George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Jonathan Boucher, 4 April 1771

To Jonathan Boucher

[Mount Vernon, 4 April 1771]

My detention at Dumfries on Doctr. Ross’ & Mr. Semple’s affairs, has been the principal cause of Jack’s remaining here till this time. If you find him in the humour to be innoculated when he returns to you, I beg that he may proceed immediately to Baltimore, so that there may be time to hear of his recovery before I set out for Williamsburg; otherwise, I am satisfied it will be the means of my detention, as Mrs. Washington I am convinced, would never agree to leave home till she had received the most Authentick advices of his being well over it; and this might be extreamely prejudicial to my Business.—After having said thus much, it will be unnecessary to add, that if he does not go immediately to Baltimore, his innoculation must be postponed till we return from Williamsburg, as I have some expectation of setting out for that place about the 20th Inst. & am obliged to do it by the last of the month, at all Events. He is desirous of having his boy Joe with him, which may be proper enough—I have wrote to Doctr. Stephenson on this Subject, & Inclosd the Letter to you, open—.1

Printed in American Galleries, Inc., Catalogue, item 466, 26–27 April 1917.

1John Parke Custis and his servant Joe were inoculated on Monday, 8 April, in Baltimore by Dr. Henry Stevenson. GW’s enclosed letter to Dr. Stevenson has not been found. Boucher wrote to GW about Custis’s inoculation on 11 and 19 April and again on 3 and 9 May. GW received Boucher’s letter reporting the inoculation several days before he left for Eltham and Williamsburg (see GW to Boucher, 20 April).

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