Description

    [George Washington] Martha Washington Autograph Letter Signed "M. Washington" as First Lady. One and one-half pages, 7" x 8.5", Mount Vernon, September 24, 1794, to her only living sister, Elizabeth Dandridge Aylett Henley, and reads in full:

    "Mr. Maddison called on the President which affords me an opportunity to send the inclosed for you, and your daughter, and to tell you that I am greatly disapointed [sic] at not seeing you as I had promised myself that pleasure, and looked forward for the time of your coming with impatience, I dare say my dear Betsy you have good reasons for not coming, I hope you have recovered your health. I shall be glad to hear from you. I expect to leave this for Philadelphia about the 13th of October. As it is probable that we shall never meet in this world you have my prayers for this world and blessings. All hear join me in love and good wishes to you and all with you. Mr. Maddison is waiting so I must bid you fare well. Fare well my dear Betsy and believe me your ever affectionate
    M. Washington"

    Six days later, George Washington was in Philadelphia, making his way into western Pennsylvania with a militia to quell the so-called Whiskey Insurrection, the armed protest during Washington's administration against the Whiskey Tax levied by the U. S. government.

    Although there is no evidence, it is entirely possible that the "Mr. Maddison" Mrs. Washington mentions is indeed James Madison, who had married Dolley Payne nine days before and were honeymooning at Madison's sister's home of Belle Grove near Winchester, Virginia, which lies in close proximity to Mount Vernon, before the couple made their returned to Philadelphia.

    The letter is tipped onto the seventh page of a book bound in red leather with raised bands along the spine. "Martha Washington/Holograph Letter/Mount Vernon/Sept. 24, 1794" in gilt on the front board and "Martha Washington" in gilt on spine. On the page directly opposite the letter is an engraving of Mrs. Washington based on a painting by Alonzo Chappel. The following page features an engraved portrait bust of George Washington based on the famous Gilbert Stuart painting The Athenaeum. Beautifully presented, the letter has some damage along the right edge with some loss of text; damage has been archivally repaired. Even toning and some light foxing. Otherwise in very good condition.


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2011
    8th-9th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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