

1The original Spanish letter is docketed, “Answered by the Secy of State.” Jefferson’s 12 Aug. reply from New York is in Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends 17:341.

2Isaac Pinto translated Spanish and Italian documents for the Office of Foreign Affairs under Secretary of State John Jay and continued doing so under Jefferson.

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