George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Tobias Lear, 12 November 1790

To Tobias Lear

Mount Vernon, Novr. 12th. 1790.

Dear Sir,

I am about to write you another short letter for tomorrow’s post,—although, in the course of the Mail, it cannot reach you before Tuesday night. The intention of it is, to inform you again that I depend upon Page’s Coach, Horses and driver,—for the removal of the children &ca., to Philadelphia, and that I shall not, unless I hear something to the contrary, from you, make any other provision for the journey.1 The reason for my again writing on this subject is that Giles who was sent from this on Wednesday, and directed if the stage had left Alexandria, to pursue it to George Town, and to have my letter to you deposited in the mail, instead of doing it gave the letter to one of the passengers a man he did not know—one who had so comical a name that he does not recollect it, tho’ told—but who knew me—knew you—knew Major Jackson—and who was so anxious to oblige that he all but demanded the letter from him.2 The case being thus and knowing how little dependence there is upon conveyances by private hands is the inducement of this second Epistle—and for my desiring you to inform me by the first Post—what I have to depend upon—for the mail returning will (if it leaves Philadelphia on Wednesday) be in Alexandria before Page’s Coach, admitting my first letter met with no delay. I shall add no more at this time—the house being full of Company—than our best wishes to you & Mrs. Lear—and that I am Yr. Affecte.

Letters and Recollections of George Washington, description begins Letters and Recollections of George Washington: Being Letters to Tobias Lear and others between 1790 and 1799, showing the First American in the management of his estate and domestic affairs. With a diary of Washington’s last days, kept by Mr. Lear. New York, 1906. description ends 27–28.

1For GW’s correspondence concerning travel arrangements from Mount Vernon to Philadelphia, see GW to Lear, 31 Oct. 1790 and notes 3 and 4, and 22, 23 Nov. 1790, and Lear to GW, 4–5, 7, 14 and 21 Nov. 1790.

2GW’s slave Giles served GW for over twenty years at Home House farm, New York, and Philadelphia, as coachman, driver, postilion, and stabler (see GW to Lear, 17 Nov. 1790; Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:277, 5:263, 6:99; Decatur, Private Affairs of George Washington, description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends 39, 271). For GW’s 10 Nov. 1790 letter to Lear, see Lear to GW, 4–5 Nov. 1790, n.3. Giles gave GW’s 10 Nov. 1790 letter to the Swedish consul for Boston and the eastern states, Richard Soderstrom, who delivered it to Lear (see Lear to GW, 21 Nov. 1790; Philadelphia Directory, description begins Clement Biddle. The Philadelphia Directory. Philadelphia, 1791. description ends 1791, 152).

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