George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel Powel, 12 December 1787

From Samuel Powel

Philadelphia Decr 12. 1787

Dear Sir

I had, this Day, the Pleasure of your very obliging Letter, for which I return you my best Thanks.1

The important Question is at length decided and Pennsylvania has had Virtue enough to adopt the proposed fœderal Constitution by a Majority of Forty Six against Twenty Three. On this Event I sincerely felicitate my Country, & trust that her Example will be followed by the other States. So fœderal are we that an Invitation has been handed to the Convention, signed by the Landholders of Philadelphia County, offering the said County as the Seat of the future Government. This Measure was taken at a very respectable Meeting.

All Ranks of People here rejoice in the Event of this Evenings Deliberations, which was proclaimed thro’ the City by repeated Shouts & Huzzas. The Convention will sign the Ratification Tomorrow Morning.

New Jersey will, probably adopt the Constitution this Week, & Massachusetts next Month. I think & hope it will be generally accepted.

Mrs Powel did herself the Honor of writing to Mrs Washington Yesterday, & also sent her little Commission to the Care of Col. Fitzgerald at Alexandria.2 I beg the Favor of you to present me, most respectfully to all the good Family, & to believe that I am, unfeignedly, dear Sir Your very affect. humble Servt

Samuel Powel


2Elizabeth Willing Powel wrote to Martha Washington on 30 Nov. 1787 to thank her for her hospitality, saying that “a Desire to accompany my Letter with Collars for the young Ladies [the Custis girls], has, alone, prevented an earlier Acknowledgement of my sense of the elegant Hospitality exercised at Mount Vernon; where the good Order of the Master’s Mind, seconded by your excellent Abilities, pervades every Thing around you, & renders it a most delightful Residence to your Friends. . . . I hope the Collars will meet your Approbation. The Cost runs three Dollars. . . . Those I have sent may be raised by means of the Screw. I have made a little Ornament of Ribband, which may be worn over them as a Disguise when the young Ladies are dressed or go without a Vandike. It is a Pity that a fine Form should be spoiled by a Childs not holding herself erect.” She also sent “our little Favorite, Master [George Washington Parke] Custis, the Work I promised him” and to Mrs. Washington, “a Morrocco Thread Case” like the one of her own that Mrs. Washington had admired (ViMtvL).

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