George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Buxton, 27 April 1799

From Charles Buxton

Perth Amboy [N.J.] April 27th 1799

respected Sir,

In assuming the liberty of troubling you with the enclosed I hope you will attribute the freedom, to the motives that has influenced the action, and of which you will the more readily form an estimate, by perusing the Intended personal introductory letter of my (late) highly esteemed friend Doctor John Bard, who cheerfully favoured me (on request) about twelve months past, with the accompanying letter, at which time I contemplated the pleasure of a Journey to the Southward:1 this desire however, having been unable to accomplish, after repeated procrastinations, and now doubtful if ever it will be realized, Induces me to embrace the present opportunity of Genl Bloomfield’s visit to Philadelphia,2 who very politely takes charge of the package containing two Proof prints, Engraved from a picture composed as mentioned by my (late) friend—It’s publication was not originally intended, but the flattering encomiums of a Book-seller, after repeated application, obtained the temporary use of the Drawing for that purpose, & by whom I was presented with a small number of the first Impressions; Your acceptance of those forwarded will prove an ample gratification To, Sir One who feels all that gratitude which Ought to warm the heart of every American, & Ardently Inspire him with the most lively wishes for the continuation of your life & happiness.3 With these sentiments Yours in sincerity

Chas Buxton

P.S. My friend Dr Bard Died about 14 days ago.


Charles Buxton (1768–1833), after studying medicine at the University of Edinburgh and at Columbia College in New York, received his medical degree from Rutgers in 1793.

1The undated letter from Dr. John Bard, Sr. (1716 –1799), the distinguished medical scientist, practitioner, and administrator who died on 30 Mar. at Hyde Park, reads: “I have been requested by Doctor Charles Buxton a gentleman I much respect and esteem, who has employed himself during a Season of Bodily indisposition to design and finish an emblematical picture with a view to perpetuate the idea of the american revolution, of which those persons among us of Judgment and taste in these things speak very well. Doctor Buxton is desirous of presenting you with a copy of this Picture as a proper acknowledgment of the just Sense he has of the Share you had in accomplishing this great event. As he is a Stranger, Sir, to you, and is informed I am known to you, he has requested me to mention him to you. . . .”

2Joseph Bloomfield (1753–1823), who had commanded a brigade of New Jersey militia in the suppression of the Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, was at this time mayor of Burlington. From 1801 to 1812 he served as governor of New Jersey.

3GW replied on 30 May: “Sir, The last Post only, brought me (through the medium of the War Departmt) your polite & obliging favor of the 27th Ulto accompanied with two proof Prints elegantly executed (one on Sattin) engraved from your emblematical Picture, designed to perpetuate the idea of the American Revolution.

“For this instance of your kind attention to me, I pray you to accept my grateful acknowledgements. And was not the late President of the United States a conspicuous character in the Piece I might say more than would now become me of the fruitfulness of the Design.

“If business, or inclination should ever induce you to make a tour to the Southward, I shall hope to see you at this seat of my retirement. I regret, as you do, the death of our mutual friend Doc⟨tr⟩ Bard. And am Sir Your Most Obedt & obliged Hble Servant Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW).

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