<br /> Lee Letter: w015

Washington and Lee University

Sender: George Washington Parke Custis
Recipient: Mary Lee Fitzhugh Custis
Recipient: Mary Anna Randolph Custis

Dearest Wife & Daughter

Your joint letter came to hand only yesterday, & made me happy in hearing that you were well, & among your good friends in Frederic. I had almost despaired of hearing from you, after a fortnights interval. We are well here. Not a soul has has been sick in the time since you left us, & only two or three cases of ague & fever on the farm & they unusually mild. How it may be for a fortnight to come, we hate to see. I have graded and gravelled the hill, a good job. We were today putting on the second and last coat of paint on the parlour, which looks remarkably well. I assure you it is well painted. I had varnished the doors as I have found some old varnish, will answer the purpose. The large doors in the hall look much better for being painted a dark gray colour. The roofs will all be examined, & repaired while the workman is here. Some <illegible> fire wood to be put away in the cellar for bad weather in winter, a thing you have often wished. My hands have been pulling fodder for Napoleon, for a week (for one half). By this I shall get a large supply of the most valuable provender, far preferable to the marsh hay, from which I am excluded by the Canal. – The marsh will for a time be devoted to the raising of Hogs, to which it is admirably adopted. Napoleon has 40 fine Hogs for killing, many all raised in my marsh, without asking a cent. – I have an encrease in piggy wiggys, & I hope to turn 30 into the marsh in the Spring. – The three jocks, will be very fine for an early killing this winter. Thousands of my fine cabbages have rotted, from the season, & want of market, my celery is good, & I am preparing for a very large set out of early jocks . I sent two Beets, & one squash to the Horticultural Exhibition. I am feasted every morning upon deliciuous Red Birds – The Partridges, I keep for you. Lawrence is the Sportsman. There are a good many partridges, & I hope to give you a good suuply when I shall shoot in October. Rice gallantly attacked a poacher the other day, who knocked the old Irishman down with a stone, but Rice rallied, routed the poachers 3 in number, & drove them to G Town Ferry then went over & got warrants, but the rascals have absconded. – Eleanor has cured an ample supply of peaches and other sweet fruits for you & Mrs Lewis is now about getting some quinces. – The wool is of better quality than usual, & is washed & given out to spinning. One gentleman, a great traveler, came here two days ago making 3 persons in 7 weeks. He wondered I could do any thing else but look at the prospect, as I had looked on it for 37 years. – There dear Children. Tell Daughter to be a good girl, & Gampa will go to the <illegible> get something very nice for her. Tell old Bonaparte that Gampa is taming a pup for him. The Pup already at meals but is rather shy of being handled, Ephriam predicts that he will be the total ruin of the mice. – Tell Dear Brother that he must work away at the Book, & we will have grand shooting on October. I have written you a long letter, God bless & preserve my dear family, that are never out of my thoughts. Remember me most kindley to all with you including Dr Henry – Maria not yet home. Let me hear from you once a week. &

Believe me your truly affectionate Husband & Father

George W P Custis


Lee-Jackson CollectionLeyburn Library

On the reverse is a note or an address that reads: “Paid To Mrs Mary L Custis care of Lorenzo Lewis Esq. of Audley near Berryville Clarke County Virginia.”