George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles IV of Spain, 5 June 1794

To Charles IV of Spain

[Philadelphia, 5 June 1794]

Great & good Friend

I have made choice of William Short, who until his late Mission to the Court of Your Majesty, hath for some time past resided at the Hague in quality of Minister of the United States of America, near their High Mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands, now to reside near Your Majesty in quality of Minister of the United States of America.1 He is well apprized of the friendship which our Republic bears to Your Majesty & of our desire to cultivate the Harmony & good Correspondence, so happily subsisting between us. From a knowlege of his Fidelity, Probity & good Conduct, I have entire confidence that he will render himself acceptable to Your Majesty & give effect to our desire of preserving & advancing on all occasions the Interest & Happiness of the two Nations. I beseech Your Majesty therefore to give full credence to whatever he shall say on the part of the United States, & most of all when he shall assure Your Majesty of their Friendship & Wishes for Your Majesty’s prosperity: And I pray God to have Your Majesty in his safe & holy keeping. Written at Philadelphia this fifth day of June in the year 1794.

Go: Washington

By the President of the United States of America
Edm. Randolph secretary of State

Copy, DLC: William Short Papers; LB, DNA: RG 59, Credences.

Charles IV (1748-1819) became king of Spain on the death of his father in 1788 and ruled until forced to abdicate in 1808.

GW wrote another letter to Charles IV on this date that reads in part: "Having granted to Mr Carmichael, now acting near your Majesty, in quality of Chargé des Affaires of the United States, permission to return home, after so long an absence, we have directed him to take leave of your Majesty, and to assure you of our friendship and sincere desire to preserve and strengthen the harmony and confidence, which so happily subsist between the two Nations. We are persuaded, that he will do this in the manner most expressive of these sentiments, and of the respect with which they are offered" (LB, DNA: RG 59, Credences).

1In December 1791 GW nominated William Short to be minister at the Hague, and in January 1792 he nominated Short and William Carmichael to be commissioners for negotiating a treaty with Spain concerning navigation of the Mississippi River. Short traveled to Spain for that mission in early 1793 and remained there at this time.

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