George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Hardie, 23 January 1792

From James Hardie

Philadelphia 23d of January 1792


A Copy of a Latin grammar, published by me some time ago accompanies this letter.1

As it only treats of the first elements of learning, it can be of no use to you; the perusal of it may however, be of some little advantage to your Grandson.

Could I in a more suitable manner testify my respect for one, who on account of his many & superiour virtues, is by all deservedly named the Father of his Country, & who by the unanimous vote of a free people, has been raised to the office of their first Magistrate, I could be happy.

As I can give no better, I hope, You will accept of this as a testimony of the profound esteem, with which I am Sir Your most humble Sert

James Hardie


James Hardie (1758–1826), who had received an honorary bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in 1787 and a master’s degree in 1790, taught classical languages in New York City in the late 1780s and published several textbooks and reference works.

1The enclosure was probably a copy of Hardie’s The Principles of the Latin Grammar, Explained in a Manner Suited to the Capacity of Beginners; with Rules and Observations Calculated for Those Who Have Made Proficiency in the Classics (New York, 1788). The book was not among those inventoried at Mount Vernon at GW’s death, suggesting that GW may have passed it earlier to George Washington Parke Custis. GW did own a copy of Hardie’s The American Remembrancer, and Universal Tablet of Memory . . . (Philadelphia, 1795), a biographical and historical compendium.

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