George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Samuel G. Dorr, 23 August 1790

From Samuel G. Dorr

No. 19 Water-street New York Augst 23 1790

I cannot dig, & beg I am asham’d.


Nigh three years ago I open’d a boarding school in Dumfries, was patroniz’d by Col. Blackburn, Judge Bullitt, & Richard Graham,1 but at an unhappy hour, just as my school began to be productive, was seiz’d with a voilent disorder, oblig’d to break it up, & return to the northward. This misfortune, follow’d by a train of others, has at length reduc’d me so low, that want, getting the better of those delicate feelings, that make me asham’d of sheer poverty, has imbolden’d me to look up to the illustrious President of the united states, & implore his masonic munificence. I am Sir, with sentiments of esteem, your humb. Servt

Saml G. Dorr

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

No further information has been found on Samuel G. Dorr or his boarding school in Dumfries, Virginia.

1Col. Thomas Blackburn, father-in-law of GW’s nephew Bushrod Washington, represented Prince William County in the Virginia House of Burgesses and was a militia officer in the Revolution. His friend Cuthbert Bullitt was a state court judge and repesented the county in the Virginia house of delegates as well as in the convention that ratified the federal Constitution. Richard Graham also served as a militia officer in the Revolution. All three were members of the town’s leading families (Prince William: The Story of Its People and Its Places [WPA Guide; Manassas, Va., 1941], 29, 33, 36, 37, 143).

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