George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Burwell Bassett, Jr., 4 March 1793

To Burwell Bassett, Jr.


Dear Sir,Philadelphia March 4th 1793.

Your letter of the 18th Ulto, & its enclosure, came duly to hand.1

Expected as the death of my departed relation and friend was, I could not but feel sensibly when the news of it arrived.2 And I take the present occasion to offer you my condolence on the death3 of your father & my friend, Colo. Bassett, for whom, when alive, I had the sincerest regard.4

I wish some other more competent & active person than my situation will enable me to be, had been named as an Executor to the Will of my deceased Nephew. All the aid I can give by advice in the management of the Estate, & whatever else may respect it, would have been afforded without being appointed an Executor. More cannot be done by me from that appointment, if my situation wd allow me to qualify as one: which in fact it does not; or to incur responsiblity in the management of the Estate.5

The time for proving the Will, and qualifying as an Executrix, must depend upon your Sister.6

I expect to be at Mount Vernon about the first week in April, and will make a point of it—(if public duties does not forbid it)—to be in the County on the Court day of that Month, which I believe happens on the 15th; provided she chuses to be up then, either permanently, or temporarily; and with much pleasure & satisfaction to myself will give her every aid in my power, to arrange the business of the Estate.

My second visit to that place will depend upon circumstances which are not always under my controul; and probably will not admit it befor July or August.7

With these things be pleased to bring Fanny acquainted. Offer my love to her and the Children; my respects & good wishes to Mrs Bassett; and be assured of the esteem & regard with which I am—&ca &ca

Go: W——n

ALS (copy), CSmH; ADfS, NjMoHP; LB, DLC:GW. The ALS appears on the reverse side of GW to Frances Bassett Washington, 11 Mar. 1793.

1This letter and its enclosure have not been found.

2George Augustine Washington, GW’s nephew and former manager of Mount Vernon, died on 5 Feb. at Eltham, the estate of his father-in-law Burwell Bassett, Sr., in New Kent County, Virginia. For GW’s receipt of this news, see Martha Washington to Frances (“Fanny”) Bassett Washington, 18 Feb. 1793, in Fields, Papers of Martha Washington, description begins Joseph E. Fields, ed. “Worthy Partner”: The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn., and London, 1994. description ends 244.

3In the draft this phrase reads, “Condolence on your own late loss.”

4For the death of Burwell Bassett, Sr., on 4 Jan., see Henry Lee to GW, 6 Jan., and note 2.

5On the draft manuscript GW first wrote “Execution of the Will”; he then struck these words and wrote “management of the Estate” above the line.

6Fanny Bassett had married George Augustine Washington in 1785, and at the time of his death, they had three children—Anna Maria, George Fayette, and Charles Augustine. For her eventual decision to postpone the filing of her husband’s will, see Bassett to GW, 2 April.

7In the draft GW struck out the rest of this sentence: “and may prevent it at that time.” GW was at Mount Vernon between 2 and 13 April. His next visit there began in late June (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 189). For Fanny’s plans to visit Mount Vernon in April, see her letter to GW of 5 March; Fanny Bassett Washington to Martha Washington, Mar. 1793, in Fields, Papers of Martha Washington, description begins Joseph E. Fields, ed. “Worthy Partner”: The Papers of Martha Washington. Westport, Conn., and London, 1994. description ends 247.

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