George Washington writes this moving letter to his wife's brother-in-law, Burwell Bassett, lamenting the death of Martha's daughter, Martha "Patsy" Parke Custis. Only a day after Patsy's sudden and tragic death from a seizure, Washington describes the family's profound grief. "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 removd the sweet Innocent Girl into a more happy & peaceful abode than any she has met with in the afflicted Path she hitherto has trod." More

Date

June 20, 1773


People


Geography

  • Written - United States

Material/Technique

Ink, laid paper, red wax seal


Dimensions

Overall (MS-5503/A closed): 9 in. x 7 1/4 in. (22.86 cm x 18.42 cm)
Other (MS-5503/A open): 9 in. x 14 1/2 in. (22.86 cm x 36.83 cm)
Other (MS-5503/B): 7 1/2 in. x 9 in. (19.05 cm x 22.86 cm)


Credit

Purchase, 1997


Marks

MS-5503/A: None

MS-5503/B:
Recto, center, in brown ink: To / Burwell Bassett Esq / near / Williamsburg
Recto, top right, perpendicular to main text, postal stamp in red ink: PHILA
Recto, bottom right, perpendicular to main text, postal stamp in red ink: JUNE 20


Signed

MS-5503/A: Second page of text (left page when open), center right, in brown ink: Yr Obedt & Affecte Hble St / Go Washington

MS-5503/B: None


Object Number

MS-5503/A-B


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.
Buy Tickets What to See Calendar Shop Restaurant Donate Membership
Estate Hours

Open today from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

iconDirections & Parking
buy tickets online & save