George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jonathan Boucher, 2 August 1773

From Jonathan Boucher

2d Augt 1773.

My dear Sir,

I persuade myself, You & Mrs Washington, as well as the hospitable & good Family You are in,1 will readily excuse my not waiting on You, when I assure You that Nothing shou’d have prevented me, but my being in a Situation, which renders me totally unable. It is but the third Time, I ever had the Tooth Ache: & no Ideas I had form’d how painful so slight a Cause cou’d be, were adequate to what I have Felt, & still feel. I have gone thro’ all the nostrums, to no Purpose: Like Macbeth, it has murder’d Sleep beyond the Power even of Laudanum to recall.

Making sure of being with You last Ev’ng, on the Saturday, I drew out Mr Custis’s Acct, which, if it be right, You will much oblige me by leaving me a Bill on London, for the Amount of. You spoke, last Year, I remember, of my being to allow you somethg on the Score of Exchange; but, I see, I have made a Mem: in yr Letter, that the State of it then was in Annaps, as I had said. You will now please to be guided by the Informatn You may receive fm his Excellency, & Mr Calvert.2 The enclosed Lrs from Jack, may not be unacceptable to Mrs Washington, nor, perhaps to—somebody else:3 at the same Time that it gratifies a little, I hope, not unbecomg Pride in me. I have often own’d, wth Shame & Sorrow, that I did not do so much for Him, as I could & ought—but, I really did more, than, I have fear’d, You thought—or, than many wou’d, who appear more regular & attentive.

It is peculiarly vexing to Me, to be interrupted & disappointed in the Pleasure I had promised myself from this Visit to a family, & some Friends, I am proud to rank, by far the nearest to me. Your Humanity will plead my Apology to Them: &, in the horrid, distracted Condition I am forced to write, excuse my adding [no] more than that I am, with the greatest Gratitude & Esteem, Dr Sir, Yr Frd & Servt

Jonan Boucher

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection; Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW and Mrs. Washington had been visiting Benedict Calvert and his family at Mount Airy in Maryland since 30 July (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:194, 196–97).

2The governor of Maryland, Robert Eden, was also at Mount Airy. See GW to Boucher, this date, source note. For GW’s payment of Boucher’s account, see GW to Boucher, 2 and 5 Aug., and GW to Robert Cary & Co., 5 August.

3No letters of this date from John Parke Custis to Mrs. Washington or to Nelly Calvert—undoubtedly the “somebody else”—have been found.

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