To Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.
Philadelphia 8th March 1797
My Dear Sir,
Your conduct during a six Years residence in my family, having been such as to meet my full1 approbation & believing that a declaration to this effect would be satisfactory to yourself & justice requiring it from me, I make it with pleasure. And in full confidence that the principles of honor, integrity & benevolence wch I have reason to believe have hitherto guided your steps will still continue to mark your conduct, I have only to add a wish that you may lose no opportunity of making such advances in useful acquirements, as may benefit yourself your friends and mankind. And I am led to anticipate an accomplishment of this wish when I consider the manner in which you have hitherto improved such occasions as have offered themselves to you.
The cares of life on which you are now entering will present new Scenes & frequent opportunities for the improvement of a mind desirous of obtaining useful knowledge, but I am sure you will never forget, that without Virtue & without integrity, the finest talents & the most briliant accomplishments can never gain the respect or conciliate the Esteem of the truly valuable part of mankind. Wishing you health happiness and prosperity, in all your laudable undertakings I remain Your Sincere friend & Affectionate Servt
LB, DLC:GW; Df, in Tobias Lear’s hand, DLC:GW. A word substitution made by GW in the draft is noted below. The draft is docketed and signed by GW.
Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr. (d. 1802), Martha Washington’s nephew, became one of GW’s secretaries after Thomas Nelson, Jr., resigned in November 1790. In the summer of 1795 and again early in 1796, Dandridge wrote to GW of his unhappiness in Philadelphia and of his wish to give up his job. In May 1796 he abruptly departed without explanation and went to western Virginia, but he was back in Philadelphia before the end of the summer and continued to serve GW until sailing for Europe in April to become U.S. Minister William Vans Murray’s secretary at The Hague. See Dandridge to GW, 4 July 1795, 2 Jan., 10 May, 7 Aug. 1796, 8 April 1797, and GW to Dandridge, 5 June 1796. When GW left for Mount Vernon on 9 Mar., Dandridge remained in Philadelphia to assist Tobias Lear in packing and forwarding the possessions of GW and his family.
1. The word “entire” in the draft is struck out here, and GW inserted “full” in its place.