George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Tilghman, 14 November 1786

From James Tilghman

Chester Town Maryland Novr 14th 1786

Dear honoured Sir

In the Draught of an Incription for Colo. Tilghman’s Tomb I have taken the Liberty of mentioning your name in the manner you will perceive by the inclosed Copy of the Draught.1 But I would not have the inscription made till it should have the honor of your approbation. You will be pleased to do me the favour to peruse it and give me Your Opinion of it’s Propriety. I have the honor to be with much respect Yr Most Obt Servt

James Tilghman


1Tilghman’s draft for the inscription on his son’s tombstone reads: “Beneath this Stone are laid / The Remains of a Good Man / Colo. Tench Tilghman / Who died April the 18th 1786 / In the 43d year of his life / He took an early and active part / In the great Contest that secured / The Independence of the United States of America / He was Aid de Camp to / His Excellency General Washington / Commander in Chief of the American armies / And was honored with his friendship and Confidence / And / He was one of those / Whose merits were distinguished / and / honorably reward[ed] / By the Congress.” The inscription on the tomb in the graveyard in Baltimore on Lombard Street between Green and Paca is identical except for the beginning and end. The actual inscription begins: “In Memory of Tench Tilghman, who died April 18th 1786, In the 42nd year of his age, Very much lamented.” It ends: “But Still more to his Praise He was A Good man.”

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