George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Lawrence Augustine Washington, 23 August 1797

From Lawrence Augustine Washington

Berkeley Co[un]ty 23d Augt 1797

Dr Uncle

Since I had the pleasure to see you, I have become engaged to be married to a young lady near Winchester. Her name is Wood. The daughter of Mr Robt Wood. She has been brought up in the habit of domestic œconomy & industry & to consider the true excellence of a farmers wife to consist in a minute attention to the œconomy of her family & a continued reguard to her husbands domestic interests. Tis unnecessary to add that I think her withall beautiful & of an amiable disposition.1

Could your occupations permit and your inclination induce you nothing would afford me greater happiness, than to see you & family at the Wedding. It happens on the 6th of Novr next. I’ll thank you to write me by post whether I am to expect the pleasure I so much wish or not.2 I remain with sentiments of the truest respect & reguard Dr Uncle your affe. Nephew

Law[renc]e Washington

ALS, PPRF. The comma-like marks scattered through the letter have been ignored. Lawrence Augustine Washington (1775–1824) and his brother George Steptoe Washington (c.1773–1809) were the source of a considerable amount of trouble and expense for GW when he supervised the education of these two sons of his dead brother Samuel in Alexandria in the 1780s. They both lived in Philadelphia during a part of GW’s presidency, attending the University of Pennsylvania and studying law with Attorney General Edmund Randolph.

1On 6 Nov. 1797 Lawrence Augustine Washington married Mary Dorcas Wood (d. 1835), daughter of Robert Wood (b. 1747) and Comfort Welsh Wood (1751–1840). Robert Wood was the son of Col. James Wood (1707–1759) of Winchester and the brother of Gov. James Wood (1741–1813). Lawrence and his wife lived at Federal Hill, built on a part of the Wood estate, Glen Burnie, just outside Winchester.

2GW wrote young Lawrence on 3 Sept. to wish him happiness and to decline his invitation to attend the wedding.

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