From Benjamin Fendall
Cedar-Hill [Charles County, Md.] Augt 10th 99
Within this Day, or two, I found myself, so much relieved, from my long continued, & painful illness, though I use my left arm, with some difficulty, as to be enabled, to finish Mrs Washingtons Teeth, and you’ll receive them, safe, I hope, by my Servant. They are—as nearly as I can now, recollect—like the old ones—As there are so many ways, to make, & shape Teeth—’twou’d be almost impossible, to make ’em, exactly alike—after some time, without having the old ones present. The Model I took, has, also, by accident, sustain’d some injury. I am extremely sorry, indeed, yr Lady has been obliged to wait so long—owing to my long absence from home and my Illness, after I had arriv’d at Cedar-Hill.1 I wish you, & Mrs Washington, to have every conviction within yourselves, I ever will, with promptitude, and with pleasure, serve you both when ever you may choose to Command me—if in my power, and I fondly flatter myself, youll both deem my excuse to be sufficiently admissible—at this Time.2 Please to present my most Respectful Compts to Mrs Washington, & believe me, Dr Sir Yrs, with due respect,
ALS, DLC:GW. “By John” is written on the cover.
1. Dr. Fendall was at Mount Vernon in December 1797, and on 6 Mar. 1798 GW wrote Fendall that Mrs. Washington had been long in “want” of the teeth that Fendall had taken away “unfinished.” See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:271–72.
2. Fendall appended a receipt dated 10 Aug., which reads: “To making 4 artificial Teeth with an Enamel for Mrs W——n Twenty Eight Dollars which, if the
Genl chooses—he can enclose me by my Sert John—Then re[ceive]d the above in full. B. Fendall.” An entry for 8 Aug. in GW’s cash accounts, Ledger C description begins Manuscript Ledger in Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 53, reads: “By Doct. Fendal sent by his man John pr his order $28 gave his man $1—[$]29.”