George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Burwell Bassett, Jr., 2 April 1793

From Burwell Bassett, Jr.

Popescreek [Va.] April 2d 1793

Dear Sir

I am gretefully sensible of the friendly sentiments communicated in your favor of the 4th of March[.] The death of my dear father was rendered the more distressing as from the apparent strength of his constitution he had a right to expect to enjoy life for many years had not that fatal accident have happened.1 But humane expectations seems almost to be formed only for disappointment it is therefore wise to submit. Your communications respecting the will of our friend I made known to my sister she was extremely anxious to have her appearance in publick on such an occation postponed to a further day than the fifteenth of this month. I can myself see no objection to gratifying her in that respect as the regularity of the Majors affairs will I hope prevent any dispute at any time paticularly at an early period, and s[h]ould necessety require it an executrix can do almost any act before qualification. These considerations prevent Mr Dandridge and myself from being at the Fairfax april court agreable to the suggestion in your letter.2 Be pleased to give my love to my sister. With every sentitiment of regard and esteem I subscribe myself Your Obt Huml. Sert

Burwell Bassett


1For the death of Burwell Bassett, Sr., on 4 Jan. 1793, see Henry Lee to GW, 6 Jan., and note 2.

2Frances (“Fanny”) Bassett was the widow of GW’s nephew George Augustine Washington, who had died on 5 February. GW had expressed his thoughts on his role as executor of his nephew’s will in a letter to Burwell Bassett, Jr., of 4 March. In this same letter GW had offered to attend court day on 15 April in Fairfax County, Va., and at that time meet with Virginia lawyer John Dandridge and Bassett. However, Fanny’s decision to postpone the reading of the will negated any reason for GW to attend the Fairfax court, and he left Mount Vernon for Philadelphia on 13 April (GW to Tobias Lear, 8 April, to Henry Knox, 12 April). For George Augustine Washington’s will of 24 Jan. 1793, see Will Book F–1, 243–47, ViFfCh.

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