George Washington Papers

From George Washington to the Philadelphia Ladies Committee, 13 February 1781

To the Philadelphia Ladies Committee

⟨New Windsor Feb. 13th 1781⟩


The benevolent office, which added lustre to the qualities that ornamented your deceased friend could not have descended to more zealous or more deserving successors.

The contributions of the association you represent have exceeded what could have been expected, and the spirit that animated the members of it entitles them to an equal place with any who have preceded them in the walk of female patriotism. It embellishes the American character with a new trait; by proving that the love of Country is blended with those softer domestic virtues, which have always been allowed to be more peculiarly your own.

⟨You have not acquired admiration in your own country⟩ only; it is paid you abroad; & you will learn with pleasure by a part of your own Sex, where female accomplishments have attained their highest perfection—and who from the commencement have been the patronesses of American liberty.

The Army ought not to regret its sacrafices or its sufferings when they meet with so flattering a reward as in the sympathy of your Sex; nor can it fear that its interests will be neglected, while espoused by advocates as powerful as they are amiable.

I can only answer to the sentiments which you do me the honor to express for me personally, that they would more than repay a life devoted to the Service of the public & to testimonies of gratitude to yourselves. Accept the assurances of the perfect respect and esteem with which I am Ladies Yr Most Obedt—obliged—& Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, PHi: Washington Manuscripts; Df, DLC:GW; copy, MHi: Belknap Papers; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The ALS has no dateline; the location and date are taken from the draft, which is in the writing of GW’s aide-de-camp Alexander Hamilton, except for the dateline and salutation which GW wrote. Material in angle brackets is supplied from the draft.

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