addressing, and while the memory of Washington shall ever remain in our hearts (?) we wish also for some external remembrance of the Man "first in War, first in Peace and first in the hearts of his Country". Could we Madam receive from you a lock, (however small) of his invaluable hair, while life remained we would wear it as a charm to deter us from ill and while gazing on it, think on the bright perfections of its former owner, till by degrees we engrafted them on our own Nature's. Do not Madam term this the language of presumption, we wait your award with humble respect and should our sanguine hopes be crushed by a refusal we will receive it as the just punishment of our rashness, but should smiling assent deign to reach us we will preserve the precious present till age has "On our temples shed The blossoms of the grave."
We will then bequeath to our Children the sacred talisman of virtue - With sentiments of the most profound respect and prayers for your happiness
P.S. Would it not be () in presumption we would also (in behalf of a society of Females) request a lock of your hair. altho we have not the happiness of being personally acquainted with you Madam, yet the chosen Friend of Washington, will ever be dear to our Hearts.
Sir, Mount Vernon, Feby 15. 1800
Mrs. Washington requests me to acknowledge the receipt of your letter to her of the 4th instant - and to beg your acceptance of her best thanks for your goodness in forwarding the Oration to her, at the request of the Common Council of the City of New York, and for your sincere