George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James McHenry, 24 June 1799

From James McHenry

War Dept. [Philadelphia] 24 June 1799.

Dear Sir.

I send you by this mail, a small box containing military figures for the practice of tactics, being one of a few sets I ordered from London. Perhaps they may occasionally serve as a substitute for the chess board.1

Mr McAlpin called this morning to inform me that he had procured a sufficient quantity of gold thread and a person to work it; but that he was by no means certain he could have the coat ready by next monday early enough for that days mail. I have urged it upon him to use all his industry to procure a second person to assist at the embroidery part which will be done if such a person can be found. At all events I think it will be proper you should send to Alexandria on wednesday the 3d of July, as I shall if ready send the whole by post.2

I shall send you tomorrow or next day six silver stars. One is yet to be made, other wise I should have forwarded them to-day.3 I am my dear Sir Yours Affly

James McHenry


1GW acknowledged the receipt of the “figures” on 30 June. When the appraisers of GW’s estate took an inventory of Mount Vernon in 1800, they found in the study “1 Box Military figures,” which they valued at two dollars (Prussing, Estate of Washington, description begins Eugene E. Prussing. The Estate of George Washington, Deceased. Boston, 1927. description ends 418).

3McHenry wrote the next day: “Inclosed are six silver Stars which I have just received” (DLC:GW). He also sent a receipt from Michael Roberts and Thomas Levering for $6 in payment for “6 Silver Stars.”

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