From Harriot Washington
Fredericksburg [Va.] March 5th 1794
It gives me pain to be obliged to apply to my dear Uncle, so soon after his kind present,1 but embolden’d by your affectionate letter, I venture to ask you, if it is convenient, and you can spare the money, to let me have a peice of linnen, some dimmity to make me petticoat’s and a great coat, I have not had a great coat since, the winter I spent at Shooters hill, mine is not entirely worn out, but it is so small, that I cant get it on.2 I am not in immediate want of the linnen, but Aunt Lewis think’s as it will take me a good while to make it up that if I could get it now, it would be better than some time hence.
Aunt Lewis join’s me in love to you Aunt Washington and Nelly.3 I am my dear Uncle Your affectionate Neice.
1. Harriot, who was now living with GW’s sister Betty Washington Lewis in Fredericksburg, Va., had received a present from GW along with his letter to her of 3 Feb., which has not been found (Betty Washington Lewis to GW, 9 Feb. 1794).
2. It is not clear exactly when Harriot’s coat was purchased, but she probably spent considerable time with distant cousins at the estate of Shuter’s Hill, near Alexandria, Va., before living at Mount Vernon. On the shuttling of Harriot among various relatives after the death of her father, Samuel Washington, in 1781, and her residence at Mount Vernon, see source note, Harriot Washington to GW, 2 April 1790. In October 1792, Harriot left Mount Vernon to live with GW’s sister (GW to Betty Washington Lewis, 7 Oct. 1792). According to two entries dated 11 March 1794 in GW’s Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends , GW paid $19.19 for “sundry articles” sent to Harriot and 25 cents for the freight to Fredericksburg of the box containing these articles.
3. Eleanor Parke “Nelly” Custis was the granddaughter of Martha Washington.