George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 17 December 1785]

Saturday 17th. Thermometer at 56 in the Morng. [ ] at Noon and [ ] at Night.

Rainy Morning, wind though not fresh at No. West which afterwards more to the No. & East & continued raining off & on all day.

Went to Alexandria to meet the Trustees of the Academy in that place and offered to vest in the hands of the said Trustees, when they are permanently established by Charter, the Sum of One thousand pounds, the Interest of which only, to be applied towards the establishment of a charity School for the education of Orphan and other poor Children—which offer was accepted. Returned again in the Evening—Roads remarkably wet & bad.

GW wrote the trustees: “It is not in my power at this time to advance the above sum; but that a measure which may be productive of good may not be delayed—I will until my death, or until it shall be more convenient for my Estate to advance the principal, pay the interest thereof (to wit, Fifty pounds) annually” (GW to Trustees of the Alexandria Academy, 17 Dec. 1785, DLC:GW). In his will, GW left 20 shares of stock in the Bank of Alexandria, valued at $4,000, to fulfill this promise. The charity school was incorporated as an integral part of the academy, to be governed by the same board of trustees. In 1786 there were 20 charity children attending the school.

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