To William Shippen, Jr.
Morris Town May 3d 1777.
As Mrs Washington never receiv’d the Jallop and Calomel you promised her—As the Small Pox, by my last advices from home, has got into my Family—and I suppose not less than three hundred Persons to take the disorder, I must beg you to furnish the bearer with so much of the above Articles for my use as you shall judge necessary;1 & it will exceedingly oblige Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt & Affecte Servt
P.S. My best respects in wch Mrs Washington joins are presented to Mrs Shippen Miss Nancy &ca.2
ALS, DLC: Shippen Family Papers. GW addressed the cover to: “William Shippen Esqr. Director Genl of the Hospital Philadelphia,” and in its lower left-hand corner he wrote: “Favourd by Cap: Monroe.”
1. The bearer was James Monroe (1758–1831), later fifth president of the United States, who had served as a lieutenant in the 3d Virginia Regiment from September 1775 to December 1776 and had been severely wounded in a shoulder during the Battle of Trenton on 26 December. Having recovered from his wound and having been commissioned a captain in Col. Charles Mynn Thruston’s Additional Continental Regiment, Monroe was going to Virginia to raise his company. He was unsuccessful in that effort, and he returned to the Continental army in August 1777 to become an aide-de-camp to Major General Stirling with the rank of major (see Joseph Jones to GW, 11 Aug. 1777, DLC:GW, and General Orders, 20 Nov. 1777). Monroe resigned from Stirling’s staff on 20 Dec. 1778 in order to seek a field commission in Virginia (see General Orders, 12 Jan. 1779). Although the Virginia general assembly during 1779 authorized Monroe to raise a regiment for service in the Carolinas, he was unable to do so. Early in 1780 Monroe began studying law under Gov. Thomas Jefferson, who the following summer sent Monroe to the Carolinas as an agent to report on the military situation there. Monroe was elected to the Virginia general assembly in 1782, and he served as a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1783 to 1786.
2. Doctor Shippen’s wife was Alice Lee Shippen (1736–1817), sister of Richard Henry Lee and Francis Lightfoot Lee of Virginia. Their daughter, Anne Home Shippen (1763–1841), who was called “Nancy” by her family and friends, married Col. Henry Beekman Livingston in 1781; she subsequently became estranged from her quick-tempered husband.