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    Description

    Martha Washington Autograph Letter Signed "M. Washington." Four pages, 7.25" x 9.25", Mount Vernon, February 25, 1788. Written to Frances (Franny) Basset Washington, wife of George Augustine Washington, George's favorite nephew. George Augustine was the son of President Washington's brother, Charles. A lengthy letter covering a variety of topics. In part: "I was very happy to hear by the Major that you arrived . . . without accident and that he left you very well with your friends . . . As you know that business is the cause of his leaving you. I trust that you will endeavor to reconcile yourself to his absence . . . If he does not attend to his affairs he will get nothing done & if his people does not make head how will he be able to pay the taxes if nothing else was wanting . . . We have not a simple article of news but politicks which I do not concern myself about. I wish you could see the papers that come here every week as you are fond of reading them."

    The soon-to-be First Lady then describes a recent wedding, comments on the unusually cold weather and mutual friends, and reports on the health of the Washington household: "My dear little children have all been very sick, but today my pretty little Dear Boy complains of a pain in his stomach . . . A good nights sleep I think will carry off his complaints altogether. I cannot say but it makes me miserable if he ever complains let the cause be ever so trifling. I hope the Almighty will spare him to me. The General [Washington] did not get up to the river as he intended he got a bad cold and the dismal weakness together prevented, tho he did set out on Saturday with an intention to reach Mr. Fairfax's that night but some disappointment in finding the way caused him to turn back - and the Colo. seemed to bear his disappointment with tolerable patience...The fireside and Mt. Vernon and the shawl keep the weather outside. The General is very sick - as to myself I am dismal and rather sick as well..."

    Martha's dismissal of recent political news belies the importance of a message received just three days earlier; Massachusetts, a state critical to the fate of the Constitution, had just voted in favor of ratification. This letter is published in the 1994 book, Worthy Partner: The Papers of Martha Washington edited by Joseph E. Fields (pp. 205-206); a copy of this book is included with the lot.

    The letter has had significant restoration; the handwriting has been enhanced, and though undetectable to the casual, closer inspection reveals areas of visible ink overlay. The second leaf has several small repairs where paper has been added; deep folds, a vertical one affecting the signature. With soiling and stray foxing. Estimated for condition.


    Fees, Shipping, and Handling Description: Framed - with Glass, Medium (view shipping information)

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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