Rare Martha Washington Letter Found at Cloud County Museum
Cloud County Museum for KSAL News - Wed 03:42 AM 02/02/2011
The Cloud County Historical Society Museum will host a private reception for relatives of Martha and George Washington prior to an Open House for the general public.
While reorganizing a drawer of old files, a museum employee stumbled upon some long forgotten papers in the bottom. Among the papers was a clear plastic sheet protector containing a well preserved letter dated January 27, 1793 with a return address of Philadelphia, PA.
The letter, addressed to "Dear Fanny" expresses concern for the "Major" and his ongoing medical treatment. It mentions the writer's desire to return to Mount Vernon but the "Congress will rise in March" and states that "The president goes home as soon as he can after, but the roads will be so bad that it will be impossible for the family to move at that time."
The writer closes the letter with, "I am, my dear Fanny your most affectionate, M. Washington."
Additional documentation found in the files revealed that the letter was the property of Mrs. Park Pulsifer, who had left instructions that it be donated to the Cloud County Historical Museum upon its organization.
The Blade-Empire reported on June 4, 1920, that the letter was on exhibit at the Women's Community Club in Concordia. At that time, the letter's recipient had been verified by Mr. Tilton, Manuscript Division of the New York Public Library, as Mrs. Frances Bassett Washington, a niece of Martha Washington.
Martha Washington correspondence is rare as she is said to have burned all of the correspondence between George and herself and most of her incoming correspondence. Another letter to the same niece is part of the Mount Vernon Ladies Association Museum collection.
The Cloud County Historical Society Museum will host a private reception for relatives of Martha and George Washington prior to an Open House for the general public. Individuals who can trace their heritage to the Washington, Dandridge, (Martha's maiden name) or the Custis family are asked to join the Museum at 1:30 p.m. on February 19, 2011.
The general public will be welcomed at 2:00pm to an official unveiling of the Martha Washington letter.
Guests will enjoy a "English Tea" featuring some of George and Martha Washington's favorite treats. The Cloud County Genealogy Society will be available during the reception to answer questions and offer research assistance.