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Literary Intelligence, 81, 163, 241, Re-publications 34, 244, 481
18 Reminiscences, Butler's 36
202 Recent Discoveries of Cham-
Moral Character of Lord By-
Memorial, Auction Bill
Sonnets from Petrarch 300, 399,
Nation, State of the
313 of a Traveller 59, 71, 81
Tristran the Grave
24, 371, 391 United States Literary Gazette 159
United States Financial Policy 301
312 Washington's Birth Day Ode 417
Wright's, Frances, Few Days
[The following correspondence was published nearly twenty five years ago, in the New York Commercial Advertiser, but believing that very few of our readers have met with it, and feeling well assured that every word from the pen of the • Father of bis Country' will be eagerly perused, we. give insertion with great pleasure to these letters, and return at the same time our thanks to the gentleman who furnished the paper which contained them.]
In the year 1792, the following paragraphs appeared in the papers
of the United States :Philadelphia, Jan. 4. On Friday morning was presented to the president of the United States, [then general Washing.. ton) a box, elegantly mounted with silver, and made of the celebrated OAK
TREE that sheltered the Washington of Scotland, the brave and patriotic Sir William Wallace, after his defeat at the battle of Falkirk, in the beginning of the fourteenth century, by Edward I. This magnificent and truly characteristical present, is from the earl of Buchan, by the hand of Mr. Archibald Robertson, a Scots gentleman, and portrait painter, who arrived in America some months ago. The box was presented to lord Buchan by the Goldsmith's company at Edinburgh ; from whom his lordship requested, and obtained leave to make it over to a man whom he deemed more descrving of it than himself, and the only man in the world to whom he thought it justly due. We hear farther, that lord Buchan has, by letter, requested of the president, that, on the event of his decease, he will consign the box to that man, in this country, who shall appear, in his judgment, to merit it best, upon the same considerations that induced him to send it to the
" The inscription, upon a silver plate, on the inside of the lid, is as follows :-Presented by the goldsmiths of Edinburgh, to David Stuart Erskine, Earl of Buchan, with the freedom of their corporation, by their deacon-A. D. 1792.”
Vol. II. Nq. I.
The following is the letter which accompanied the box that was presented to General George Washington, by Mr. Robertson, from lord Bucban.
“Dryburgh-Abbey, June 28th, 1791. “ Sir-I had the honor to receive your excellency's letter relating to the advertisement of Dr. Anderson's periodical publication, in the Gazette of the United States : which attention to my recommendation I feel very sensibly, and return you my grateful acknowledgments.
“ In the 21st No. of that Literary Miscellany, I inserted a monitory paper respecting America, which, l flatter myself, may, if attended to on the other side of the Atlantic, be productive of good consequences.
“ To use your own emphatic words, ' may that Almighty Being who rules over the universe, who presides in the councils of nations, and whose providential aid can supply every human defect, consecrate to the liberties and happiness of the American people, a government instituted by themselves for public and private security, upon the basis of law and equal administration of justice, preserving to every individual as much civil and political freedom as is consistent with the safety of the nation: and may HE be pleased to continue
your life and strength as long as you can be in any way useful to your country !
“ I have entrusted this sheet inclosed in a box made of the oak that sheltered our great Sir William Wallace,* after the battle of Falkirk, to Mr. Robertson, of Aberdeen, a painter, with the hope of his having the honor of delivering it into your hands; recommending him as an able artist, seeking for fortune and fame in the New World. This box was presented to me by the goldsmith's company at Edinburgh, to whom, feeling my own unworthiness to receive this magnificently significant present, I requested and obtained leave to make it over to the man in the world to whom I thought it most justly due ; into your hands I commit it, requesting of you to pass it, in the
* Sir William Wallace, at first a private gentleman, unsuccessfully attempted a revolution in Scotland, nearly on the same grounds with that more recently accomplished in America, to expel the English and their adherents, who had usurped the government. Having gained a victory over the forces of Edward the First, at Stirling, he was soon afte! attacked by Edward at the head of 80,000 foot and 7,000 horse; whereas the whole force of Sir William did not exceed 30,000 foot; and the main division of his army was tampered with by a traitor, and rendered of no use to the patriotic army. Not long after the battle of Falkirk, Sir William was made prisoner by some of Edward's partisans, carried to England and be. headed.
