George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Moultrie, 29 December 1791

From William Moultrie

Charleston [S.C.] Decem. 29 1791

Dear & respected Sir

I have sent by the Baltimore Packet (that will sail tomorrow) to the care of Govr Howard the plants I did myself the honor to promise you; they are as follows, 2 boxes with sweet shrubs, 2 boxs with Italian Myrtle, 1 box with 2 opopynaxes, 1 box with two Olianders & 2 boxes with the Palmetto-Royal; they all stand our winters very well except the opopynax which must be housed, the seed of the Indian creeper I will send to yourself, if I have forgot any which I had promised I beg you will do the me the honor to let me know.1

The unfortunate affair of Genl St Clair occasions much talk with us, we have had no official accounts, but what we have had is bad enough; I hope yours will be more favorable; the Indians will exult very much upon this second victory, and it will require a large Army to give them a check; especially as we have reason to believe that some whitemen are among them and perhaps from those Western Post that should be ours.2 I have the honor to be Dear Sir with the greatest affection & esteem Your most Obt humle Servt.


1See GW to William Moultrie, 8 Nov., n.2. The “sweet shrubs” were probably specimens of Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus); the “Italian Myrtle,” Myrtaceæ or Myrtus communis, the classic myrtle; the opopanaxes, Acacia farnesiana; the oleanders, either Thevetia peruviana (yellow oleander) or Nerium oleander, an evergreen shrub whose leaves resemble those of the olive tree; and the “Palmetto-Royal,” probably Sabal palmetto or Sabal umbraculifera (see De Forest, Gardens & Grounds at Mount Vernon, description begins Elizabeth Kellam De Forest. The Gardens & Grounds at Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon, Va., 1982. description ends 98, 101, 107, 110). The plants never reached Gov. John Eager Howard of Maryland. For the delayed arrival of the trees and shrubs at Mount Vernon, see GW to Otho Holland Williams, 7 Feb. 1792, n.2, and GW to Moultrie, 14 Mar., 5 May 1792.

2GW transmitted official news of Arthur St. Clair’s defeat to Congress on 12 December.

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