George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Betty Washington Lewis, 19 April 1792

From Betty Washington Lewis

[Fredericksburg, Va.] April the 19: 1792

My Dear Brother

I receivd yr letter of the 8th of April and am under great obligations to you, for the kind proposials there in Contain’d—Howels absence from Town at this time prevents his acknowledging—your kindness with his own hand I shall send an express of immediately with yr letter to him, and you may expect an answer in less than a Fortnight.1

Howell my Dear Brother is a Boy of very Slender Education—his Fathers Death at so Early a Period has been a great disadvantage to him, left without any Person of Age and Judgement2—to examine his improvements he has been entirely left to him Self—and of Course not very well informd, However he has an exceeding Good disposition and the employment you have design’d for him not difficult, I hope when you see a letter from him it will answer your Expectations, However you will be the best Judge. with sincere love to My Sister Yr Self & Family I am Dear Brothe. Your Affctionate Sister

Betty Lewis


1Howell Lewis’s letter of acceptance, written to GW at Fredericksburg on 24 April, reads: “I should have done myself the pleasure of replying to your letter on its receipt by my Mother, but was at that time engaged in her business in Frederick; I consider myself extremely favour’d by your proposal of a birth in your family & shall chearfully accept it provided my probation is deemed satisfactory—I lament that I have not been more attentive to the improvement of my writing tho hope that I shall soon be qualified to do the business for which you mean to enploy me” (ALS, owned [1997] by Ms. Julie Rinaldini, New York, N.Y.). Howell Lewis joined GW’s staff in mid-May (see Betty Washington Lewis to GW, 14 May).

2Fielding Lewis died in January 1782, when his son Howell was 10 years old.

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