George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Drew, 13 February 1784

To William Drew

Fredericks[bur]g [Va.] 13th Feby 1784


In the course of the last eight months, I have addressed two or three letters to you, praying an authenticated copy of the deceased Major Genl Lee’s Will:1 this I did consequent of a request from his Sister in England to me.2 Not having received the copy wrote for, nor any acknowledgment of my Letters, I presume the latter have never reached your hands. I therefore give you the trouble of this Letter by Mr Throckmorton who has promised the safe conveyance of it to your office. I wish to be favored, as soon as convenient, with the Will in the manner she requires; the cost of which I will pay when you exhibit the charge. I wou’d send the money by Mr Throckmorton if I knew what would be the amount of the charge. I am sir Your Most Obedt servt

G: Washington


William Drew, probably the brother of Dolphin Drew (see Dolphin Drew to GW, this date), was the first clerk of the Berkeley County court, a position he held from 1772 to 1785.

1Only GW’s letter of 10 July 1783 has been found, but on 15 April 1784 when writing to Sidney Lee, Gen. Charles Lee’s sister, GW noted that William Drew had acknowledged receiving a letter from GW written in late December.

2Miss Lee wrote GW on 14 Jan. 1783 from Newgate Street in Chester, England. As General Lee’s sole surviving close relative, she asked GW to obtain for her a copy of the will her brother may have made in America before his death on 2 Oct. 1782 and to advise her “upon the steps necessary for her to take.” GW on 20 April 1783 wrote agreeing to perform this service for the sister of his old colleague with whom he had broken after the battle at Monmouth, N.J., in 1778. On 22 April 1783 GW wrote to Jacob Morris asking him to obtain a copy of General Lee’s will and send it to Miss Lee (see GW to Sidney Lee, 15 May 1783). Morris sent her a copy of the will, “but without the original or attested copy, and [without] receiving necessary powers from the Executors (from whom I have not yet heard)” (Sidney Lee to GW, 3 July 1783). William Drew did respond to this letter of 13 Feb. 1784, and GW probably sent it to Sidney Lee (see GW to Sidney Lee, 15 April 1784). Sidney Lee also received an attested copy of her brother’s will (see Sidney Lee to GW,23 May 1784).

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