George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Pearce, 28 December 1793

To William Pearce

Philadelphia Decr 28th 1793

Mr Pearce,

Your letter of the 24th instant from Kent County in Maryland came to hand yesterday.1 I am sorry to find you had not then removed to Mount Vernon, and am concerned for the cause of your detention. Acts of Providence no human foresight can guard against, and it is our duty to submit to them. In the situation you describe your daughter to be, I certainly should not have desired you to leave her;2 however inconvenient, & injurious your not doing it, is to me: the last of which has been, & will continue to be very injurious, among other things, on Account of the Hogs which were up for Porke—and with which no body at Mount Vernon will know what to do, especially as your arrival at that place has been expected ever since the 20th of this month, agreeably to the advice I had communicated to my Nephew Mr Lewis;3 who is young & entirely unacquainted with every thing of this sort; and is only left there merely to keep things together until you were present to take charge of them.

By the Post, several days ago, I wrote very fully to you in two letters, giving you my sentiments on every thing which had occurred to me that I conceived it might be necessary for you to be informed in, respecting my business—these letters were sent under cover to Mr Lewis, & you will find them at Mt Vernon. You will perceive by them, & others enclosed in them, to my Overseers how much I have been dissatisfied with the conduct of the latter since I left home in October.4 I shall not repeat it here. How far it may be in your power, by considerable exertions, to recover the business from their neglects will depend very much upon the nature of the Winter and Spring.

I had, in order to make your situation at Mount Vernon more comfortable (even if you had removed wi⟨th⟩ your whole family, as you will percei⟨ve⟩ by one of the letters which you will find there) offered you the room in the house which Mr Lewis usually lodges in—& you may, as your own furniture can not now be got round until the Winter frosts are passed, make use of any of mine which you shall find necessary to your comfort & convenience ’till this happens; and you are very welcome to such provisions from my Meat house &ca as you shall find occasion for.

I shall only add my best wishes for the restoration of health to your afflicted daughter—and that I am Your friend &ca

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW. The ALS was offered for sale in the American Art Association catalog of 5–6 Feb. 1936, item 317.

1Pearce’s letter has not been found.

2Pearce’s eldest daughter remained sickly even after the family came to Mount Vernon, and she died in late October 1794.

3GW wrote Howell Lewis on 10 Nov. that Pearce could be expected at Mount Vernon “by the middle of next month.”

4See GW to Pearce, 18 and 23 Dec., and GW’s letters of 23 Dec. to Hiland Crow, John Christian Ehlers, Thomas Green, Henry McCoy, and William Stuart. The cover letters from Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to Howell Lewis of 18 and 23 Dec. have not been found.

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