George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Shippen, Jr., 13 February 1781

To William Shippen, Jr.

Head Quarters New Windsor Feby 13. 81


I have received your letter of the fourth of January which hurry of business has prevented my acknowleging sooner.

As to the arrangements of the hospitals in the article of œconomy1 during your directorship, my situation did not enable me to be a competent judge, though I know myself of no defect to be imputed to you on this head: But so far as they related to the maintenance of order and to the treatment and accommodation of the sick, justice and inclination induce me to declare, that they always gave me intire satisfaction and had my perfect approbation. There may have been particular instances of disorder or neglect, but upon the whole in the respects I have mentioned, and under our circumstances, I believe no hospitals could have been better administered: And this opinion I found upon the uniform reports of the superintending officers and upon my own observation.

I always experienced in you a disposition to comply chearfully with my directions.

Accept my acknowlegements for your friendly wishes, and believe me to be with great regard Yr most Obedient serv.

Mrs Washington joins me in compliments to the Ladies and to Doctor Lee.

Df, in Alexander Hamilton’s writing, DLC:GW; Varick transcript, DLC:GW. The version of this letter received by Shippen was dated 14 February.

Shippen replied to GW on 29 April from Philadelphia: “I beg pardon for delaying so long to return a thousand thanks to Your Excellency for your polite & obliging Letter of February 14th.

“Since I left the public service I flatter myself I have been useful in qualifying young gentlemen for your hospitals & army as well as for private life. I impatiently wait to execute any commands you may still honor me with, & beg your & your good Ladys acceptance of my most affectionate compliments & best wishes” (ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection).

1Hamilton inadvertently wrote “œcononomy.”

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