George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 September 1799]

6. Much rain fell in the Night, without wind, thunder or lightning—making the ground wetter than it has been since March. Mer. 65 in the Morning—68 at highest and at Night 68. Cloudy & heavy with a light breeze from the No. Et. At Night began a drizling rain. Mr. B. W. & wife went after breakfast. Doctr. Craik who was sent for in the Night to Mrs. Washington came early this Morning.

doctr. craik who was sent for in the night: GW wrote Thomas Peter on 7 Sept. that “Mrs. Washington has been exceedingly unwell for more than eight days. Yesterday she was so ill as to keep her bed all day, and to occasion my sending for Doctr. Craik the night before, at Midnight. She is now better, and taking the Bark; but low, weak and fatiegued—under his direction. Her’s has been a kind of Ague & fever—the latter never, entirely, intermitting until now. I sent for the Doctor to her on Sunday last, but she could not, until he came the second time—yesterday morning—be prevailed upon to take anything to arrest them.” After sealing the letter, GW added a postscript saying that the fever had returned “with uneasy & restless symptoms.” He requested that Mrs. Eliza Law also be informed (ViMtvL). Mrs. Washington’s illness persisted for several weeks and not until late October did GW write that she was “tolerably well” (GW to William Augustine Washington, 22 Sept. 1799, ViMtvL; FREEMAN description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends , 7:602–6).

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