October 23, 1789: Martha Washington writes to her niece Fanny Bassett Washington

My dear Fanny
I have by Mrs Sims sent you a watch it is one of the cargo that I have so long mentioned to you, that was expected, I hope is such a one as will please you – it is of the newest fashion, if that has any influence on your taste – The chain is of Mr Lear’s choosing and such as Mrs Adams the vice Martha WashingtonPresidents Lady and those in the polite circle wares. It will last as long as the fashion – and by that time you can get another of a fashionable kind – I send to dear Maria a piece of Chino to make her a frock – the piece of muslin I hope is long enough for an apron for you, and in exchange for it, I beg you will give me the worked muslin apron you have like my gown that I made just before I left home of worked muslin as I wish to make a petticoat of the two aprons – for my gown – Mrs Sims will give you a better account of the fashions than I can – I live a very dull life hear and know nothing that passes in the town – I never go to the public place – indeed I think I am more like a state prisoner than anything else, there is certain bounds set for me which I must not depart from – and as I can not doe as I like I am obstinate and stay at home a great deal –

The President set out this day week on a tour to the eastward Mr Lear and Major Jackson attended him – my dear children has had very bad colds but thank god they are getting better My love and good wishes attend you and all with you – remember me to Mr & Mrs L Wn how is the poor child – kiss Maria I send her two little handkerchiefs to wipe her nose

I am my dear Fanny yours
most affectionately

M Washington

Source: George Washington’s Mount Vernon

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