George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Warner Washington III, 4 June 1793

To Warner Washington III

Philada 4th June 1793.


I have been too much indisposed since the receipt of your letter of the 31st ulto to give it an earlier acknowledgment.

Placing, as you do, the want of supplies to some interruption of the communication with your father, I promise, if you will entrust a letter to him under my cover, that it shall reach his hands in ten days from the date.1

I prefer doing this to advancing money myself (even if the latter was convenient for me)—first, because I have good reasons to believe that the allowance made you, by your father, is as much as he conceives necessary, or as can reasonably be afforded by him—beyond which your expenditures ought not to extend. and secondly, because I think there would be an impropriety in the act of another to furnish the means for a young man to exceed these limits.2 I am &c.

Go: Washington


1Warner Washington, Jr., GW’s first cousin once removed, lived at his estate, Clifton, near Berryville, Virginia. GW’s letter to him of 5 June reads: “Your son having informed me that he had not heard from you for these 4 or 5 months past—and was thereby destitute of the usual supply of money to answer his expenditures here, I have promised him to convey a letter to you if he would commit it to my charge. This he has done, & I have now the pleasure to enclose it” (Df, in Tobias Lear’s writing, ViMtvL; LB, DLC:GW). Warner Washington III’s letter to his father has not been identified.

2Warner Washington III’s reply to GW later this date reads: “I am sorry for the indispositions which your letter of this morning informs me of, and thank you for the certainty which you offer, of conveying a letter to my father. I embrace it with great pleasure.

“My father’s allowances are (as you justly suppose) as liberal as his circumstances will admit, and they are fully adequate to my wishes—I only complain of the unusual delay, having received no remittance for five months—a circumstance which the mode of living in this City will not admit of.

“I fear, from a paragraph in your letter, that you have been led into an opinion, that my expenditures are extravagant and unnecessary—I assure you most seriously, of the contrary—and that you may have no doubt of the reality of the distress which I represented to you—I inclose you a letter I receved the day before I had the honor to write to you—from a man whom I owe for five months board” (ViMtvL). The enclosed letter has not been identified.

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