George Washington to Sally Ball Haynie, 11 Feb. 1798

Washington’s advice to another young relative focused on a different aspect of courtship and marriage. Sally Ball Haynie, described as a “beautiful young girl,” was an impoverished niece of Washington’s mother. Both she and her mother, Elizabeth Haynie, who was probably the daughter of Mary Ball Washington’s half sister Elizabeth Johnson, received financial support from George Washington. Thus, in his letter of 11 February 1798 to Sally, of which a signed letterpress copy is in the Washington Papers at the Library of Congress, Washington emphasized personal attributes, which would attract an appropriate marriage partner, that were slightly different from those he extolled to his granddaughters.  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.

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