George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Mason Locke Weems, 29 August 1799

To Mason Locke Weems

Mount Vernon 29th Augt 1799

Revd Sir,

I have been duly favored with your letter of the 20th instant—accompanying “The Philanthropist.”1

For your politeness in sending the latter, I pray you to receive my best thanks. Much indeed is it to be wished that the sentiments contained in the Pamphlet, and the doctrine it endeavours to inculcate, were more prevalent. Happy would it be for this country at least, if they were so. But while the passions of Mankind are under so little restraint as they are among us. and while there are so many motives, & views, to bring them into action we may wish for, but will never see the accomplishment of it. With respect—I am—Revd Sir Your most obedt Hble Servant,

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers.

1Weems’s letter of 20 Aug. reads: “Illustrious Sir—I have taken the liberty to dedicate this little pamphlet to your Excellency, from an humble hope that the sentiments containd in it wou’d prove (in some measure at least) pleasing to yourself, and profitable to our common country. If these my fond hopes shd be realized, I shall be very thankful and happy; and shall not fail to pray that the Author of All good will grant me the honor to be farther pleasing and useful” (NIC). Weems’s pamphlet The Philanthropist, or, A Good Twenty-five Cents Worth of Political Love Powder, for Honest Adamites and Jeffersonians (Dumfries, Va., 1799) was printed in several places with variations in its title.

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