To Jonathan Boucher
Mount Vernon Feby 3d 1771
Colo. Robert Fairfax, with whom I have often talk’d, & who much approves, of Jacks intended Tour for Improvement, purposes to leave this on his return to England sometime in March; before his doing of which he is desirous of seeing Jacky and has instructed me to say, that he shoud be very glad of seeing you with him. The warmth with which he has made a tender of his Services, & the pressing Invitation to make use of Leeds Castle as a home, in vacation time, are too obliging to be neglected; I shoud be glad there fore if it coud suit you both to be over some time before the last of this Month, or as soon after the 10th of March as may be, as I expect to be in Frederick, indeed am obligd to be so, from the first of the Month to that time &, I do not know but Mrs Washington may accompany me to my Brothers.1 His Horses shall attend you at any appointed time.
Company, & the suddenness of the oppertunity, prevents my enlarging, or taking notice of the contents of your last Letter further than to say, that it never was my Intention that Jacky shoud be restraind from proper Company—to prevent as much as possible his connecting with Store boys, & that kind of low, loose Company who woud not be displeasd at the debauchery of his Manners, but perhaps endeavour to avail themselves of some advantages from it, is all I had in view.2
Mrs Washington requests the favour of you to get her 2 Oz. of the Spirit of Ether, if such a thing is to be had in annapolis, for Miss Custis, & send it by Price Posey.3 Our Love & best Wishes attend yourself & Jacky and I am Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt
ALS, CSmH. The letter was sent “By Mr Price Posey.”
1. Robert Fairfax, who at the end of a decade was to become the seventh Baron Fairfax of Cameron, arrived in Virginia as early as September 1768 to visit his brother, the sixth Lord Fairfax, and at Belvoir his cousin George William Fairfax. He remained in Virginia at least until May 1771. For GW’s meeting in Winchester, Frederick County, see Minutes of the Meeting of the Officers of the Virginia Regiment of 1754, 5 Mar. 1771. GW was at Harewood, his brother Samuel’s house in Frederick County, from 6 to 11 Mar.; Boucher and John Parke Custis came to Mount Vernon on 19 Mar. (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:13, 15).
2. Boucher’s “last Letter” must be a missing letter written in reply to GW’s letter of 2 January. A “Store” boy is the same as a shop boy.
3. John Price Posey arrived at Mount Vernon on 2 Feb. and left on 3 Feb., with this letter to Boucher in hand. Posey was back at Mount Vernon on 6 February.