From Jonathan Boucher
Annapolis 1st Octr 1770.
I much wish’d to have accompany’d Jack, but cannot: & what is worse, We part on an Uncertainty, which may be disagreeable. I have some Thoughts of setting off for St Mary’s this Week; & if I do get away, I can hardly expect to return again till I remove finally, which cannot well be sooner than the latter End of next Month. So that, if I do not come by Mount Vernon, Jack needs not come hither, till You or He hear from Me again.1 A quondam Schoolfellow of Jack’s wrote to Me last Week to apply to Dr Stephenson of Baltimore to take Him to be inoculated. I have done so; & at the same Time mentioned Custis to Him. He seem’d particularly desirous of having an Opportunity of testifying his Esteem for You by shewing Civilities to any person connected with You. And, cou’d You by any means resolve on this Measure, I cannot but think the present a favourable Time, as there are now, or soon will be, many of his Acquaintances there on the same Errand.2
probably, ere long, You will find out that He has lost his Watch; & He deserves to be severely reprimanded for his Carelessness. I have the Watch, but do not care soon to put Him out of Pain.
I heartily wish You an agreeable Tour thro’ yonder Tramontane Regions, & am, very truly, Yr much obliged Frd & Servt
1. It was at this time that Boucher finally removed his sister and his slaves from Caroline County in Virginia to Annapolis. GW does not indicate in his diary that John Parke Custis came to Mount Vernon before GW left on his trip to the Ohio on 5 October.
2. The schoolmate has not been identified. Henry Stevenson advertised inoculations in both 1769 and 1770 in the Maryland Gazette (Annapolis). The advertisement of 4 Jan. 1770, headed Baltimore, 12 Sept. 1769, notified the public that Stevenson had “begun Inoculation, at his Dwelling-House, which stands distant from Baltimore-Town, Half a Mile,” in “a healthy Situation, and an agreeable Prospect.—His Price as before, Two Pistoles for Inoculation, and Twenty Shillings per Week for Board. And as the Sickness is so trifling, and the Confinement none, the Expence need not exceed Five Pounds Fourteen Shillings, or Six Pounds Currency; and may be inoculated any Month in the Year, July and August excepted.” The advertisement went on to say: “Those who intend coming, are desired not to change their Manner of Diet, or use any Preparation before hand, as it is rather prejudicial than otherwise.” For a listing of the letters exchanged between GW and Boucher regarding John Parke Custis’s inoculation, see Boucher to GW, 9 May 1770, n.2.