From Elias Boudinot
Eliz[abe]th Town [N.J.]
Jany 11th 1784
My very Dear Sir
We have recovered the most sensible pleasure on the News of your safe return to Mount Vernon and your anxious family at it is with the Warmest affection & attachment, that rejoice the United Voice of your Country, in Congratulating your & our Mrs Washington on this happy & interesting Event—You must permit me sir—tho’ it may be lost a midst the public Testimonies on this occasion from a thousand more important Sources1 to add my individual, tho’ most sincere & affectionate Wishes for your happiness & prosperity; for it would be doing violence to my feelings, while again enjoying the sweets of Domestic Life on my little Estate here rescued from the Hands of a Powerful Enemy after a seven year expulsion,2 to perswade myself to be silent, however trifling the Tribute, or refrain from grateful acknowledging those invaluable & laborious services by which I am thus reinstated in the most essential and important Comforts of rational Life—I need not add the sense of obligation I feel myself under for the many kind marks of personal attention & confidence expressed towards me during the War, and I shall ever esteem it one of the greatest Honors on my life that I have served my Country in conjunction with & under the Direction of Genl Washington—You have our most ardent Prayers to almighty God for your happiness & prosperity in this Enjoyment of the fruits of your own Labour and of every domestic Bliss; and that after a long Period of extensive usefulness here, you may be prepared for & receive the glorious reward of eternal Life in the World to come. Mrs B. & Miss S., whose health is rather declining, join me in every respectful & Effectionate Wish, and beg to be very particularly remembered by Mrs Washington.3 I have the Honor to be with every sentiment of Esteem Dr Sir &c.
LB, NjP: Thorne-Boudinot Collection.
Elias Boudinot (1740–1821), president of Congress from November 1782 to November 1783, was married to Hannah Stockton (1736–1808). Her brother, Richard Stockton, was married to Annis Boudinot, Elias Boudinot’s sister and GW’s friend and great admirer.
1. Boudinot wrote “stources.”
2. Before GW received this letter, Martha Washington wrote Hannah Boudinot on 15 Jan., thanking her for her “polite and affectionate congratulatory Letter on the termination of our troubles, and the return of the General to domestic life,” and offering Mrs. Boudinot her “compliments on your restoration to your own House, after an exile of seven years” (owned by Creighton Hart, Kansas City, Mo.).