compliments to Mr Lear - and love to the Children - Nelly joins me in love
and good wishes for you
I am dear Madam with esteem and affection
your Friend & Hble servant
Text from Private Affairs, p. 385.
Mary Stillson Lear ( 1739-1829), mother of Tobias Lear.
m After the death of Fanny Bassett Washington Lear, Tobias Lear appealed to his mother
for assistance in caring for Fanny's three children. She and Lear's young son, Lincoln, arrived
in Philadelphia on May 31st and left on June 2nd. They arrived at Washington City on June
5th. GW to Tobias Lear, June 3,1796, Writings, 35:74. Bartholomew Dandridge, secretary to
the President, inquired of Rev. Medor, a member of the Moravian clergy in Philadelphia,
concerning admission of Maria into the Moravian School at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He
was informed there were no vacancies. The President then applied directly to the principal,
Rev. Jacob Van Vleck. "GW to Tobias Lear, November 16, 1796", Writings, 35:284. The
President's intercession was successful, for Van Vleck agreed to accept Maria and her cousin, Mildred Ball, as students. "GW to Tobias Lear, January 13, 1797", Writings, 35:366. The President
was forced to cancel their attendance due to the illness of, "Maria Washington . . . . is in very
declining health (in short that she is in a consumption) and therefore adjudged by her Aunt,
with whom she lives, to be unfit for the change which had been contemplated." GW to Rev.
Jacob Van Vleck, June 14, 1797, Writings, 35:466. Maria recovered (temporarily), grew to
adulthood, married Reuben Thornton, and died in 1815, at the age of twenty seven, survived
by two small children.
Burwell Bassett, Jr. Maria was living, at this time with her aunt, Mildred Washington
Hammond. "GW to Burwell Bassett, April 24, 1796", Writings, 35:27.
Elizabeth Parke Custis Law and her husband, Thomas Law. They were living in the Federal City.
George Fayette Washington ( 1790-1867) and Charles Augustine Washington ( 1791- ?).
The Washingtons left Philadelphia on September 19th and returned on Monday,
October 31. "GW to Alexander Hamilton, November 2, 1796", Writings, 35:251.
From Elizabeth Willing Powel
My dear Madam ( Philadelphia, December 7, 1796)
The last time I had the Pleasure of seeing you at my House you
mentioned that you had taken Noyan
1 as a Medicine to cure the Colick;
but that you did not think it was as pure as that you then tasted, knowing
that the true Martinique Noyan is not to be purchased at this Time, I have
taken the Liberty to send you a Bottle, tho I hope you will not have
Occasion to use it as a Remedy for any Complaint half so distressing as
the Colick - tho I think it would not be amiss if my good Friend the
President will take a glass on his return from the Congress I know his
Sensibility, Diffidence, and Delicacy too well not to believe that his Spirits
will be not a little agitated on the Solemn & I fear last Occasion that he
will take of addressing his fellow Citizens.
2 He appears to have an
invincible Diffidence of his own Abilities,- the only Subject on which he
has the Timerity to differ with the Virtuous Penetrating and Wise Part of
Mankind - Present me affectionately to him & be assured I am