Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington

By Joseph E. Fields; Martha Washington | Go to book overview

P.S.

My much valued friend the Revd. Mr Duche' has taken his departure for the Regions of eternal bliss. 4 I am induced to mention the death of this (?) Gentleman to you, from the recollection that you had considerably mitigated his anguish under the most acute disease incident to humanity, by the valuable Prescripton that you sent to him in 73, and for which he frequently mentioned you with gratitude to his friends

E.P.

Mrs. Washington

ALS, ViMtV.

1.
Bishop William White ( 1748-1836) was the first Protestant Episcopal bishop of the Diocese of Pennsylvania. He succeeded Rev. Jacob Duche' as rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia, when Duche' defected to the British in 1777. 20 DAB121; see infra.
2.
Mary Harrison White (d. 1797), wife of Bishop William White. 20 DAB121.
3.
Mary White Morris ( 1749-1827), sister of Bishop William White. She was married to Robert Morris, March 2, 1769. For many years they were intimate friends of the Washingtons. His financial genius during the Revolution did much to assure its success. Burdened with debt, engendered by land speculation, he became insolvent. Morris was confined to the Prune Street debtor's prison in Philadelphia on February 28, 1798. The passage of the bankruptcy act in April, 1800, resulted in his release on August 26, 1801. He died May 8, 1806. On September 21, 1799, during Morris's imprisonment, the Washingtons invited Mrs. Morris to stay at Mount Vernon "for as long a stay as you shall find convenient." See infra; Young, Forgotten Patriot Robert Morris, ( New York, 1950), p. 25, 238-259.
4.
Rev. Jacob Duche' ( 1737-1798), rector of Christ Church, Philadelphia and chaplain to the Continental Congress. Following the Declaration of Independence and the military reverses of 1776-1777 he lost his zeal for the patriot cause. When Sir William Howe took Philadelphia he was incarcerated for a time. After his defection to the British he wrote a fourteen page letter to GW, October 8, 1777, urging him to repudiate the Declaration of Independence and to use his influence with Congress to negotiate for peace. GW immediately turned the letter over to the Continental Congress. Duche' was immediately regarded as a treacherous enemy and his property confiscated. He sailed for England in December, 1777. He was not allowed to return to America until 1792. He called upon GW to explain his actions and was properly received. Duche's letter to GW and GW's letter of transmittal are in The Papers of the Continental Congress, Library of Congress. Copies by Colonels Alexander Hamilton and Tench Tilghman are in the Washington Papers, Library of Congress. 5 DAB476.

To Henrietta Merchant Liston

Mount Vernon 22d Feby 1798

Dear Madam, 1

Before I had the honor to receive your favor of the 12th Inst from Phila we were informed (by Mr Patten) 2 of your having passed through Alexandria on your return from Charleston; and of the accidents which you had met with on the journey. - on your happy escape from which we sincerely congratulate you. -

It is unnecessary, I trust, to assure you of the pleasure we should have felt in seeing you on your return to Philadelphia, and which we shall feel, at all times, when it may be convenient, & agreeable to you to visit

-313-

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