George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Carter, 27 September 1798

From Charles Carter

Fauquier, Septr 27th 1798

My dear Sir,

When we set out for the upper Country, Mrs Carter and I indulged the pleasing Thoughts of paying our respects to the good people of Mount Vernon before we return’d to the Place of small Comfort, but Alas, How often are our most sanguine Hopes, Inclinations and Expectations baffled and prove abortive—an unlucky accident which you have heard of, has deprived us of that pleasure, and very nearly taken from me an affectionate Wife—God be praised, the good Woman is now out of danger, and I flatter myself a little more time with proper care will restore her to her usual good state of health.

I need not request of you my dear Sir, to believe me, when I say, the information we recieved of your late Indisposition depress’d our Spirits, and that the Intelligence of your recovery had the contrary effect. Taking this for granted—I desire the favour of you to present me very respectfully to Mrs Washington, and assure her, that I most sincerely congratulate and rejoice with Her upon the happy Occasion—and that it may please Heaven to prolong your Life to a very late period with that strength of Mind and Health of Body you have hitherto enjoyed, is my ardent prayer, and this I beg, not altogether for the sake of your Family—Friends and Connexions, but also for the Good of our Country.1 Your affectionate humble Servant

Chars Carter


1GW replied on 25 Oct.: “My dear Sir, Your kind and obliging favor of the 27th Ulto has been received.

“It would have made Mrs Washington and myself very happy to have seen you & Mrs Carter at this place; and in addition to the concern we felt from the disappointment, the cause of it was sincerely regretted. But it is a pleasure to us, to learn from yourself, that you were well, and Mrs Garter in a fair way of having her usual health restored to her. On this happy occasion we sincerely congratulate you, & her.

“I have abundant reason to be thankful for my own recovery. My fever, though not of more than four or five days continuance was severe. It deprived me of 20 lbs. of my weight; which, by this time, is, I believe, nearly restored. We hope your journey to Shirley added nothing to Mrs Carter’s indisposition—present the compliments of this family to her in respectful terms. Accept them yourself—and believe me to be always—Your Sincere frd and affecte Hble Servant Go: Washington” (ALS, ViMtvL). Nowhere in his surviving diaries does GW record a visit to Mount Vernon from his old friend Charles Carter of Corotoman and Shirley and his second wife, Anne Butler Moore Carter.

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