George Washington to Burwell Bassett, 23 May 1785
Washington was noncommittal when his nephew George Augustine Washington, eldest son of his brother Charles, decided to marry Frances (“Fanny”) Bassett, daughter of Martha Washington’s sister Anna Maria Dandridge and her husband Burwell Bassett. Washington explained his philosophy to the father of the bride in a letter dated 23 May 1785, a photocopy of which is in the Washington Papers at the Library of Congress. 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.
The amorous couple, who were already living at Mount Vernon at the time of their engagement, were married there on 15 October 1785. (Diaries, vol. 4, p. 206). Later in December of that same year George Augustine Washington became the manager of Mt. Vernon, a position he held until shortly before his death on 5 February 1793.
Confederation Series, Volume 3
ALS (photocopy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.
The original manuscript images used here are letter-book copies from the Library of Congress.
- George Washington to William Gordon, 20 Dec. 1784
- George Washington to Sally Ball Haynie, 11 Feb. 1798
- George Washington to Elizabeth “Betsey” Parke Custis, 10 Feb. 1796
- George Washington to Elizabeth “Betsey” Parke Custis, 14 Sept. 1794
- George Washington to Lund Washington, 20 Sept. 1783
- George Washington to Thomas Law, 10 Feb. 1796
- Martha Washington to Frances “Fanny” Bassett, 29 Aug. 1794
- George Washington to Eleanor “Nelly” Parke Custis, 21 March 1796
- George Washington Parke Custis to George Washington, 17 June 1798
- George Washington to George Washington Parke Custis, 13 June 1798