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General Washington having been informed, lately, of the honor done him by Miss Kitty Livingston in wishing for a lock of his Hair, takes the liberty of inclosing one, accompanied by his most respectful compliments

When looking at this letter, consider the following questions:

  • Why would someone ask for a lock of hair? How does a lock of hair resemble friendship? 
  • From this lock of hair, what can we tell about George Washington?
  • What was happening in the American Revolution when this letter was written?

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This letter was sent to Catharine “Kitty” Wilhelmina Livingston from George Washington. Kitty had written to Washington, asking for a lock of his hair as a sign of their friendship. Washington honored this request while at Valley Forge and sent her the hair in this response.


*Note: there is a picture of a lock of Washington's hair in this primary source, but it wasn't the exact lock he sent to Kitty. Instead, it gives us a good idea of what he might have sent her. For the story on this exact lock, click here.