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On February 10, 1796, upon learning of his eldest step-granddaughter's engagement to Thomas Law, George Washington writes this letter of congratulations to him. Washington's fatherly interest in the betrothal of Eliza "Betsey" Parke Custis is apparent. He expresses surprise, gives his blessing, and invites the couple to visit Philadelphia after the ceremony. Thomas Law earned his fortune in India and met Washington's step-granddaughter shortly after his arrival in America. The couple was married the following month, on March 21, 1796. Unfortunately, the integrity of this document has been compromised by the 19th century practice of clipping signatures.



February 10, 1796



  • Written - United States


Ink, laid paper


Overall (open): 9 in. x 15 in. (22.86 cm x 38.1 cm)
Other (closed): 9 in. x 7 1/2 in. (22.86 cm x 19.05 cm)


Purchased with funds donated by Mrs. Stanley N. Gaines, Vice Regent for Florida and Mr. Gaines, 2008


George Washington's signature has been clipped from this letter. Second page (left side when open), center, in brown ink: With very great esteem + regard / I am?Sir / Your Obedient Hble Servt / [large loss]

Object Number



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