George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Stanhope Smith, 9 October 1797

To Samuel Stanhope Smith

Mount Vernon 9 Oct⟨r⟩ 1797.

Dear & Revd Sir,

I have duly received your several letters of last month; but as an expression of my regret, at the conduct & behaviour of young Custis would avail nothing I shall not trouble you by the attempt.1

I am persuaded that your conduct towards him has been such as friendship inspired, and the duties of your important trust required. And as you have seen, in a degree, what my solicitude, advice & admonition have been, he will have himself only to upbraid for any consequences which may follow—and this perhaps come too late.

By Mr la Fayette who is on his way to New York to embark for France, I send you Bank notes to the amount of $100 ⟨in discharge⟩2 of the balance of the acct transmitted ($65)3—the twenty advanced Mr Custis when he left Princeton and any other unpaid bills which may hereafter appear—And with thanks for your polite attention to, & care of him while he was under your superintendance, I remain with the highest esteem, regard & respect Your Obedt Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers; LB, DLC:GW.

1No letters from Smith to GW in September 1797 have been found. George Washington Parke Custis returned to Mount Vernon from Princeton on 3 Oct., which put an end to his days as a student in Princeton. See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:259–60; see also GW to Custis, 7 Jan. 1798, and note 1 of that document.

2On 8 Oct. GW recorded in his Day Book: “Sent by Mr La Fayette to the Revd Doctr Smith President of Princeton College to cover all his demands on me on acct of G.W. Custis . . . $100” (Cash Memoranda, 1794-97 description begins Cash + Entries & Memorandums, 29 Sept. 1794–31 Aug. 1797. Manuscript in John Carter Brown Library, Providence. description ends ).

3The account has not been found. The two words in angle brackets are taken from the letter-book copy.

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