George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Bradford, 5 December 1795

From Thomas Bradford

Saturday Decr 5 1795


As a public testimony of my esteem for your Character & Conduct, I have taken the liberty of dedicating to you, A translation of Martens Law of Nations, recommended for publication to me, as a work of merit, by my brother, the late Attorney General; and as a private mark of the personal respect & regard I bear you, I beg leave to request a place for the inclosed Volume in your Library,1 the granting of which will be deemed a favour confered on Sir your very humble Servant

Tho. Bradford


1At the time of GW’s death, he had in his library a copy of Georg Friedrich von Martens, Summary of the Law of Nations, Founded on the Treaties and Customs of the Modern Nations of Europe … (Philadelphia, 1795), translated from the French by William Cobbett (Griffin, Catalogue of the Washington Collection, description begins Appleton P. C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends 528). The dedication appeared in the form of a letter from Bradford addressed to GW and dated December 1795: “Though there are but few, if any works of science, which might not, with the utmost propriety, be submitted to Your judgement, yet, I presume, those on the Law of Nations have a particular claim to that honour. The distinguished part you bore in raising this country to a place among the independent nations of the earth, and the wisdom and unshaken firmness you have displayed, during an administration uncommonly arduous and embarrassing, in preserving to it its national rights, rendered You the properest object of this dedication, and at the same time demanded it from the Publisher, as a testimony of that respect and gratitude which are engraven on the heart of every true American” (pp. iii–iv).

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