George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 September 1798]

4. Morng. Cloudy—Mer. at 69. Clear afterwards. Mer. 80 in the Aftern. & 74 at Night. In the Afternoon Mr. & Mrs. Parks of Fredericksbg. came here.

Mr. and Mrs. Parks were Andrew Parks, a merchant in Fredericksburg, and his wife, Harriot Washington Parks (1776–1822), youngest child of GW’s brother Samuel Washington and his fourth wife Anne Steptoe Allerton Washington. When the topic of their marriage arose in 1796, GW, acting in place of Harriot’s deceased father, assured Parks that if he were “a gentleman of respectable connexions; and of good dispositions,” and able to support her decently, he would assent to the marriage, declaring: “my wish is to see my niece happy” (GW to Parks, 7 April 1796, DLC:GW; Betty Washington Lewis to GW, 27 Mar. 1796, ViMtvL). GW sent his niece “a great deal of good advice which,” Harriot replied, “I am extremely obliged to you for.” The wedding took place in July 1796 (Harriot Washington Parks to GW, 17 July 1796, DLC:GW).

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