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 […]

George Washington to Lund Washington, 20 Sept. 1783

In 1783 Eleanor Calvert Custis, the widow of Martha’s son John Parke Custis, contemplated marriage to Alexandria physician David Stuart. Mrs. Custis sought to acquire the thoughts of her former in-laws on the subject but did so indirectly with the assistance of Lund Washington, the manager of Mount Vernon and […]

The Rules of Civility

These maxims originated in the late sixteenth century in France and were popularly circulated during Washington’s time. Washington wrote out a copy of the 110 Rules in his school book when he was about sixteen-years old. This exercise, now regarded as a formative influence in the development of his character, […]

Thanksgiving Proclamation

On 25 September 1789, Elias Boudinot of Burlington, New Jersey, introduced in the United States House of Representatives a resolution “That a joint committee of both Houses be directed to wait upon the President of the United States, to request that he would recommend to the people of the United […]