George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Charles Washington, 7 January 1789

From Charles Washington

[7 January 1789]

Dear Brother

I labour under Many Afflictions On Acct of the Orphans,1 Money is Such a Scarce Article amongst us, that there are scarcely coming at any, the Rents & profits of the Estate wou’d (could they be Collected) plentifully Answer all demands—but Fortitude & Patience is my only resource—However in the space of two or three Months I hope to be able to remit £200—I have Sent a Small Supply at present of 45£ in Cu[rren]t Money⟨.⟩ I could procure none Else; but I took it by Weight. The best respects of the Family awaits you and your Lady and am Dr Sir your most affectionate Brother

Chas Washington


1The “Orphans” were the surviving children of the eldest of GW’s three younger brothers Samuel Washington and his fourth wife Anne Steptoe Washington. See Francis Willis, Jr., to GW, 24 Sept. 1788, and Samuel Hanson, 2 Oct. 1788. Both GW and Charles Washington were among the executors of Samuel’s estate, but Charles, probably because of his proximity to Samuel’s home at Harewood, administered the estate for the benefit of the children. For GW’s dissatisfaction with his brother’s stewardship, see his letter to Bushrod Washington, 17 Nov. 1788. Adding to his displeasure were the increasing number of calls upon him for money needed to support the children. As early as 1787 he had instructed Charles’s son to “let your father know, in explicit terms, that if he will not keep me furnished with the means to defray the expences of these boys that he must take the whole of their affairs on himself. The demands upon me for money are too numerous & heavy to answer the calls I have on their acct” (GW to George Augustine Washington, 2 Sept. 1787).

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