I am now set down to write you on a subject which fills me with inexpressible concern—and this concern is greatly aggravated and increased when I reflect on the uneasiness I know it will give you…
After her husband’s death, Martha Washington ordered the burning of all their personal letters. This letter, purportedly found behind the drawer of her writing desk from Mount Vernon and now in the Tudor Place Archive, is one of only three pieces of their
correspondence known to exist. In it, General Washington informed his wife of his appointment to lead the Continental Army and details preparations he has consequently made to provide for her and their Virginia household during his absence. According to Peter family tradition, the letter was found by an unspecified family member while the desk resided at Tudor Place. A descendant sold the desk in 1939 to Mount Vernon, but the letter remained at Tudor Place under the ownership of Armistead Peter, Jr., a fifth-generation descendant of Martha Washington.