George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gustavus F. Goetz, March 1794

From Gustavus F. Goetz

[Philadelphia, March 1794]

P.S. The person, that has the honor to submit the above Translations, the theme whereof he has published in the German gazette annexed hereto along with the french Translation made by him, begs Leave to observe: that he is brought up regularly to the Bar in Germany, that he is ready to produce a formal Certificate on his Examen, he underwent there, in the Civil Law and the Laws of Nations, that he is well acquainted with the antient as well as modern diplomatic stile of nations (being intimately acquainted with the latin language), that he has taken, before this the Oath to support the Constitution, being employed by the Post Master General of the U.S. to whom he has been favoured to exhibit Vouchers for his Integrity, Secrecy and accuracy in business.1

Gustavus F. Goetz

He understands to translate from Dutch and now is employed to attain a more sufficient Knowledge of the Spanish.

ALS, DLC:GW. The docket reads: “March [ ] 1794. Candidate for office of Translator to Dep. of State.”

1Gustavus F. Goetz may have been referring to something he published in the German newspaper Philadelphische Correspondenz, but the enclosed translations have not been identified. Goetz was mentioned in an advertisement for Vorlesungen über Philosophische Sittenlehre von Johann Macpherson, übersetzt durch G.F. Goetz (Philadelphia, 1792), a German translation of John Macpherson’s Lectures on Moral Philosophy (Philadelphia, 1791). In this ad in the 4 May 1792 issue of the Federal Gazette, and Philadelphia Evening Post, Macpherson states that the translator, Goetz, “shews himself to be a complete master of our copious and expressive language, and appears to possess besides the talents of an able and accurate translator.” Goetz was also the translator of Aesop’s fables in Auserlesene Fabeln des Esop und andrer vorzüglichen Fabeldicter, Zur Bildung des Verstandes und Herzens (Philadelphia, 1794).

The current postmaster general was Timothy Pickering. No reply has been found.

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