George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Stephen Bloomer Balch, 26 June 1785

To Stephen Bloomer Balch

Mt Vernon 26th June 1785.


My Nephews are desireous of going to the Dancing School in George town kept by Mr Tarterson (I think his name is)—and as it is my wish that they should be introduced into life with those qualifications which are deemed necessary, I consent to it. Sometime ago I expressed my approbation of their learning French, & a wish that when you had got your House in order to receive them, they might again board with you: Altho’ I have no occasion [to doubt] the care, attention and kindness of Mr Bailey to them, I conceive they can board at no place so eligably as at their Preceptors; for it is my wish that their morals as well as educations may be attended to; & tho’ I do not desire they should be deprived of necessary & proper amusements, yet it is my earnest request that they may be kept close to their studies.1 I am Sir &c.

G: Washington


Stephen Bloomer Balch (1747–1833), a native of Harford County, Md., and a graduate of Princeton College, founded the first Presbyterian church in Georgetown in 1780 and remained its pastor until his death.

1GW placed his nephews George Steptoe Washington and Lawrence Augustine Washington in Balch’s academy in Georgetown, Md., in October 1784. See GW to David Griffith, 29 Aug. 1784, n.1, and Benjamin Stoddert to GW, 21 June 1785. Before leaving Georgetown at the end of November, the boys did board part of the time with the merchant William Bailey (see GW to Bailey, 22 Nov.).

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