GW: Kids

Questions — Uncle George

Harriot Washington was the daughter of George Washington's brother, who had died when she was just five years old. She lived with several of her relatives until she was twenty years old. Some of that time she spent at Mount Vernon.

Read Harriot's letter and answer the questions that follow.

Mt Vernon April 2d 1790

I now set down to write to my dear Uncle as I have not wrote to him since he left this place I should have done it but I thought you had so much business that I had better write to Aunt Washington yet I am sure you would be very glad to se me improveing myself by writeing letters to my friend's.

I am a going to ask you My Dear Uncle to do something for me which I hope you will not be against but I am sure if you are it will be for my good, as all the young Ladyes are a learning musick, I will be very much obleiged to you if you will send me a gettar, there is a man here by the name of Tracy that teaches to play on the harpsicord & gettar, a gettar is so simple an instrument that five or six lessons would be sufficient for any body to learn, If you think it proper to send me a gettar I will thank you if you will send it by the first opportunity I was informed the other day that you and Aunt Washington were certainly a comeing home this Summer which gave me a great deal of pleasure for I want to see you very much.

If you please to give my love to Aunt Washington Nelly & Washington. I am My Dear Uncle your Sincere Neice

Harriot Washington.

Link here for the real thing!

1. What does Harriot want her Uncle George to do for her and why?
2. What is a "harpsicord?" Link here to look it up if you aren't sure. Type in the word in the box and click GO. Make sure to spell using our modern spelling: harpsichord
3. How old do you think Harriot was when she wrote this note? What clues from the letter make you think so?
4. Time to grab your pencils and paper! When we transcribe letters, we type them exactly like we find them, even if they have incorrect spelling and punctuation. As you can see, Harriot's letter needs a few corrections. Rewrite her letter using the rules that you've learned for spelling and punctuation.

Harriot's letter to George Washington.