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While presiding over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, George Washington wrote this detailed letter of instruction for the care of Mount Vernon to his nephew and farm manager George Augustine Washington. Dated September 2, 1787, Washington provides directions for farming, furnishing the mansion, caring for his servants, and managing expenses. Regarding the decoration of the small dining room Washington says, "I am sorry to find that the Green paint which was got to give the Dining room another Coat should have turned out so bad; such impositions (besides the disappointment) are really shameful."


ALS (Autograph Letter Signed) One large sheet of paper is folded in half to create four pages. The first three pages contain the text of the letter, and the fourth page (verso when closed) is docketed. Large watermark, center of first page. Similar to Gravell, FOREIGN WATERMARKS 752. The only difference is that the document's watermark has a less elaborate crown. Large watermark, center of third page. Similar to Gravell, FOREIGN WATERMARKS 751.

One small page. Text on recto. No watermark.


September 2, 1787




A: Ink, laid paper B: Ink, wove paper


Overall (MS-5821/A: open): 12 1/2 in. x 15 1/2 in. (31.75 cm x 39.37 cm)
Other (MS-5821/A; closed): 12 1/2 in. x 7 3/4 in. (31.75 cm x 19.69 cm)
Overall (MS-5821/B): 3 1/2 in. x 11 1/4 in. (8.89 cm x 28.58 cm)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds donated by Jack Overstreet, 2007


Fourth page (verso when closed), right edge just below center, perpendicular to letter's text, in brown ink: From / General Washington / 2 Sepr 1787 ?



Third page (right side when open), below center, in brown ink: Dr George ? / Yr. Affect Uncle / Go Washington


Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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