Bath 26th March 1783
My Dear Sir,
I cannot express the Joy with which I take up my Pen to congratulate your Excellency, upon the happy conclusion of the late diabolical War. my gratitude to Heaven exceeds all discription and I pray God incessantly that you (who have been so principal an instrument in the hand of Providence) may long continue to Enjoy the blessings of Peace and Independence, and that those may be sweetend to you, by the well earn’d honor and esteem of your Country which you must receive, while there is any remains of gratitude in Americans. And now my Dear General, permit me, tho’ an humble individual, and unfortunately out of the way, of contributing my mite to the great, the glorious cause of Liberty, to offer my best thanks for all your Exertions, disinterested perseverance to the End of the great work, and again to assure, that I wish You and Family may Reap an ample Harvest of Honors & emoluments till time shall be no more.
I glory in being called an American, and trust, & hope the People who have raised their Reputation in the space of nine Years from obscruity, to the admiration of the World, will continue to Act with the same Wisdom & moderation in prosperity as they did in adversity, in which case, they may truly be said to have Enlightened Europe.
During the War, I frequently did myself the honor of Addressing a line to you, some of which I hope kis’d your hand, others were I know Intercepted, and sent to the Minister, one of which, had like to have cost me dear, but happily for me, I was related to a Lady, whose interest at Court saved me from persecution. I every moment expected a Mesenger to take me in Custody, (not knowing what my friend was doing above) and was preparing myself accordingly. Indeed my dear Sir, I have been in very disagreable situations, was obliged to leave Yorkshire, to gett out of the way of being informed against by some Relations, who I apprehended, would have hung me to gett my little Estate joining to theirs, but I thank Heaven, You and my brave Countrymen, times are greatly altered, and I am now as much Courted,, as I was before despised as an American.
About this time twelve month, we heard with extreme sorrow, of the Death of poor Mr Custis, and do sincerely condole with his amiable Mother, and family, upon the loss of that hopeful young Gentn in the prime of Life, it was in great satisfaction to Us, to hear from Mr H. Brooke, who tells us that he is related to Mrs Washington, that Mr Custis left four chil[dren some of] them Sons, those we hope will Live to be a comfort to their gran[d parents,] the hearing of which will give us good pleasure. From Sir James Jay, we hear with concern, that good Mrs Washington is afflicted with Bilious disorders; Mrs F. therefore intreats her old Friend to use Doctor James’s Analiptic Pills, as the printed paper about them directs: I am a witness that they have done more for her, than all the [Faculty] could do, those that were employed for her, called her recovery a resurrection, which is to be imputed to those Pills, and not to the Physical Gentry, from whom She never received the least benefit, tho’ they took so many Guineas from me, as hardly left me enough to buy Beef and Mutton. Mrs Fairfax[’s,] and my Affectionate respects, and best wishes, attend you & Lady, it will give us the greatest pleasure to hear, that you both enjoy health and every felicity. We cant bost of our healths being frequently reminded of the approaches of Age by Genl Rheumatism, &c. from all which ills, we pray God long to preserve you & Mrs W——n, as we are Dear Sir Your and Ladys truly Affectionate Friends and faithful humble Servts
Go: W: & S: Fairfax
Just as I was closing the above, I received a second importunate Letter from Mr Frank Corbin, who I brought over a Lad to go to School, intreating that I would give him a Letter of recommendation to you, and I apprehend it is his wish to be discriminated from the odious Character his two Brothers here has acquired, not only as Traitors to their Country and Pensioners here, as inveterate enemies to liberty but also as to their morals. Fr[om] all these, I hope I may venture to acquit Frank, tho’ I believe the unhappy youth has been drawn into the misfortune of disapating by his Brothers bad example the chief of what his Father intended him. therefore I apprehend, he was necessitated to take a Commission in the Kentish Militia, tho’ I have heard, during the War, he has been an advocate for his Country, as far as professions goes.
It is not possible for you to conceive, how I am pesterd, by applications, for Letters of introduction to your Excellency; and other Persons of consequence in Virginia, by Men, that would twelve months ago, have thought it a reflection upon them, to be even seen in my Company, but you may depend upon it. I never will trouble you with a Line of favor of any, but such whose Characters and principles I really know will bear the Test, and I am sorry to say they are very few. Yours as before
Go: Wm Fx
DLC: Papers of George Washington.