George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Bowyer, 19 March 1793

From Robert Bowyer

Historic Gallery pall mall
London. 19th March 1793.

May it please Your Excellency

I felt myself extremely flatter’d in being honor’d with a letter some time since from your Excellency & beg to present You my most grateful acknowledgements for the favor.1 will you have the goodness Sir to permit me to inclose You a proposal for the publishing the most splendid & Magnificent Work ever set on foot in this Country; of a History of England:2 & I cannot help adding that I should esteem your Name as a subscriber to the undertaking a much greater honor than all the Crown’d Heads in Europe & think I pay you a very poor Compliment too. I have already the Names of several crown’d Heads, but I have not the Name of Washington.3

The Gentlemen who carries this letter to New York, & will probably have the honor of delivering it to You is a Mr Allum, a Gentleman who has been persecuted by the despotic Aristocrats of this Country on Accot of his opposition to Tyranny & oppression—he hopes to find an Assylum in America where the Sons of Freedom can Sit under their Vines & Fig trees without the fear of informers, or imprisonment, for alas if ever these days were Known in England, they are certainly now at an end. I have the honor to be May it please your Excellency Your Excellencys Most Devoted & Obliged servt

Robt Bowyer


2This enclosure was an undated two-page proposal for an illustrated edition of David Hume’s multivolume The History of England from the Invasion of Julius Caesar to the Revolution in 1688, with an added volume to bring the history to the present (DLC:GW). Bowyer eventually published a five-volume edition of Hume’s history in 1806-7.

3The shorter version of this letter is similar in content and language to that published here. It does not, however, include the following information about Allum’s persecution and emigration to the United States, but it does add that Allum “sails in a few days for New York.” No reply from GW to Bowyer has been found.

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