George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Augustus Miles, 12 July 1794

From William Augustus Miles

Cleveland row St James [London] July 12: 1794


In entreating your acceptance of a Volume of pamphlets the production of a very few months and written with more zeal than discretion it is less my intention to make a display of the very humble talents with which nature has indulged me than to address to you personally those Sentiments of extreme regard which every honest mind must feel for your inestimable Character.1

I was to have partaken of the hospitalities of your mansion before the Separation took place between our respective Countries, but I was then a boy, wild, thoughtless & ungovernable and instead of accompanying Governor Eden to Virginia, I winged my flight for Europe.2

Events which could not be foreseen at the time, have made me regret this circumstance and I trust you will give me credit When I protest to you that it is with equal Sincerity and pride, that I subscribe myself Sir your most Obedt & most faithful Hble servt

W. A. Miles


William Augustus Miles (c.1753-1817) was a political pamphleteer who acted for a time as an intermediary between the London agents of the French government and the British ministry.

1A copy of Miles’s A letter to the Duke of Grafton, with notes, including a complete exculpation of M. De La Fayette, from charges indecently urged against him by Mr. Burke in the House of Commons, on 17 March 1794 (London, 1794), inscribed "To his Excellency Geo. Washington, with the compliments of the Author. London, July 12th, 1794," was in GW’s library at his death (Griffin, Catalogue of the Washington Collection, 522). GW’s library also contained Miles’s The author of the Letter to the Duke of Grafton vindicated from the charge of democracy (London, 1794).

2Robert Eden (1741-1784) was commissioned as colonial governor of Maryland in 1768 and served there from 1769 to 1776. His known visits to Mount Vernon occurred in December 1771, December 1772, and March, August, and September 1773 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:75-76, 148, 167, 200-201, 204).

Index Entries