To Philip Richard Fendall
Mount Vernon October 22d 1788
If my Ears did not deceive me the day I dined with you, a difficulty was mentioned in obtaining asses Milk for Mrs Fendall. One of my imported Jennies suckles a colt got by the Spanish Jack which I would wean and send the mother of it up if you have any place in which she can be securely kept—being valuable and again with foal. The use of this Ass shall be much at the service of Mrs Fendall & shall feel happy in having it in my power to oblige her with the milk of it. I am &c.
Philip Richard Fendall (1734-1805) was a merchant in Charles County, Md., and clerk of the county court. Fendall was married to Elizabeth Steptoe Lee, the widow of Philip Ludwell Lee of Stratford in Westmoreland County, Virginia. When Mrs. Fendall’s daughter Matilda Lee married Henry (Lighthorse Harry) Lee in 1782, the Fendalls moved from Stratford to Alexandria. The Fendalls and their many connections came often to Mount Vernon, and the Washingtons frequently visited them in Alexandria. GW dined with them on 21 Oct. (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:410), and this letter reflects his concern for Mrs. Fendall, who was very ill in the fall of 1788 and died the following spring.