George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Alexander Spotswood, 1 November 1797

To Alexander Spotswood

Mount Vernon 1st Novr 1797.

Dear Sir

I feel myself much obliged by your kind attention to my want of a Household Steward; but hearing of an excellent Housekeeper that had lived with Mr R. Brooke whilst he was Governor of this state, she has been applied to for a similar purpose in this family, and we have reason to expect her, every day. Should this happen I shall have no occasion for a Steward—Indeed the two would be incompatible, and lay a foundation for wrangling which might prove the loss perhaps of both, & to employ Rawlings as a Butler, merely, if he was ever so clever & competent at the business, would be too expensive.1

I pray you to accept my thanks for the pains, & trouble you have had in this business; and be assured of the sincere regard & esteem of—Dr Sir Yr obedt & affecte Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Did you think to examine the Records while in Richmond to see if there was any foundation for Thompson’s (I think was the name) his claim to my Kentucky Land?2

The family here, all unite in offering their affectns to Mrs Spotswood & yr family.

ALS, National Library of Scotland.

1Spotswood had been looking for a housekeeper for the Washingtons for several months, and on 28 Oct. he wrote GW about Albin Rawlins. GW was now negotiating with Eleanor Forbes, who had served as the housekeeper for Robert Brooke while Brooke served as governor of Virginia. Mrs. Forbes began work as housekeeper at Mount Vernon in early December, and in February 1798 GW hired Rawlins to serve as his clerk (see GW to Bushrod Washington, 18 Dec. 1797, and Rawlins to GW, 16 Feb. 1798).

2For GW’s Kentucky lands, see Spotswood to GW, 22 Mar., 1797, n.1, and 31 Mar. 1797, n.1. For the Stevens (not Thompson) claim to GW’s land on Rough (Ruff) Creek in Kentucky, see Spotswood to GW, 22 July and 4 Nov. 1797 .

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