George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Elizabeth Willing Powel, 6 March 1797

To Elizabeth Willing Powel

Monday 6th of March 1797.

My dear Madam,

My Coach horses, having performed (faithfully & well) all the duties I have required of them, they are sent to you, agreeably to my promise; hoping they will be as serviceable to whomsoever they are committed, as they have been to me; and it is my wish that they may meet with a continuance of their former kind usage.1

As every moment of our time while we remain in this City, will be closely employed in packing up; and as taking formal leave is not among the most pleasant circumstances of one’s life, we embrace this mode of bidding you adieu, until we shall have the pleasure of seeing you at Mount Vernon; which we hope for and shall expect.

In this farewell, I am cordially [joined] by Mrs Washington and Nelly Custis, who, with me, entreat you to be assured of the great esteem, and affectionate regard we bear you. To add anything more particular, as it respects myself, would be unnecessary; and therefore I shall conclude with wishing that you may be perfectly happy, and that I have the honor to be Your most Obedt—obliged—and Very Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, ViMtvL.

Elizabeth Willing Powel, with whom GW had corresponded for twenty years, was the widow of Samuel Powel (1739–1793) of Philadelphia and an intimate friend of GW and his wife.

1On this same day, apparently before she received GW’s letter, Mrs. Powel wrote: “My Dear Sir Inclosed I send a Check for One Thousand Dollars the Amount for your Horses; and as you did not in any Way notice my Letter of the 8th of February, I concluded that you did not wish to receive it until just previous to your Departure; nor do I by any Means wish to have the Horses delivered to my Nephew before you leave Philadelphia. With Sentiments of Respect I have the Honor to be Dear Sir Your affectionate Afflicted Friend Eliza Powel” (DLC:GW). In her letter of 8 Feb., Mrs. Powel had explained that the horses were for her nephew and asked whether GW would like to be paid for them at once.

Later in the day GW signed the receipt: “Received from Mrs Powell one thousand Dollars for my Town Coach horses—this delivered in good order. Go: Washington” (DS, ViMtvL).

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