London Novr 4th 1796
May it please your Excellency
To forgive the Liberty a Young Woman has taken, as the Goodness of your heart is confessed by every one in this Country as well as in America, and has been ever ready to relieve the distressed, I therefore hope this may claim some Merit to your Excellencys Attention.
My Father whose Name was John Swanson, and if by the Informat[ion] I have lately received from a Friend of his, and also by several others who were in the Country with him, and that he was a Colonel in your Service at the Time the English General Lord Cornwallis and his Army was Captured, Is. Right, and I am crediably informed it is. I am a Truely unfortunate Daughter of his, in not hearing from him.
I have made every enquiry in my power for Information for many Years past, but all to no purpose I have therefore been advised to address this to your Excellency to Sollicit your Good offices to make the necessary Enquiries—for every other of my relations are dead—and since I have came to the Years of Maturity, I shall feel most sensibly the Loss of so Tender a Father (if he is also dead).
He came from Thurso in the County of Caithness and North of Scotland. He was a Carpenter by trade.
An answer to this Letter will be received with the utmost Gratitude and Attention By Your Excellencys Very obt Servant
To be directed for her at Mr MacKenzie Brokers Row Drury Lane London.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.