In response to George Washington’s letter of 13 June 1798, Custis hastened to assure his grandfather that the danger was past.
The original manuscript copy of this letter has not been found, but it is included in Custis’s Recollections and Private Memoirs of Washington. The “young lady in question” was probably Elizabeth Jennings, the daughter of Thomas and Juliana Jennings, who lived in the Paca House on Prince George Street in Annapolis. Later that summer Custis would refer to his “happy escape” (David Stuart to George Washington, 22 August 1798, Retirement Series, 2:558). To his grandfather’s relief, no doubt, Custis waited until 1804 to marry. His wife was Mary Lee Fitzhugh, the daughter of William Fitzhugh of Chatham and his wife Anne Randolph. Custis’s daughter Mary would eventually marry Robert E. Lee, thus joining two prominent Virginia families. This letter is part of a series; more information can be found on the “Washington’s Advice on Love and Marriage” page. Please also see related documents below.