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


June 20, 1773



  • Written - United States


Ink, laid paper, red wax seal


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)


Purchase, 1997


MS-5503/A: None

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


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



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