George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 2 June 1798]

2. Morning clear & warm—With but little wind. Mer. 62—at Night 70. Mr. Law & a Polish Gentleman, the Companion of General Kosciaski came here to dinner, as did Miss Lee of Greenspring with Nelly Custis who returnd to day.

a polish gentleman: See entry for 19 May 1798. Neimcewicz made a full report of his Mount Vernon visit in his journal, including a detailed description of the Mansion House, farms, gardens, and something about the daily lives of the Washingtons. He immediately became infatuated with Nelly Custis: “This was one of those celestial figures that nature produces only rarely, that the inspiration of painters has sometimes divined and that one cannot see without ecstacy . . . she plays the harpsichord, sings, and draws better than any woman in America or even in Europe” (niemcewicz, 97).

Although GW refers to Portia Lee (1777–1840) as being of Greenspring, the home of her deceased father, William Lee (1739–1795), she was at this time living with her cousin Richard Bland Lee at Sully, his home in the neighborhood of Hope Park where Nelly Custis had been visiting.

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