Special Presentation Graphic
Letter To Burwell Bassett

Transcription from the Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor. Volume 3. About the Collection

Mount Vernon, June 20, 1773.

Dear Sir: It is an easier matter to conceive, than to describe the distress of this Family; especially that of the unhappy Parent of our Dear Patsy Custis, when I inform you that yesterday removed [sic]the Sweet Innocent Girl Entered into a more happy and peaceful abode than any she has met with in the afflicted Path she hitherto has trod. [In Washington's "Diary" appears the following entry: "June 19. At home all day. About five o'clock poor Patsy Custis Died Suddenly."]

She rose from Dinner about four o'clock in better health and spirits than she appeared to have been in for some time; soon after which she was seized with one of her usual Fits, and expired in it, in less than two minutes without uttering a word, a groan, or scarce a sigh. This sudden, and unexpected blow, I scarce need add has almost reduced my poor Wife to the lowest ebb of Misery; which is encreas'd by the absence of her son, (whom I have just fixed at the College in New York from whence I returned the 8th Inst) and want of the balmy consolation of her Relations; which leads me more than ever to wish she could see them, and that I was Master of Arguments powerful enough to prevail upon Mrs. Dandridge to make this place her entire and absolute home. I should think as she lives a lonesome life (Betsey being married) it might suit her well, and be agreeable, both to herself and my Wife, to me most assuredly it would.

It do not purpose to add more at present, the end of my writing being only to inform you of this unhappy change.

Our Sincere Affections are offered to Mrs. Bassett, Mrs. Dandridge, and all other Friends, and I am very sincerely [The text is from Ford.]

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