George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Sarah Franklin Bache, 15 January 1781

To Sarah Franklin Bache

New Windsor 15th Jay 1781

Dear Madam,

I should have done myself the honor to acknowledge the receipt of the letter you did me the favor to write on the 26th of December, at the moment it came to hand, had not some affairs of a very unusual Nature (which are too recent and notorious to require explanation) engaged my whole attention1—I pray you now to be perswaded, that a sense of the patriotic exertions of yourself, and the Ladies who have furnished so handsome, and useful a gratuity for the Army at so critical, and severe a Season will not easily be effaced. and that the value of the donation will be greatly enhanced by a consideration of the hands by which it was made, and presented.2

Amidst all the distresses & sufferings of the Army, from whatever sources they have arisen, it must be a consolation to our virtuous Country women, that they have never been accused of withholding their most zealous efforts to support the cause we are engaged in; and encourage those who are defending them in the field. The Army does not want gratitude, nor do they misplace it in this instance.

Although the friendship of your Father may induce him to see some things through too partial a medium—yet the endulgent manner in which he is pleased to express himself respecting me, is indeed very pleasing—for nothing in human life can afford a liberal mind more rational, and exquisite satisfaction than the approbation of a wise a great and virtuous man.

Mrs Washington requests me to present her Compliments to Mr Bache & yourself, with which you will both be pleased to accept of mine, & believe me to be with great consideration and esteem Dr Madam. Yr Most Obedt & Most Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NjPHi; Df, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW refers to the mutiny of the Pennsylvania line (see Anthony Wayne to GW, 2 Jan., and the source note to that document).

2Bache had reported the shipment of shirts for soldiers purchased with funds women had raised (see her letter to GW, 26 Dec. 1780).

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