George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Mathurin-Michel Amoureux, 10 November 1794

From Mathurin-Michel Amoureux

Georgetown [D.C.] 10th November 1794


With a view to be useful to this my adoptive Country, I have publish’d a Short treatise on the culture of the wine-grapes, of which I take the liberty to Send you a copy, wishing that it may prove acceptable to you.1 whilst in france I had Selected notes on this Subject, & waited for their reception before I would publish this treatise; but the vessel, on board of which my papers & Cloths were Shipp’d, being lost, I have not been able, I believe, to enter into as many particulars, as I could have done, had I received these notes. nevertheless I am persuaded that, by paying a proper attention to the general directions, which this treatise Contains, and from the experience he will Soon acquire, the vine-planter can hardly fail of Succeeding. it is not meant however, that this culture Should be preferred to that of the wheat, & other useful grains; but I think at Same time that a proprietor can not make a better use of that part of his land, which he generally leaves uncultivated, on account of its not being fit to produce grain, nor luxuriant grass. when I mentioned to Some planters of Virginia my intentions of publishing Such a treatise, they remark’d that Several europeans had attempted the cultivation of european wine grapes without Success; but I am persuaded that their failing in this was owing to nothing else, but to a want of proper attention & management; I intend my Self to join the example to the precept, as Soon as I am So fortunate as to See my wife & children over to this happy Country.2 I am with respect sir

M: Amoureux

ALS, DLC:GW. Before the French Revolution, Mathurin-Michel Amoureux (1747–1832) had been a merchant at Lorient, France, with clients including John Paul Jones. He soon moved west from Georgetown, spending time in Kentucky before settling around 1801 in what became Missouri. There he was a probate judge, justice of the peace, and merchant.

1This printed document, A Short and Practical Treatise On the Culture of the Wine-Grapes in The United States of America, Adapted to those States situated to the southward of 41 degrees of North latitude (Georgetown, [1794]), is with the letter in DLC:GW.

2Perrine Janvier Amoureux (1762–1845), who married Amoureux in 1782, apparently joined him with their sons in 1795.

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