George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Edward Rutledge, 15 December 1790

To Edward Rutledge

Philadelphia Decr 15th 1790.

My dear Sir,

I will make no apology for introducing the bearer, Colo. John Trumbull to your friendship and Civilities—You will find him worthy of both.1 Yrs Affectionately

Go: Washington

ALS, PHi: Dreer Collection.

1After finishing his portrait of GW in military uniform (see Tobias Lear to Richard Varick, 19 July 1790 and notes), Trumbull had made a brief trip to Massachusetts and New Hampshire to make portraits of former officers in the Continental army. He was now planning a trip to South Carolina and left for the South in February 1791. While he was in Charleston, Trumbull painted portraits of Rutledge and his family. “In addition to the pictures which I wanted,” Trumbull wrote, “I have been painting Mrs. Rutledge, her daughter & youngest son. I was distress’d by their extreme civility to me & have happily hit upon this method of making them a return which to them is the most valuable possible” (Trumbull, Autobiography, description begins Theodore Sizer, ed. The Autobiography of Colonel John Trumbull: Patriot-Artist, 1756–1843. 1953. Reprint. New York, 1970. description ends 167–68, n.15). GW evidently wrote a similar letter to Charles Pinckney of South Carolina. See Pinckney to GW, 8 Mar. 1791.

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