George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Colonel James Clinton, 28 June 1776

To Colonel James Clinton

New York 28th June 1776.


Having occasion to part with my Housekeeper, a Mrs Thompson somewhere in your Neighbourhood, is recommended to me as a fit person to supply her place. I therefore give you the trouble of forwarding the Inclosed Letter to her, & beg of you to hasten her to this place or an answer, as I am entirely destitute, & put to much inconvenience for want of discharge the duties of this Office.1 I am Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NGeno.

1The enclosure has not been found. According to an anonymous letter dated New York, 24 June 1776, GW’s current housekeeper, Mary Smith, “was taken up” on 23 June on suspicion of being involved in the Loyalist conspiracy to assist the British in capturing New York City (Force, American Archives description begins Peter Force, ed. American Archives. 9 vols. Washington, D.C., 1837–53. description ends , 4th ser., 6:1054). She was replaced about this time by Elizabeth Thompson (born c.1704), who cooked and performed other household chores for GW until December 1781 when her advanced age obliged her to retire (Elizabeth Thompson to GW, 10 Oct. 1783, DLC:GW). On 18 Feb. 1785 the Continental Congress granted Mrs. Thompson an annual pension of $100 for the remainder of her life (JCC description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford et al., eds. Journals of the Continental Congress, 1774-1789. 34 vols. Washington, D.C., 1904–37. description ends , 28:85; see also Elizabeth Thompson to the Continental Congress, 17 Feb. 1785, DNA:PCC, item 78).

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