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Boston 11th Feby 1800

Dear wife

Every thing tending to cultivate and improve the socia
al feelings merits attention, and because it places me nearer, tho it does
not in fact introduce me to, those whose friendship and conversation
are nearest my heart I fill up all my leisure moments in writing
to one or another of the family. I improved with pleasure a very
good opportunity which occurred last week to give Sally & Israel
a letter. Yesterday I closed and forwarded by Esqr Wheeler of
Lanesborough to the care of Mr. Waterman, a packet for the family
there. I am now writing by Lt.Tracy, to go perhaps tomorrow; by
him I expect to send a supply of bohea tea for you, and for Mr
Strong- should also forward a supply of Sugars could he carry it.
I hope to receive your and Dolly's order by mail this evening, but
doubt whether any answer can go by Mr Tracy. I am attempt-
ing to find some good bohea tea for the use of the family but have
not been able to suit myself so well as I could wish; It is said that there
is none imported of late, at least not at present, of so good a quality as
it had formerly; I believe, however, I shall send the best I have been
able to find- it will come with Mr Strong; and therefore should you
have occasion to use any of it, it must be weighed. To day we
have a masonic procession in Honor to the late Washington. The
gentlemen are to be dressed in their ornaments, and to any? the
Ensigns of their order- and to meet in the old South to hear
an eulogy to celebrate the virtues of the deceased. Could the
repeated funeral ceremonies performed for General Washington
(the masons are this minute performing this last ceremony, should
i say in a mock? manner?/ have any operation towards pre-
venting a resurrection, might we not doubt whether he would
ever be seen again? I shall send you some papers, and if this
day's affair should be published before Lt. Tracy leaves Town
you may expect it. We have no foreign news- A new Judicia
ry system has gone thro' the Senate. It's fate in the House is un-
certain. The other important public bill in which I have so
much interested myself have not had a full discussion.

I have this day found some very good long silk
Gloves for 12/. and others which are decent for 8/d. you will
have oppo. to write me respecting them after his in rec.d- with
renewed love to the family and to yourself in particular- I
am your very affect. husband
Wm. Williams

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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In a letter home, William Williams wrote of a Masonic service honoring George Washington which was held in Boston on February 11, 1800. The procession, formed at the Old State-House, had more than sixteen hundred men and was grandly led by two heralds clad in black robes and mounted on white horses. Williams believed that there were too many funeral services for Washington. This may be due to the fact that a service had been held by the General Court [Legislature] at the State House three days earlier. Williams also writes about gathering tea and sugar to send home, and shopping for gloves for both his wife and possibly brother-in-law.

 

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Letter to Dorothy Ashley Williams from her husband William Williams telling her of George Washington's funeral

author   William Williams (1735-1808)
date   Feb 11, 1800
location   Boston, Massachusetts
height   12.0"
width   7.25"
process/materials   manuscript, paper, ink
item type   Personal Documents/Letter
accession #   #L10.004


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See Also...

Washington Memorial

"Sacred Dirges, Hymns, and Anthems, commemorative of the death of General George Washington, The guardian of his country"

Excerpt from "A Funeral Oration on the Death of George Washington"

The Washington County Mutual Insurance Company broadside


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