George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Ternant, 17 May 1793

To Ternant

Philadelphia May [17] 1793.


The first intimation, which I received of your mission to the United States, in the capacity you lately fill[e]d, gave me pleasure. I anticipated, on your part, a conduct, which, while it was calculated to promote the objects of your duty, would, in the manner, be pleasing to the Government and Citizens of this Country. My anticipations have not been disappointed. Uniformly attentive to the advancement of the Interests confided to your care (notwithstanding the agitations and vicissitudes experienced in the government of your Country)—the tenor of your official and private conduct, throughout the course of your Mission, has appeared to me deserving of approbation & has acquired to you a new title to my regard.1

I give you this private & personal mark of my Satisfaction & esteem, in remembrance of your Services, as an Officer in the Army of the United States and in consideration of the peculiar and extraordinary circumstances under which you have acted.2 With sentiments of attachment & regard—I am—Dear Sir Your Obedient and Very humble Servt

G: Washington


On the cover of this document, GW wrote: “This letter was draughted in answr to the one which covers it. But on Reflection was not sent, nor any written reply given to the Recalled French Minester; forasmuch as the motives to that recall were not communicated, and the policy of the measure questionable as the consequences could not be foreseen” (see Ternant to GW, 17 May 1793). On 24 May GW sent a letter regarding Ternant’s performance directly to the French Provisional Executive Council.

1Ternant had been the French minister to the United States since 1791. For his recall to France, see Provisional Executive Council of France to GW, 30 Dec. 1792.

2During the Revolutionary War, Ternant served as inspector of the southern army with the rank of lieutenant colonel and colonel of Armand’s Legion, later called the 1st Partisan Corps.

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