Recmd to the care of the Postmaster there Free G: Washington
My Dear Madam Mount Vernon 18th Decr 1797
It is unnecessary, I persuade myself to assure you, that with whatsoever pleasure your letters may be received, the sattisfaction to be derived from them, will fall far short of that which your company would give: but as stern winter (which has commenced with uncommon severity) has closed all expectation of the latter, I can only offer my thanks for your kind remembrance of us in your letter of the 24th of November; while I add, as our hopes, that when all things will be blooming hear in the spring, except the withering proprietors of the mansion, that you will carry into effect the long promised visit to this retreat; and make it your head quarters during your stay in Virginia.
It was indeed with sympathetic concern we heard of the late calamitous situation of Philadelphia; and of the death and indisposition of some of your friends - These occurences, however are inflicted by an invisible hand as trials of our Philosophy, resignation, and patience, all of which it becomes us to excercise. 1
Dear Mrs Morris! 2 I feel much for her situation, and earnestly pray that Mr Morris may, and soon, work through all his difficulties; in which I am persuaded that all who knew him heartily joins me; as they do that their ease, quiet and domestic enjoyments, may be perfectly restored. - Mrs Marshalls' 3 arrival must be a comfort to them all, how ever disapointed she may be, in the apparent reverse of their situation, since she embarked for Europe: - we hear with concern too of the declining state of Mrs Whites4 health, and to her, Mrs Morris, and the rest of our Phila acquaintances, we would thank you, when occation offers, to present our best and sincerest regards -
Mrs Fitzhugh5 and famaly have within the last fortnight become residents of Alexandria, and we should 'ere this have made them a congratulatory visit on the occasion, but the bad weather in which they travelled has indisposed Mrs Fitzhugh so much, as to confine her to her room with an inflamation more troublesome than dangerous. -