George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Steptoe Washington, 2 March 1787

From George Steptoe Washington

Alexandria March 2d 1787

Dear Uncle

I receiv’d your letter dated 27th Feby the contents of which give me great concern,1 sensible of the usefullness of a good education and the many advantages which result from it I have always made it a primary consideration nor have I allowed a thought of dress and plasure to engross my attention prejudicial to it. I believe I am rather defective in the spelling and writeing of english as I always paid more attention to my lattin but I shall make it my particular study, with every other peice of advice you shall be kind enough to give me. Your letter seems to insinuate that I make my brother Ferdinand the object of my immitation I am very sensible of his unbecoming conduct and altogether disapprove of it:2 I have other relations who have afforded me a better example and which would be more agreeable to me to follow.

The letters I have sent to you were wrote in a hurry and without much attention I shall here after be more particular. Your affectionate et dutifull Nephew

Geoe S. Washington

ALS, ViMtvL.

1Letter not found.

2Ferdinand Washington (1767–1788), son of Samuel and Anne Steptoe Washington, was five or six years older than his brother George Steptoe who with the youngest of the three brothers, Lawrence Augustine Washington, was being kept in school in Alexandria by GW. After Ferdinand died of consumption in 1788, GW made clear that he had “totally disapproved of” the extravagant conduct of his nephew (GW to Robert Chambers, 28 Jan. 1789). GW later in this year was to receive complaints about George Steptoe Washington’s conduct from Samuel Hanson of Samuel, into whose house at Alexandria he and his brother had moved in January 1787 (see Hanson to GW, 23 Sept. and 18 Nov. 1787).

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