George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elizabeth Parke Custis, 7 September 1794

From Elizabeth Parke Custis

Hope Park September 7th, 1794.

Dear & Honrd Sir.

My Sister’s success in her application to you for your Picture,1 gives me courage to make the same request, and as I have no other wish nearer my heart than that of possessing your likeness; I hope you will believe me sincere when I assure you, it is my first wish to have it in my power to contemplate, at all times, the features of one, who, I so highly respect as the Father of his Country and look up to with grateful affection as a parent to myself and family.

We are, Dear Sir, at present, in distress, which must be my apology for this short letter. Mamma2 and Patty join me in affection to you with ardent wishes for your health and happiness, I am Honrd Sir your grateful Grand Daughter

Eliza P. Custis.

Printed, Century, 40(May-October 1890):23.

1Neither the application to GW from Martha Parke Custis nor GW’s reply has been found. The picture that he sent was a miniature on ivory by Walter Robertson, now at Tudor Place (Century, 40 [May-October 1890], 14-15, 17); see frontispiece.

2Custis’s mother, Eleanor "Nelly" Calvert Custis Stuart (c.1756-1811), a daughter of Benedict Swingate Calvert, married Martha Washington’s son, John Parke Custis, in 1774. He died in February 1782, and she married Dr. David Stuart the next year.

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