Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO WILLIAM VANS MURRAY. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799)
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TO WILLIAM VANS MURRAY. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIV (1798-1799).
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TO WILLIAM VANS MURRAY.
Mount Vernon, 26 October, 1799.
Within the space of a few days I have been favored with your letters of the 26th of July, and duplicate of one of the 7th of April (the original is missing), and of those dated the 9th and 17th of August with their enclosures. For the information in these, and for your kindness in sending me a sketch of the Water-throwing mill, I feel much obliged, and thank you for the trouble you have been at in making the drawing of it; being persuaded of its utility, although, advanced as I am, and engaged in other pursuits, I shall not be able to avail of the insight it conveys. Others, however, may, and I shall take care to make it known on all proper occasions.
The affairs of Europe have taken a most important and interesting turn. What will be the final result of the uninterrupted successes of the combined army, so far as the accounts which have been received in this country are brought down, is not for a man at the distance of 3,000 miles from the great theatre of action to predict; but he may wish, and ardently wish from principles of humanity, and for the benevolent purpose of putting a stop to the further effusion of human blood, that the successful Powers may know at what Point to give cessation to the Sword for the purpose of negotiation. It is not uncommon, however, in prosperous gales, to forget that adverse winds may blow. Such was the case with France. Such may be the case of the Coalesced Powers against her. A by-stander sees more of the game generally, than those who are playing it. So Neutral Nations may be better enabled to draw a line between the Contending Parties, than those who are actors in the war. My own wish is, to see every thing settled upon the best and surest foundation for the Peace and happiness of mankind, without regard to this, that, or the other Nation. A more destructive sword never was drawn, (at least in modern times,) than this war has produced. It is time to sheathe it, and give Peace to mankind.
A severe Electioneering contest has just closed in the State of Pennsylvania adverse to NA the Federal Party by from NA majority in favour of Chief Inspector NA agt. Mr. Ross Senator for the State NA much pains was taken both sides and considerable abuse of character NA which neither was exempt from1
You are going to be employed in an important and delicate negotiation, for the success, of which in all its relations no one more ardently and sincerely wishes than I do. Your colleagues in this business will be able to give you such accurate details of the internal concerns of our country, as not only to render any attempts of mine to do it nugatory, but injudicious; for which reason I shall refer you to them for the state of our Political prospects.
I most devoutly wish, that the cogent, indeed unanswerable arguments you urged to dissuade our friend from visiting the United States in the present crisis of our affairs, may have prevailed.1 The measure would be injudicious in every point of view (so says my judgment) in which he can be placed; Embarrassing to himself, Embarrassing to his friends, and possibly embarrassing to the government in the result. His final decision, however, must have been made ere this. I shall add no more on this head, nor indeed, for the reasons already assigned, on any other subject. Mrs. Washington who has been much indisposed for some time past (now better) unites her best wishes with mine for Mrs. Murray and yourself. With sincere and affectionate regard, I am, dear Sir, &c.
[1 ]The letter-press copy is illegible in many parts.
[1 ]The “friend” here alluded to was Lafayette. The hostile attitude of France and the United States at this time towards each other, and the part he must necessarily take if he came to America, were the embarrassments apprehended. It was rumored, likewise, that he was coming as minister from the French Republic.