GW: Life & Times

Slide 12 — GW Lives On: Paging Through History at the Papers of George Washington

Grab a pencil and paper for this one.
1. We've transcribed the first part of this letter (printed below). Now, see how well you can interpret the highlighted section.
2. Can you figure out to whom Washington might be writing this letter and what his concerns are? (Hint: link here)
3. Now that you've taken a close look at Washington's handwriting, see if you can tell which is an authentic document and which is a forgery. (Link to the two documents here)

(link to transcription)

Which letter is a forgery? Hint - compare to authentic letter above.

Philadelphia 25th Jan. 1797


Your letter of the 23d instt came to me this morning.

The tooth that formerly went into the hole (that is now filled up) has been out many months; which was the cause for putting in the artificial one. If it was not sent with the rest, I know not what has become of it; nor is it material, as the one which supplies its place answers the purpose very well.

Not knowing whether you mean to take a new sett, or to repair the old, I must again caution you against adding any thing that will widen the bars on the sides, or extend them in front at bottom– They are already too wide, and too projecting for the parts they rest upon; which causes both upper, & under lip to bulge out, as if swelled–By filing these parts away (to remedy that evil) it has been one cause of the teeth giving way, having been weakened thereby– I am Sir Yr very Hble Servt

G. Washington