George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William White, 31 December 1793

To William White


Dear Sir,Philadelphia 31st Decembr 1793

It has been my intention ever since my return to the City, to contribute my mite towards the relief of the most needy inhabitants of it. The pressure of public business hitherto, has suspended, but not altered my resolution. I am at a loss, however, for whose benefit to apply the little I can give; & into whose hands to place it; whether for the use of the fatherless children & widows (made so by the late calamity) who may find it difficult, whilst Provisions, Wood & other necessaries are so dear, to support themselves; or to other, and better purposes (if any) I know not; and therefore have taken the liberty of asking your advice.1

I persuade myself, justice will be done my motives for giving you this trouble. To obtain information, & to render the little I can afford without ostentation or mention of my name are the sole objects of these enquiries—With great & sincere esteem and regard I am—Dear Sir Your Most Obedt & Affecte Servt

Go: Washington


1For the arrangements for this gift, see White to GW, 1 Jan. 1794 (letters 1, 2, & 3), and GW to White, 1 Jan. and 2 Jan. 1794. GW’s accounts for 28 Jan. 1794 record: “Contgt Exps delivd the President to put into the hands of Dr White to be distributed among the poor of Philada [$]250” (Household Accounts description begins Presidential Household Accounts, 1793–97. Manuscript, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. description ends ; see also Account Book, 2 Sept. 1793–4 April 1794, DLC:GW).

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