To Jeremiah Wadsworth
Philadelphia 6th Mar. 1797
Your favor of the 27th Ulto reached me in the forenoon,1 & the Salmon in the afternoon of the 3d instant; and merit, & receive, my particular thanks. The latter regaled a number of Gentlemen at an entertainment given by the Merchants of this City on the 4th.2
I shall thank you (when re-published) for the refutation of the impudent forgeries of letters, carrying my signature, which Mr Bache has taken so much pains to impose on the public as genuine productions—This man has celebrity in a certain way—for His calumnies are to be exceeded only by his Impudence, and both stand unrivalled.3 Mrs Washington unites with me in every good wish for you, Mrs Wadsworth & family and—I am Dr Sir—Yr obt & affec[tionat]e Servt
P.S. On the 8th I expect to commence my journey for Mount Vernon.
ALS, Ct: Joseph Trumbull Papers.
Jeremiah Wadsworth (1743 –1804), who was commissary general for the Continental army in 1778 and 1779, was an important Connecticut businessman with a strong interest in experimental agriculture and stock breeding. GW had recently bought a horse from him (see GW to Wadsworth, 11 Feb., 26 June, 23 Aug. 1796, Wadsworth to GW, 12 June, 27 Aug. 1796, and GW to Oliver Wolcott,Jr.,18 July 1796).
1. Letter not found.
2. Between two and three hundred people met at Oeller’s Hotel after John Adams’s inauguration and went into Picketts Amphitheatre where reportedly four hundred dinners (presumably including Wadsworth’s salmon) were served.
3. On 30 Dec. 1796 GW wrote John Carey (1756–1826), a classical scholar in London and brother of Mathew Carey, thanking him for a copy of his piece published in the September issue of the Critical Review attacking the recent republication in the Aurora by Benjamin Franklin Bache of spurious letters attributed to GW. The letters were originally published in 1776 in London in a pamphlet entitled Letters from General Washington to Several of His Friends in the Year 1776 and reprinted in 1778 in New York by James Rivington. See Ford, Spurious Letters. description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford. The Spurious Letters Attributed to George Washington. Brooklyn, 1889. description ends The letters obviously were counterfeit, and GW had never taken public notice of them. In a letter to Benjamin Walker on 12 Jan. 1797, GW cited the republication of the letters in the Aurora and expressed a wish that Rivington would divulge the name of their author. On the day before he left office, GW sent to Secretary of State Timothy Pickering his formal refutation of the letters, with the request that his statement “be deposited in the office of the Department of State, as a testimony of the truth to the present generation, and to posterity.”