Madam, 1 Mount Vernon, February 13th: 1800
I have duly received your kind letter of the 27 of January, and the excellent Oration which accompanied it; for which, as well as for the prayers and wishes for my health and happiness expressed in your letter, I beg your acceptance of my sincere thanks. 2
If the tears of sympathizing Friends - if numerous tributes of respectful veneration - if evidences of the sincere mourning of a grateful Country - or if universal grief for the loss of departed worth and excellence could give consolation to my breast, I should receive it in the highest degree. - These testimonies I see and acknowledge with grateful sensibility; and so far as human efforts can alleviate afflictions of this kind, they have their effect; - but knowing that no Earthly Power can retrieve my loss, I bow, with humble submission to the Dispensation of the Most High, and to him only do I look for comfort and consolation With my best wishes for the health and happiness of yourself and those who are dear to you I remain, Madam, very respectfully
Your obliged & obedt Servt
Mrs Martha Laurens Ramsay
Df by Tobias Lear. ViMtV.
Mrs Washington, Providence, Feby 14th 1800
Conscious of the presumption this address implies, we offer it with trembling diffidence, and while we sympathize we respect your sorrows: Pardon however this intrusion on them, and suffer us to name the motives for it -- Our Fathers fought with Washington! they taught our Infant lispings to repeat His name and since have shewed to us the vast volume of His worth. He defended our Mothers from the Tomahawk of Savage barbarity and warded from their Breasts the polished (?) of more refined cruelty. Gratitude struggles for utterance, but the attempt is vain and to the feeling heart we leave it to conceive it. Such an one we are now