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" Tis well. "

Washington's last words, as recorded by Tobias Lear | Saturday, December 14, 1799

Editorial Notes

Shortly after George Washington took his last breath, his long-time secretary Tobias Lear sat down to record the events of the last several days. The best source on the events leading to Washingon’s death, Lear’s account details the actions of both Washington and the people around him—family members, employees, enslaved people, and physicians. Lear noted the various medical treatments tried in an attempt to relieve the patient’s symptoms, as well as Washington’s calm and attentiveness throughout the ordeal.

Washington’s Last Words, as Recorded in Tobias Lear's Journal | Saturday, December 14, 1799