George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Harriot Washington, 5 January 1793

From Harriot Washington

Fredericksburg [Va.] January 5 [1793]

I hope my dear Uncle will excuse my troubleing him again, Aunt Lewis has desired me to ask you for a little money there is a few thing’s I want, that I would be much obleiged to you for, she say’s if you will send me some she will keep it, & I shall not get any thing but what I really want,1 I hear the Birth night is to be kept,2 and as every one is a going here and as I should like to go I will thank my dear Uncle if he, will be so good as to send me enough money, to get me a ⟨s⟩lite Lutestring or something, of that kind, as there is some very pretty one’s here,3 Aunt Lewis will get it for me and I will take great care of it I had a violent pain and inflamation in my jaw last week I was obleiged to have my tooth drawn, and the Doctor charged two dollar for it, Colonel Ball was here yesterday he said he had heard, from the major lately, & that he was no better.4 If you please to give my love to Aunt Washington. I am my dear Uncle Your affectionate Neice

Harriot Washington

P.S. Aunt Lewis desirers me to give her love to you and say’s she would have wrote to you but she had not time.


ALS, CSmH: Kane Collection.

1GW had sent Harriot Washington, who had been living at Mount Vernon since the mid–1780s under the care of George Augustine Washington’s wife, Frances Bassett Washington, to the home of Betty Washington Lewis in Fredericksburg, Va., in early October 1792 because there was no one left at Mount Vernon to look after her. At that time GW had promised his sister that he would continue to provide for Harriot as he had done for the past seven years (see Harriot Washington to GW, 2 April 1790, source note, and GW to Betty Washington Lewis, 7 Oct. 1792). On 29 Jan. 1793 Betty Lewis wrote GW that she had received his letter of 14 Jan. containing “the Money for Harriot.”

2The 28 Feb. 1793 issue of the Virginia Herald, and Fredericksburg Advertiser reported that “an elegant Ball at the Market-House” was held in Fredericksburg on 22 Feb. to commemorate GW’s birthday.

3Lutestring, or lustring, is a glossy silk fabric used for women’s dresses and ribbons.

4George Augustine Washington, suffering from tuberculosis, had left Mount Vernon with his family in October to spend the winter at Eltham, the estate of his father-in-law, Burwell Bassett, in New Kent County, Va., where he died on 5 Feb. 1793. Col. Burgess Ball of Loudoun County, Va., was married to G. A. Washington’s sister Frances.

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