George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Frances Bassett Washington, 11 March 1793

To Frances Bassett Washington

Philadelphia March 11th 1793.

My dear Fanny,

On the otherside, you will find the copy of a letter writtin this day week to your Brother Burwell.1 Since which, your letter of the 26th of February to your Aunt, informing her that you were about to leave Eltham, has been received;2 and is the cause as you might not be in the way of knowing the contents of my letter to your Brother of my addressing a copy of it to you; and requesting you would by a line to be lodged in the Post Office in Alexandria ’till called for, inform me whether you will be at Mount Vernon before Fairfax Court in April, or not;3 because, although I would make a point of it to remain in the County ’till that time, if I was sure of your being up before it; yet, it might not be convenient for me to stay there so long, if the case should be oth⟨er⟩wise.4 For this re⟨a⟩son I request to be informed of your determination respecting this matter. With sincere and affectionate regard for you, and the Children, I am always—Yours,

Go: Washington

P.S. If this letter should find you at Studley—Pray present your Aunts & my Compts to Mr & Mrs Lyons.5


2The letter of 26 Feb. has not been identified. Eltham, in New Kent County, Va., was the estate of Fanny’s recently deceased father, Burwell Bassett, Sr. She had been staying there with her husband, George Augustine Washington, at the time of his death on 5 February.

3For Fanny’s plans to visit Mount Vernon, see her letter to GW of 28 March. In a letter to Martha Washington of an undetermined date in March, she mentioned that she had decided to go to Mount Vernon to see GW. “The consolaton & direction I shall receive from his kind advice,” she wrote, “has greater weight with me than any other circumstances that woud oppose my going” (Fields, Papers of Martha Washington, description begins Joseph E. Fields, ed. “Worthy Partner”: The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn., and London, 1994. description ends 247).

4GW was at Mount Vernon 2–13 April. He did not stay for the sitting of the Fairfax county court on 15 April because the filing of George Augustine Washington’s will, which named GW as an executor, had been postponed (Burwell Bassett, Jr., to GW, 2 April, and note 2).

5Virginia lawyer Peter Lyons (1735–1809) was a judge on Virginia’s general court and president of the state’s court of appeals from 1803 until his death. He resided at his estate of Studley in Hanover County. His second wife, Judith Bassett Lyons, whom he married in 1773, was Fanny’s paternal aunt.

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