George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Betty Washington Lewis, 1 October 1789

From Betty Washington Lewis

October 1th 1789

My Dear Brother

I receiv’d your Letter Sepbr 13th in answer to that of Colo. Balls, George, Bushrod, and Corbin is here at this time I shall indeaver to have Every thing done as you desire1 you mention in your Letter to me that the Negros was to be divided into five Parts and one fifth part would be mine, Bushrod informes me that I have no Right to any Part,2 there is with that negro that you have thurteen which divided in to fore Parts thear would be more than fore to your Share, the other things that was her property not mention’d in the will, sutch as was left in the House I wish to hear from you how thear to be dis Posed of, the Docters bills is more than I expectted, Halls Bill is £45P.—Mortemores £22P.3 the Debts I think will be upwards of one Hundred Pounds, there is several we have Heard of not brawt in as yet, Colo. Ball thinks the Crop will Pay of the Debts, if that is the Case the Money then ariseing from the Plantation utensils and st[o]ck must be divided, we shall be able to give an Exact accompt of the debts by the next Post, I am Dear Brother With Love to my Sister Washington Robert and the Children Your Affecte Sister

Betty Lewis

ALS, ViMtvL.

1George is probably George Lewis (1757–1821), son of Fielding and Betty Washington Lewis. During the Revolution Lewis had served as a captain of an independent troop of cavalry which was part of GW’s personal bodyguard. After the war Lewis and his wife lived near Berryville in what was then Frederick County, Va., but by 1785 apparently had moved to Fredericksburg. For Bushrod Washington, see his letter to GW, 9 Nov. 1788, source note. Bushrod and Corbin Washington (1765–c.1799) were GW’s and Betty Lewis’s nephews and the sons of John Augustine and Hannah Bushrod Washington.

2Augustine Washington’s will specified that all of his slaves, except those individually devised, be divided among “my Wife and my three sons, Samuel, John [Augustine] and Charles.” After Mary Ball Washington’s death the surviving slaves and their issue were to go to GW, Samuel, John Augustine, and Charles (will, 11 April 1743, DLC:GW). See Memorandum: Division of Slaves, 1762, source note.

3Doctors Charles Mortimer and Elisha Hall of Fredericksburg had attended Mary Ball Washington in her last illness. See GW to Richard Conway, 6 Mar. 1789, note 2; Burgess Ball to GW, 25 Aug. 1789.

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