Buckner Stith to George Washington, 22 Mar. 1787

This letter from Buckner Stith (1722-1791), originally of the Chotank area of the Northern Neck of Virginia, is unique in that it is the only known letter from a companion of GW’s childhood recalling the days of their youth. Stith, who was living at this time at his home Rock Spring in Brunswick County, was a justice of the county and a captain in the Brunswick militia. His sons John (1755-1808) and Robert Stith were married to Ann (d. 1824) and Mary Townshend Washington respectively, daughters of GW’s cousin and childhood friend Lawrence Washington of Chotank, the “old Laurence” mentioned in this letter. In July 1764, Buckner Stith paid £32 to Joseph Royle to have printed 1,000 copies of his detailed tract on tobacco which was reprinted in Richmond in 1824 (Virginia Gazette Daybook, 1764-66, ViU; Christopher Johnston, “The Stith Family,” WMQ, 1st ser. 21 [1912-13], 181-93). Buckner Stith’s Opinion on the Cultivation of Tobacco was advertised in Royle’s Virginia Gazette (Williamsburg), 6 July 1764.

Original manuscript images of Stith’s letter at the Library of Congress: Page 1 | Page 2

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