George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bartholomew Dandridge, 1 October 1780

From Bartholomew Dandridge

Mount Vernon October 1. 1780.

Dear Sir

Altho I am not very fond of writing, and, amidst the multiplicity of momentous Affairs in which you are involved, would avoid engaging you in an uninteristing Correspondence, yet I always promised myself the pleasure of writing to you whenever I had anything interesting or pleasing to communicate—or anything New. This last happens to be the case at present. After about a dozen years absence I have taken a ride to your Seat at Mount Vernon, where I had the pleasure of finding my Sister in good health and have been most kindly entertained by her & Mr Washington for a Week past,1 & nothing but your presence seems wanting here to make us as happy as we could wish to be. I have several times pleased myself with the prospect of seeing you once more happily seated here before this, but providence has otherwise ordered it, yet I cannot help still hoping to enjoy that blessing, and I propose to embrace the first opportunity of doing it, I wish it was in my power any way to forward so desireable an Event.

Altho I have thought it useless (if not improper) to write to you often, yet let me assure you, my Dear Sir, that none of your many Friends can more constantly or more ardently wish for your Health your Prosperity & Happiness than I do, can more sincerely rejoice with you on every Occasion of Success, or sympathise with you under every disappointment.

I doubt not but you have heard that after trying in vain, to be useful in the Legislative & executive departments of this State, I have at last fallen into the Judiciary, where whether I am useful or not; I have much satisfaction in my Assosiates, & hope I can say without vanity, that if every other department in the State had as well answered the design of their Institution, our Commonwealth would have appeared in a more respectable situation than it does at present.

I most sincerely lament our disgracefu⟨l⟩ Misfortunes to the Southward, but I hope Matters wil⟨l⟩ mend in that quarter, & that we at present suffer the worst effects that can happen from them—I imagine you are informed that we are this year blessed with the Fruits of the Earth almost of every kind in the greatest abundance and therefore hope your Army cannot much longer suffer as they have done for want of Provisions, if they do it must be owing to the most unaccountable bad management some where.

The kindness you have always shewn us, assures me that you will be pleased to hear that my Wife & self enjoy a good Share of health and have a very promising little Family of 4 Boys & a Girl. My Mother is also tolerably well, with your old Friends Mr & Mrs Burbidge.2 May every thing that is good attend you is the sincere Prayer of My Dear Sir Your very affectionate & obedient Servant

B. Dandridge

ALS, DLC:GW. This letter might have been dated 5 Oct., because the “1” in the dateline is indistinct. The cover incongruously is addressed to Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene at West Point. GW evidently wrote Dandridge a letter of introduction for Greene later in October (see GW to George Mason, 22 Oct., found at GW to William Fitzhugh, same date, n.1).

1Dandridge refers to Martha Washington and Lund Washington.

2Dandridge’s father-in-law Julius King Burbidge became a member of the Commission of Justices for New Kent County, Va., in 1746. His wife, Lucy Burbidge, survived him after his death, which occurred by 1785.

Dandridge had four sons and three daughters with his current wife, Mary Burbidge Dandridge. His mother was Frances Jones Dandridge, who died in 1785.

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