George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Boucher, 26 January 1769

To Jonathan Boucher

Mount Vernon Jany 26d 1769.

Dear Sir,

Your favour of the 11th coming to my hands but a few days ago, and Miss Custis’s Indisposition since, are the reasons of Jacky’s detention from School till this time; before your Letter came to hand we were in hourly expectation of the pleasure of a visit from you and are sorry for the disappointment, and concernd for the cause of it, as I can with pleasure assure you that your Company at Mount Vernon will always be agreeable. After so long a vacation, we hope Jacky will apply close to his Studies, and retrieve the hours he has lost from his Book since your opening School—he promises to do so, & I hope he will.

Mr Magowan is not here, he has been fortunate in a Presentation to a good Parish (Herring Bay I think it is calld, or known by) and is now living therein, in Maryland.1 With very great esteem I remain Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1Boucher had been bitterly disappointed in 1767 when the living of St. James Parish at Herring Bay in Anne Arundel County was given to Bennett Allen (see Boucher to GW, 13 June 1768, n.2). GW obviously was unaware that Boucher again had been hoping to secure the living after Allen gave it up in May 1768 to become rector of All Saints Parish in Frederick County, Maryland. See Boucher to John James, 9 Mar., 4 July 1767, and 26 Nov. 1768, in Maryland Historical Magazine, 7 (1912), 337–47, 349–56; 8 (1913), 34–36. On 25 July 1769 Boucher wrote James: “It is not quite foreign yet to add y’t ye Magowan mentioned by Mr. Ad’n is a raw Scotchman, whom I alone got recommended & into orders. He seem’d modest, w’c is so rare a Virtue in people of his Country, that I was pleas’d w’th ye Man. Yet He, you find, has artfully got ye very Parish I have so long had my Eye upon, almost ye only one I really s’h have lik’d in ye Province. Is not this vexatious and mortifying?” (ibid., 8:36–43). John James was the rector at Saint Bees and master of the boys’ free grammar school in the parish when he took on 18–year-old Jonathan Boucher as the usher for his school and became his patron and confidant. See also GW to Robert Cary & Co., 10 Mar. 1768, n.1.

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