George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Chase, 5 January 1785

To Samuel Chase

Mount Vernon 5th Jany 1785.

Dear Sir,

Receive my thanks for your favor of 31st ulto, & for the copies therewith enclosed: they will answer my purposes equally with the fairest that could be made.1

When I found your Express at Mount Pleasant, & was unable to procure another in Marlbro’, I commenced one myself—got home before dinner, & dispatched one of my servants to Hooes ferry immediately. He placed the packet into the hands of the Express there waiting, before nine o’Clock next morning: on Friday with ease the business might have been laid before the Assembly of this State, yet sitting I believe. When I hear from thence, I will with pleasure communicate the result.2

The attention which your Assembly is giving to the establishment of public schools, for the encouragement of literature, does them great honor: to accomplish this, ought to be one of our first endeavours; I know of no object more interesting.3 We want something to expand the mind, & make us think with more liberallity—& act with sounder policy, than most of the States do. We should consider that we are not now in leading strings. It behooves us therefore to look well to our ways. My best wishes attend the Ladies of your family.4 I am, Dr Sir Yr mo. obt Servt

G: Washington


1Letter not found. Samuel Chase (1741-1811), who was one of the Maryland commissioners with whom GW had been meeting, may have sent copies of one or more of the documents relating to their proceedings (see George Washington and Horatio Gates to the Virginia Legislature, 28 Dec. 1784, and its enclosures).

2GW returned to Mount Vernon from Annapolis probably on Thursday, 28 December. The packet he sent to Richmond included his letter to James Madison of 28 Dec. and his report to the Virginia legislature, 28 Dec, and its enclosures. GW s report with its enclosures was indeed presented to the house of delegates on Friday, 31 December.

3The bill that became “An act for founding a college on the western shore of this state, and constituting the same, together with Washington college on the eastern shore, into one university, by the name of The University of Maryland” was introduced, debated, and passed in the Maryland house of delegates on 30 Dec. before being sent to the senate for its approval on 31 Dec. (Md. House of Delegates Proceedings). description begins Votes and Proceedings of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland. November Session, 1784. Being the First Session of this Assembly. [Annapolis, 1785]. description ends

4Chase married his second wife Hannah Kitty Giles in 1784. He had one daughter named Matilda born to his first wife in 1763.

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