George Washington Thrice-Signed Partial Autograph Letter Signed – 3 Signature Variations


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1st President.  Fragmentary autograph letter signed (ALS) “Go: Washington”,  [N.p., but likely Mount Vernon. May 1786], to Alexander Spotswood, additionally signed by Washington with an initialed post script “G.W.” as well as “Mrs. Washington” in text, 7.5×10, concerning a lame horse, Washington writes:

…my lame horse; and for the lent of the one which Austin rid up. Mr. Hunter (of Alexandria) is so obliging as to take him down to you, and will bring mine up, if he is fit to move. If not I will wait until you may write me, as I had rather send for him than have him travelled as quick as he must do to accompany the stage. Mrs. Washington and the family here join me in every good wish for yourself and Mrs. Spotswood and the rest of the family. With great estm & regard I am – Dr Sir Yr Most obedt & Affece Serv. Go: Washington.

I pray your excuse for detaining your horse so long. To be honest, till I gave your letter a second reading, this day, I thought it was your request to have him sent down when mine came up. Why I should think so as there was no reason for it, and the letter contains no such request, is a little unaccountable – but this is the fact. Yrs &c G. W.

A fragment only, but with a full Washington signature. This letter was written during the period when Washington was largely at home at Mount Vernon, between the end of the Revolution and the presidency. Our dating is provided by the Washington Papers Project, based on a copy at Mount Vernon, and noting the original as “not found.”

Old fold lines. Laid down on a later sheet. Toning and light soiling, minor loss at some folds, loss from wax seal.

On his return from Richmond GW “breakfasted at General Spotswoods” at New Post on the Rappahannock River in Spotsylvania County, on the morning of 29 April and wrote in his diary: “One of my Chariot Horses having got lame going to Richmond, but forced back to Genl. Spotswoods (not however without much difficulty) was left there with a Servant who was ordered to proceed with him or a horse which Genl. Spotswood would lend in two days” (Diaries, 4:319). William Hunter, Jr., a merchant in Alexandria, had dinner at Mount Vernon on 14 May.