Preparing to vacate the presidency, George Washington sold his team of coach horses to his close friend Mrs. Powel. He writes this letter hoping to convince her to also buy his coach, "As the Coach would be lonesome without the horses- and the horses might repine for want of their Coach (having been wedded together Seven years) you had better take both." This letter is a rare example of the relaxed, affectionate and humorous side of Washington's personality.




February 6, 1797



  • Written - United States


Ink, laid paper, red wax seal


Overall (closed): 9 3/4 in. x 8 in. (24.77 cm x 20.32 cm)
Overall (open): 9 3/4 in. x 16 in. (24.77 cm x 40.64 cm)


Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. Richard Alexander, Vice Regent Emerita for Rhode Island and the Hamilton family, 2003


Fourth page (verso when closed), center, written perpendicular to interior text, in brown ink, in George Washington's hand: Mrs. Powell
Fourth page (verso when closed), center, in brown ink, in Elizabeth Willing Powel's hand: G Washington President of / the U- States February 6th 1797


Second page (left side when open), center, in brown ink: Truly & affectionately / I have the honor to be / Your Most Obedt & Obliged / Go: Washington

Object Number



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