George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Frances Bassett Washington, 21 July 1793

From Frances Bassett Washington

Mount Vernon July 21st 1793

Dear & honord Sir

I did myself the pleasure of forwarding to you last week the reports of the Overseers, & an account of the weather1—by a letter I have received from my Aunt, I understand that Mr Lewis is in Virginia, but as he is not yet come to this place, I shall again send the reports to you by tuesdays stage.2

so entirely occupied as I am conscious you are with publick business, it gives me pain to call your attention to anything, comparatively trifling & unimportant, yet as I consider myself so unequal to forming a proper judgement, even in my own little concerns, & have been so happy as to receive the promise of your advice respecting them,3 I take the liberty of requesting your opinion of some repairs, which my Overseer (Taylor) says are absolutely necessary at the farm he lives on,4 for the security of the crop, & the preservation of the Negroes—there is no granary, but the room in the second story of the house he lives in, will answer to put the wheat in, if lined with plank—the corn-house wants some repair to make it secure, & he thinks is not large enough to hold the Crop he shall make this year, unless the prospect changes very much—the Negroes houses have no roofs of any consequence to them—Taylor thinks my two Carpenters Gabriel & Reuben can get every thing necessary for the repairs (except plank,) & be able to put them up in good time—I have not given them any directions as yet, but wait the favor of your advice & permission.5

I sincerely hope you will be able to leave Philadelphia early in the fall, & that we shall have the happiness of yours & my Aunts company some weeks6—my Sister Milly & my Children join me in most affectionate remembrance to you7—& I am my dear Sir with fervent prayer for your health & happiness, your ever gratefully affectionate

Frances Washington

ALS, PHi: Gratz Collection; ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW.

1The farm and weather reports have not been found.

2The letter from Martha Washington has not been identified. On GW’s dispatch from Philadelphia of his nephew Howell Lewis to serve as a temporary manager of Mount Vernon, see GW to William Stuart, Hiland Crow, and Henry McCoy, 14 July, and to Burgess Ball, 21 July 1793. Lewis visited his mother, Betty Washington Lewis, at her home in Fredericksburg, Va., before proceeding to Mount Vernon (Burgess Ball to GW, 25 July 1793). Any farm reports sent by stage on Tuesday, 23 July, have not been found. For a report on conditions at Mount Vernon, see Howell Lewis to GW, 31 July.

3For GW’s willingness to offer advice to Fanny about the management of the estate left by her late husband, George Augustine Washington, see GW’s letter to her of 10 June 1793.

4Mr. Taylor was the overseer at the farm on Clifton Neck that GW had given to his nephew George Augustine Washington in 1786 (GW to George Augustine Washington, 25 Oct. 1786, and GW’s Last Will and Testament, 9 July 1799, and note 30).

5For GW’s advice, see his letter to Fanny of 28 July 1793.

6GW and Martha Washington departed Philadelphia on 10 September, arriving at Mount Vernon by 14 September. GW left Mount Vernon on 28 October for the return north, but Martha did not return to Philadelphia until December (JPP description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends , 239, 241; Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends , 4, 11 Dec. 1793).

7Mildred Gregory Washington (1772–1804) was the sister of George Augustine Washington and the daughter of GW’s brother Charles. Fanny’s children were Anna Maria, George Fayette, and Charles Augustine Washington.

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