George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Elias Boudinot, 4 January 1779

From Elias Boudinot

Baskinridge [N.J.] Janry 4th 1779

Dear Sir

Nothing but that indisposition with which I have been confined for upwards of four Months, could have excused me from waiting on your Excellency e’er now, and welcoming you once More to New Jersey, a State so much indebted to your former residence here, for its present safety & Happiness.

Permit me Sir, while I am sensible of your aversion to any unnecessary parade or Ostentation, to enclose you a few Lines wrote in the fulness of a Ladies gratitude.

I have two Motives in doing this, one to gratify a beloved Sister’s Vanity, in laying before you this small effusion of her poetical Genius—the other & principal one, to assure your Excellency, that while a few envious Characters are vainly & impotently striving to cast a Shade on your publick Services, the great Majority, among whom are the good and Worthy, are with gratitude doing you that Justice those Services so loudly demand from them, and that the Ladies, are emulous to be reckoned among this Number.1

As my Health is rather increasing, I hope soon to be favoured with paying you a Visit at Head Quarters, in the mean Time Mrs Boudinot2 joins me in the most respectfull Compliments to Mrs Washington, who we are happy to hear is like to make another winter Visit to New Jersey. Am with great respect and the most sincere Esteem Your Excellency’s Most Obedt Humble Servt

Elias Boudinot


1The enclosure has not been identified, but it probably was one of many elegies to GW penned by Boudinot’s sister Annis Boudinot Stockton (1736–1801), of Princeton, N.J., a prolific poet who was married to Richard Stockton (1730–1781). Many of her poems and elegies to GW, some dated and others not, are in a copybook preserved in NjHi.

2Boudinot’s wife was Hannah Stockton Boudinot (1736–1808), sister of Richard Stockton, who was the husband of Elias Boudinot’s sister Annis.

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