TRANSCRIPT GLC 2437.53.049
George Washington. Letter signed: Mount Vernon, to Secretary
at War Henry Knox, 1786 June 1. 3 p. + doc.
[inserted - different hand: Washington]
Mount Vernon June 1st 1786.
My dear Sir,
The Post of last week brougt. me (by way of New York) a letter,
of which the inclosed is a Copy. I transmit it, not only for
your perusal, but for information, and advice. All the papers
respecting the Society of the Cincinnati being in possession
of the Secretary Genl. or the Assistant Secretary, and my
memory very defective, I cannot speak with precision to Mr.
Jefferson, or decide on any thing which is pleasing to myself.
From what I can recollect of the matter, all the Officers
who chose to make use of Major L’Enfant’s Agency
to obtain the badge of the Society, not only commissioned
him to bring them from France, but furnished him with the
 I did this myself for 6 or 8. He brought many more. I
have some reason to believe on a speculating Scheme; and demanded
so much for them, as, if my Memory serves me, to disgust many
Members of the Society, and induce them to apply to an Artist
in Philadelphia, who, it was said, would not only execute
them as well, (and without the defect which was discovered
in the French ones,) but furnish them cheaper. This and L’Enfant’s
misapplication of the money (if the fact is so) for those
he did receive, may have been the Sources of the present difficulty.
On the one hand, it will be very disagreeable to the American
Officers to be freely spoken of on this occasion. On the other,
it may not only be hard but distressing to comply with the
demands of the Parisian  Artisan, as we are not only unacquainted
with the extent, but in some measure with the nature of them.
What is become of L’Enfant? I have not seen him since
the general Meeting of the Society which was held at Philadelphia
in May 1784, nor, that I recollect, have heard of him ‘till
Mr. Jefferson’s Letter came to hand.
Mrs. Washington joins me in every affectionate wish for Mrs.
Knox, yourself, & family. And with sentiments of the warmest
I am ever
Major General Knox
[in George Washington’s hand]
By fowarding the inclosed letter you are oblig’d
His Excellcy. Genl Washington
1 June 1786
[inserted - different hand: Original No 21-]
Notes: Published in Fitzpatrick, John C. The Writings of George
Washington. v. 28: 447-48.