Hardy, Fort Pleasant, 1st Septembr 1796
Am happy to hear that the sword I left with Mr Laurence Hooff pleases you, I ought to have wrote you respecting the manner in which I came by it, but being an indifferent pensman, and much herried with business, as also stateing the matter to Mr Hooff in full, whom I knew was a Gentleman you had an acquaintance with, These are the reasons I omited giving you a written detail of this matter.
From the best Information I could collect the man I got the Sword of was a Bremener, and had not a Word of English—myself being engaged in making Sale of my Stock at the time he was presenting the sword for Sale got the Land Lord to deal for it, as I found he could talk his TongueSome time after I call’d on the Tavern Keeper to see my bargain, I then discovered your Name on it, which was the first person that had, I then conceiv’d it valuable, and tryed to find out the man that sold it but never could, I was inform’d he made of into the Country which I believe was the case from what I could Collect, I believe that the sword was sent to you a Present, It appears to me from what I have discovered, that some disaffected creature had made him believe that you would give him a mere trifle for it. He was in the City some time before you left it, I gave for the Sword Thirty five Dollars, It was thought then to be worth one hundred and Fifty, some said Two hundred Dollars, But I shall cheery[ly] take any sum you may think the sword worth—and Should the person be found out that sent it, I shall be happy in taking the sum I gave for it, I should suppose it to be uncertain coming, as the man I bought it ofe, But should you think proper to bring him to a strict account, respecting it, I shall be happy in doing any thing that lays in my power to serve you in this, as he is the only person w[ho] could give the necessary information of the Gentleman that should have sent it you, If it has been sent as a present, which I fully believe it has. I am Sir your Excellencys most obedient humble Servant
DLC: Papers of George Washington.