event of your decease, to the man* in your own country, who
Your Excellency's most obed't
IAN. “General Washington,
President of the United States of America." “P.S.—1 beg your Excellency will have the goodness to send me your portrait, that I may place it among those I most honour, and I would wish it from the pencil of Mr. Robertson. I beg leave to recommend him to your countenance, as he has been mentioned to me favorably by my worthy friend, Professor Ogilvie, of King's College, Aberdeen."
TWO LETTERS FROM GENERAL WASHINGTON TO LORD BUCHAN.
" Philadelphia, May 1, 1792. “ My Lord I should have had the honour of acknowledging sooner the receipt of your letter of the 24th of June last, bad I not concluded to defer doing it till I could announce to you the transmission of my portrait, which has just been finished by Mr. Robertson (of New York) who has also undertaken to forward it. The manner of the execution of it does no discredit, I am told, to the artist; of whose skill favourable mention had been made to me. I was farther induced to entrust the execution to Mr. Robertson, from his having informed me that he had drawn others for your lordship, and knew the size which best suited your collection.
“I accept, with sensibility and with satisfaction, the significant present of the box which accompanied your lordship's letter.
“ In yielding the tribute due from every lover of mankind to the patriotic and heroic virtues of which it is commemorative, I estimate as I ought the additional value which it derives from the hand that sent it, and my obligation for the sentiments that induced the transfer.
“I will, however, ask that you will exempt me from compliance with the request relating to its eventual destination.
* The general with great wisdom has desired the box to be returned to his lordship with this answer, “ that it is not for General Waabington to point out the worthiest citizen of the United States."
“ In an attempt to execute your wish in this particular, I should feel embarrassment from a just comparison of relative pretensions, and fear to risk injustice by so marked a prefer
With sentiments of the truest esteem and consideration, I remain your lordship's most obedient servant,
"G. WASHINGTON. “ Earl of Buchan."
“ Philadelphia, April 22, 1793. “My Lord — The favourable wishes which your lordship has expressed for the prosperity of this young and rising country, cannot but be gratefully received by all its citizens, and every lover of it; one mean to the contribution of which, and its happiness, is very judiciously portrayed in the following words of your letter, " to be little beard of in the great world of politics." These words, I can assure your lordship, are expressive of my sentiments on this head; and I believe it is the sincere wish of United America to have nothing to do with the political intrigues or the squabbles of European nations ; but, on the contrary, to exchange commodities, and live in peace and amity with all the inhabitants of the earth; and this I am persuaded they will do, if rightfully it can be done, To administer justice to, and receive it from, every power they are connected with, will, I hope, be always found the most prominent feature in the administration of this country; and I flatter myself that nothing short of imperious necessity can occasion a breach with any of them. Under such a system, if we are allowed to pursue it, the agriculture and mechanical arts—the wealth and population of these states will increase with that degree of rapidity as to baffle all calculation; and must surpass any idea
your lordship can, hitherto, have entertained on the occasion.
To evince that our views (whether realized or not) are ex. panded, I take the liberty of sending you the plan of a new city, situated about the centre of the union of these states, which is designed for the permanent seat of the government; and we are at this moment deeply engaged, and far advancing in extending the inland navigation of the river (Potomac) on which it stands, and the branches thereof, through a tract of as rich country for hundreds of miles, as any in the world. Nor is this a solitary instance of attempts of the kind, although it is the only one which is near completion and in partial use. Several other very important ones are commenced, and little doubt is entertained that in ten years, if left undisturbed, we shall open a communication by water with all the lakes north