From George Gilpin
Madam Alexandria Virginia Octr 8, 1775
I should have waited on you agreeable to promise but was prevented
by the Rain on Friday & Saturday last. I shall set out to morrow morning
on my way for New York if you have any Commands - I will Serve you
the best in my Power please to Send me a Memorandum of what you
would have done & I will Comply with it.
1 I am Madam your most
Obedient Humble Servt
ALS, DLC: GW.
MW had not departed from Mount Vernon for New Kent County as of this date. She
was at Eltham on November 2nd. See infra, MW to Mr Devenport (sic), November 2nd.
George Gilpin ( 1740-1813), a native of Maryland, had settled in Alexandria before the
Revolution. During the Revolution he was a colonel of the Fairfax County militia and a
member of the Committee of Safety. Gilpin was a close associate of George Washington in
the affairs of the Potomac Company.
To Mr. Devenport
Mr Devenport1 Eltham
2 November 5th 1775
I desire you will lett Mrs Bayly, that lives at west point have corn or
wheat as she may want it, while her husband is ill and unable to provide
for her, you may let her have a barrel of corn and half a barrel of wheat
as sends for it and give her a fat hog
I am sir your Hbl
Mr. Devenport (sic) is unidentified. He may have been an overseer of one of the Custis
plantations. He might also have been a local merchant.
By early October the Bassett family had apparently returned to Eltham. For some
reason not known to us, MW delayed setting out for her visit to Eltham. Most likely
household responsibilities were the cause. She left Mount Vernon on October 17th,
accompanied by Jackie and Nelly Custis, and intending to spend a few days in Fredricksburg,
See, Lund Washington to GW, October 22, 1775, PGWR 2:219. Even before her departure, GW
had requested her to join him at the camp at Cambridge, See, GW to John Augustine
Washington, October 13, 1775, PGWR 2:162. Allowing six days for travel and visiting, she
probably arrived at Eltham about October 24th. just when she received her husband's
invitation to join him is not known. We do know she tarried after receiving it. In a letter of November 5, 1776 to GW, Lund Washington states, "The Inclose'd I expect will inform you
that Mrs Washington Intends to come to you - she informs me she will leave Colo. Bassetts
tomorrow & lose no time in getg home where she will Stay but a few days, before she sets
out for the Camp - I think her stay in New Kent so long after she had your invitation to come
to you, was rather ill judge'd, & will I fear occasion her haveg a very desagreeable journey
- I suppose one way or other she will make it near the 20th before she will set off - I will
do all I can to get her off sooner if Possible," PGWR 2:304. Lund's chief concern for her
comfort and safety was the coming of severe weather. Her stay at Eltham and vicinity was
probably no longer than thirteen days.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Worthy Partner:The Papers of Martha Washington.
Contributors: Joseph E. Fields - Compiler, Martha Washington - Author.
Publisher: Greenwood Press.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1994.
Page number: 163.
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