Philadelphia Novr 1st 1780
May it please your Excellency
I have the Honor herewith to transmit to you the Certificate or Diploma of your Election into the American Philosophical Society; which ought to have been made out at the Time of its Date. As this Business, viz. the preparing the Draft (which was to be a special one) & getting it engross’d, lay upon the then acting Secretary, it is my Duty to make an Apology for the Delay; and to assure your Excellency that it proceeded only from a Desire to have it executed in the Manner which might do the greatest Honor to the Society; added to some Engagments of the Person intended to be the Penman.
The mention of these Circumstances will, I trust, obtain me your Excellency’s Excuse for the Delay abovementioned. The Society have receiv’d your polite & elegant Letter, declaring your Acceptance of Membership; and, to testify how much they think themselves honoured by it, they have ordered it to be recorded among their Proceedings. Praying that the Time may soon come, when the Situation of our Country may permit all the Members of the Society to pay a more immediate Attention to the Objects of their Institution, I am, with the utmost Respect, Your Excellency’s most obedt humble Servt
DLC: Papers of George Washington.