Martha Washington sent this warmhearted letter from Philadelphia to her niece Frances "Fanny" Bassett Washington at Mount Vernon. It provides intimate glimpses of family life and the domestic concerns of Mrs. Washington as she inquires if Fanny is pregnant, asks about Fanny's brothers, and requests news of a recent marriage. Mrs. Washington also writes that her slave, Austin, carries this letter to Mount Vernon so he can visit with his wife and friends. George and Martha sent their slaves home for short visits because Pennsylvania law allowed slaves to sue for freedom after six months of residency.

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Date

April 19, 1791


People


Geography

  • Written - United States

Material/Technique

Ink, laid paper


Dimensions

Overall: 9 1/8 in. x 7 3/4 in. (23.18 cm x 19.69 cm)


Credit

Purchase, 1979


Signed

Verso, above center, in brown ink: adue my dear Fanny & believe / me your most affectionate / M Washington


Object Number

IL.2016.019.023


Colors


Mount Vernon's object research is ongoing and information about this object is subject to change. For information on image use and reproductions, click here.
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