Since Divine providence has so visibly favoured the noble efforts of that illustrious nation that makes up the Republic of the Thirteen United States in North America, in protecting it and giving it the force necessary to resist tyranny and re-establish its liberty and the rights of man and the nature of its states; the order known by the following name, Divine Providence, feeling perceptibly that divine protection has intervened effectively in the fate of the newborn republic and wanting in some fashion to take its part in bearing witness to its prosperity, has charged me as a chevalier and secretary of the said order to write to Your Excellency and propose to him that he request the Illustrious Congress that it nominate the necessary number of the most deserving of those eligible to create 12 Knights Grand Cross, 12 Knights Commanders, & 12 Knights, Petit Cross, of the above mentioned order of the Divine Providence. The insignia of the Knights Grand Cross are a star of gold, on the left side of the coat, on which are embroidered the words Junxit Amicus Amor, and the cross of the order suspended from a broad ribbon (of which I send a sample) worn over the right shoulder. The second class wears the badge of the order on a neck ribbon and the star on the left side of the coat. The third class wears the cross on a neck ribbon, but without a star. If this unselfish proposition is accepted by the Illustrious Congress the insignia will be sent gratis immediately, with only the installation fees accepted (they are 110 ducats for the first class, 55 for the second, and 30 for the third). The order has no wish other than to want thus to acquire the esteem of the Illustrious Republic and Your Excellency, and it will please itself to be able to achieve this end.
I have at the same time the honour to enclose to Your Excellency a list of all the Knights of the above mentioned order. The writer hopes for a response addressed to the Bankers Mons. Rothenburg in Danzig who is in correspondence with the chapter of the order.
Flattered by the favourable opportunity that I have had to dare to write to a hero who has the admiration of our century, I end in assuring him humbly of the perfect veneration and deep respect with which I have the honour to be Sir, Your Excellency’s most humble and obedient servant,
Chev. Jean de Heintz Major
Warsaw May 3rd, 1783
"No circumstance indeed brought to the consideration of it expressly before Congress, yet it had sunk deep into their minds. An offer having been made to them on the part of the Polish order of divine providence to receive some of their distinguished citizens into that order, they made that an occasion to declare that these distinctions were contrary to the principles of the confederation." (Encyclopedie Méthodique, June 22, 1786, in Boyd, Julian (ed.), The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, 10 (Princeton: 1950), pp. 49-50)
"Resolved, That the late Commander in Chief, be requested to inform the Chevalier Jean de Heintz, Secretary of the Order of Divine Providence, that Congress entertain a high sense of the honour done them by that Order, in proposing to them to nominate a number of suitable persons to be created Knights of the Order of Divine Providence: but that Congress cannot, consistently with the principles of the Confederation, accept their obliging proposal."
"It appears to be incompatible with the principles of our national constitution to admit the introduction of any kind of Nobility, Knighthood, or distinctions of a similar nature, amongst the Citizens of our republic, yet I pray you will do me the goodness to make known to the illustrious Knights of the order of Divine providence, that we receive with the deepest gratitude and most perfect respect, this most flattering mark of their attention and approbation."