In the early months of 1798, with which this volume begins, Washington’s correspondence relates mostly to such private concerns as the management of his Mount Vernon estate, his tenants in Virginia, his lands in the West and in Pennsylvania, and the education of Washington Parke Custis and the marrige of Nelly Custis, but he continues to correspond with friends and strangers, the low and the mighty, throughout America and abroad. By late spring James Monroe’s attacks and the furor over the XYZ affair are drawing Washington back into the political arena. The letters in the latter part of this volume are in large part written to and from Washington as the commander in chief of an army being raised to repulse a feared French invasion.
W.W. Abbot, ed., The Papers of George Washington: Retirement Series volume 2, January – September 1798. Charlottesville and London: University Press of Virginia, 1998.