in substance what we in this world enjoy in imagination & that there is no real Happiness on this side of the grave. I must allow that to sustain a shock of this kind requires more Philosophy than we in general are (possest) off, my Nature could not bear the shock. (illegible) sunk under the load of oppression, and hindered me from administring any consolation to my dear and nearest relation, this Letter is the first thing I've done since I received the malancholy News, & could I think my Presence wou'd be condusive to the Restoration of your Tranquillity neither the distance nor the Fatigue of traveling could detain me a moment here. I put myself & Joe into deep Mourning & shall do (all) Honour in my power to the Memory of a deceas'd & well belov'd Sister, I will no longer detain you on a subject which is painful to us both but conclude with beging you to remember you are a Christian and that we ought to submit with Patience to the divine Will and that to render you happy shall be the constant care of your effectionate and dutiful son
John Parke Custis7
Mrs Washington New- York
July 5th 1773
ALS, DLC: GW.
Mrs. Washington is alleged to have written a sentimental letter to Eleanor Calvert Custis. The text of the letter first appeared in Lossing, Mary and Martha, the Mother and the Wife of George Washington, p. 126, New York 1886. The text as given by Lossing is as follows: "My dear Nelly: God took from me a Daughter when June Roses were blooming. He has now given me another daughter about her age when winter winds are blowing, to warm my heart again. I am as happy as one so afflicted and blest can be. Pray recive my benediction