Health. There was something so pleasing in her Appearance & Manner
that even a Stranger could not see her without being interested in her
Welfare. If I can render her or you any Services in Phila you will be so
obliging as to command them.
I have the Honor to be with affectionate Regards dear Madam
Your most obt & obliged
November 30, 1787
Elizabeth Willing Powel was one of the seven daughters of Charles Willing, mayor of
Philadelphia, and his wife, Ann Shippen. She married Samuel Powel in 1766. Her sister, Mary
( 1740-1814), married William Byrd III in 1761. See Tinling, The Correspondence of the Three
William Byrds of Westover, Virginia 1684-1776, 2:835, Charlottesville, 1977. Hereafter referred
to as Byrd.
Plagued by debts incurred by gambling and high living; involved in a dispute with
his mother and the four children by his first wife, Elizabeth Carter Byrd, over the estate of
his father, William Byrd II; condemned for his Loyalist sympathies at the outbreak of the
Revolution, he committed suicide on January 1, 1777. For an excellent resume of his life see, Byrd, 2:603-14.
William Byrd III and his second wife, Mary Willing Byrd, had ten children. Byrd, 2:829-30.
Major George Augustine Washington ( 1763-1793) was the son of Charles Washington,
younger brother of the General. During the early part of the Revolution he served as a
lieutenant in Lee's Partisan Light Dragoons. In 1780 he became an ensign and then lieutenant
in the 2nd Virginia Regiment. Early in 1781 he became an aide to General Lafayette and
served with him through the Virginia campaign that terminated with the surrender of
Yorktown. At the termination of hostilities he came to Mount Vernon where he met Frances
Bassett, Mrs. Washington's niece. In 1784, suffering from ill health- probably tuberculosis - GeneralWashington sent Mm to the West Indies and South Carolina to regain his health.
He returned to Mount Vernon, very little improved. He and Fanny Bassett were married at
Mount Vernon on October 15, 1785. Later that year he succeeded Lund Washington as
manager at Mount Vernon. The Washingtons had three children, Maria, Charles, and
Lafayette. His health gradually deteriorating, he died at Eltham, February 5, 1793.
To Mrs. Elizabeth Powel
Dear Madam Mount Vernon January the 18 1788
I have now to thank you for the very polite and affectionate letter
of December the 7th - we were exceedingly happy to hear by it and by
the two Mr Morris's
1 that you reached Philadelphia without accident, and
without fright in crossing the Bay and that you had the happiness to find
all your friends there well. The circumstances will be an inducement to
you I hope, to visit your friends to the southward more frequently. I am
my dear madam much obliged for your kind attention in getting the