From Charles Washington
Berkeley [Va.] Novr 16th 1784
The Death of Mr Nourse, renders it Necesary, for some Person to Succeed him in the guardian Ship of the two Little Boys, who I understand are at School at George Town.1 wishing them not to be Neglected, am Prevailed upon by my Brother John, to undertake that Office. but the distance being great, aded to some Infurmatives which I labour under, makes it very Inconveniant for me [to] Ride that distance—this fa[vo]re I would beg of you (if not Disagreable) through The Assistance of Mr Lund Washington, when Conveniant, to make Inquiry into there Necesary Wants and those to be Supply’d, as well as other Demands against them—I would by know means wish you to be in advance on there Acct, as there Annual Income will greatly overgo there Expenditures, and therefore would Deposet, so much Money in your Hands, so as to answer every purpose—Should this be disagreble or Inconveniant to you, I would then beg your advice, whether you would think it Prudent to remoove them to Mr Booths Academy, which at present stands in the highest Reputation, and from the great Regard he Expreses for our Family, I know the greatest justice wou’d be done them. Aded to this I have my Own Little Son there, which of Course calls upon me to see every Attention paid to him, and therefore the same Trouble wou’d do for the three.2
A few Lines Lodged in the Post Office at Alexandria, Directed to the Care of Capt. Benjn Beeler (A Nabour of mine) & where the Post mak a Stage will Come safe and soon to hand Should you of hear’d any thing from my Son since I had the pleasure of seeing you, shall take it kind 3 of you to let me know, by the last Letter I had from him I had reason to believe he wou’d been in this State by this Time, which gives me reason to Believe his state of Health is the Cause of it.4 I am Dear Sir with the Greatest Regard And Esteem your Affecte Brother
ALS, MH: Jared Sparks Collection.
1. For GW’s dealings with James Nourse regarding the care of his nephews, George Steptoe and Lawrence Augustine Washington, see GW to Nourse, 22 Jan. 1784, and nn.1–3. Nourse died at Annapolis on 10 October.
2. The boys, who until recently had been under the care of the Rev. David Griffith in Alexandria, at this time were being schooled by the Rev. Stephen Bloomer Balch across the river in Georgetown. See GW to Griffith, 29 Aug. 1784, n.1. They remained with Balch until the end of 1786 when GW gave the charge of them to Samuel Hanson of Samuel in Alexandria (see Hanson to GW, 27 Jan. 1787). Booth of “Mr Booths Academy” was the Rev. Bartholomew Booth (1732–1785) who operated an academy at Delamer, near modern Hagerstown, Md., from 1776–85.
3. He wrote “king” instead of “kind.”