George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Groves, 24 May 1794

From William Groves

Philaa May 24th 1794

Honor’d Sir

It is in the power of Men of Virtue and Rank, Like the Sun to gild all Objects within the Sphere of their Notice, without diminishing in the least their intrinsic splendour Your petitioner is a young Man of some family in England, and started like many others with Promising Hopes in Life—But Copying the World from the Susceptibility of his own Heart Soon fell a Sacrifice to disguis’d Hypochrites Finding an Asylum in America at present gets his Bread by teaching a small School at No. 14 North Sixth Street—The profits of which being inadequate to the Support of his Family & Haveing an inclination for Poetry has exerted his Talents that Way—Specimens of which accompany the present—which He intends printing provided a Sufficiency of Subscribers can be procurd to defray the Expence—The Price of Subscription on each Copy to be half a Dollar in Boards.1 Sir your Condescension in becoming a Subscriber & permitting him to dedicate the Volume to You—Tho at the same time it will be rathe<r> debasing than Ornamenting the Pedestal of your Fame, it will afford a fresh Proof (among many others), that no Elevation or prosperity Can lift an honest Man byond the Hearing of the Modest Petitions of Humanity. Honord sir Your Petitioner Remains with Respect Your Most diffident & Hb<le> S<ert>

Wm Groves.

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters. The docket on this letter gives a date of "26 May 1794."

1In Groves’s advertisement, dated 1 Sept., of his intention to publish "a VOLUME OF POEMS on various subjects, as soon as a sufficient number of subscribers can be obtained to defray the expences of printing them," the price was stated to be "Three Shillings and Nine-Pence sewed" (Philadelphia Gazette and Universal Daily Advertiser, 4 Sept. 1794). No evidence of publication has been found. The enclosed specimens have not been identified.

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