George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Hanna Moore, 20 January 1785

From Hanna Moore

Baltimore [Md.] January 20th 1785


An ardent desire for the Administration of the strictest Right in every Minutia which may fall under any inspection, added to that Respect due the preserver of a Country, influences me notwithstanding my repugnance to intrude, in advising you: That since my Mr Francis Moore Merchant at Baltimore exhibiting of a Testament made by Mrs Savage to you unattested, it has been transmitted to the Executors in Ireland, authenticated there, and by them with a Letter of Attorney remitted to him (now deceased) tho’ not yet come to my hands;1 from good information whereof, and too Conscious of the Immorality, Capacity and designs of Men, an Apprehension arrises that it probably might have been handed you by the bearer of it from Ireland named William Moore, or others, who may have thought proper to personate my deceased Husband—therefore should much esteem on Account of my friends in Ireland, and least they should presume my Husband or myself neglectfull of their Interest, and that I may enter into further Enquiry, you wou’d by a single Line, or two, intimate, whether you have received or heard of it; As I expect as soon as the Executors in Ireland are informed of my Husbands Decease, and my Continuation they will send me Letters to act fully—Please to direct under Cover to Zachariah Allen Esqre Baltimore 2—I have the Honor to be Your Excellency’s Humble and Obedient servant

Hanna Moore


1GW became involved in Margaret Savage’s affairs after the death of her first husband, the Rev. Charles Green, in 1765, as a security for the deed of trust made to Mrs. Green by her husband. When in 1767 Mrs. Green married Dr. William Savage of Dumfries, Va., and in the next year went with him to Ireland, GW and Bryan Fairfax found themselves faced with what proved to be the impossible task of forcing Dr. Savage to pay his wife the £100 per annum which a trust obligated him to pay. For the details of GW’s long and painful involvement in the Savage affair, see the note in Henry Lee and Daniel Payne to GW, 24 April 1767. Margaret Savage died in 1781 and William Savage died shortly thereafter, whereupon the story of the interminable Savage affair becomes that of suits by Mrs. Savage’s heirs against the estate of Dr. Savage (see note 1 in John Dixon to GW, 5 Mar. 1789).

2On 25 Sept. 1783 Hanna Moore’s husband, Francis Moore, wrote GW from Baltimore that he had in hand Margaret Savage’s will which he wished to turn over to GW. GW replied on 10 Oct. 1783, suggesting that Moore keep the will until Moore could “deliver it to Mrs Washington as she passes through Baltimore on her way to Virginia.” In December 1783 when GW stopped in Baltimore on his way to Mount Vernon, Moore gave him the will to send to the executors in England but a few minutes later reclaimed it. GW wrote Mrs. Moore on 28 Feb. 1785 that since then he had heard nothing further. See also GW to Sarah Bomford, 15 Mar. 1785.

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