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but too weak for common sitting. I therefore propose to take the bottoms out of those and put them into these now ordered, while the bottoms which you send will do for the former, and furnish the chambers. For this reason the workmen must be very exact, neither making the bottoms larger nor smaller than the dimensions, otherwise the change can't be made. Be kind enough to give directions that these chairs, equally with the others and the tables, be carefully packed and stowed. Without this caution, they are liable to infinite damage.”
In 1759 (the year of Washington's marriage), we have the order of a husband instead of that of a bachelor. The items are quite different, and were evidently dictated by the sweet little wife, leaning lovingly, perhaps, upon the broad shoulder of her noble lord. He directs his friend in London to send him :
“1 Salmon-colored Tabby (velvet] of the enclosed pattern,
with Sattin flowers; to be made in a sack and coat. 1 Cap, Handkerchief, and Tucker [a piece of lace or linen
pinned to the top of women's stays) and Ruffles, to be made of Brussells lace or Point, proper to be worn with
the above negligée; to cost £20. 1 piece Bag Holland, at 68. a yard. 2 fine flowered Lawn Aprons. 2 double handkerchiefs. 2 prs. women's white silk hose. 6 pr.
fine cotton do. 4 pr Thread do. four threaded. 1 p. black and 1 pr. white Sattin Shoes of the smallest fives 4 pr
1 fashionable Hat or Bonnet.
doz. Knots and Breast Knots. 1 doz, round Silk stay laces. 1 black Mask. 1 doz most fashionable Cambrick Pocket Handkerchiefs. 2 pr. neat Small Scissors. 1 lb Sewing Silk, shaded. Real Miniken pins and hair pins, and 4 pieces Binding Tape.
. Six lbs perfumed powder. 3 lbs best Scotch Snuff. 3 lbs best Violette Strasbourg Snuff. 1 pr narrow white Sattin ribbon, pearl edge. A puckered petticoat of a fashionable color. A silver Tabby velvet petticoat. 2 handsome breast flowers. Hair pins—sugar candy. 2 pr.
small silver Ear-rings for servants. 8 lbs Starch. 2 lbs Powdered Blue. 2 oz. Coventry Thread, one of which to be very fine. 1 case of Pickles to consist of Anchovies, Capers, Olives,
Salad Oil, and one bottle Indian Mangoes. 1 Large Cheshire Cheese. 4 lbs Green Tea. 10 gross best Corks. 35 lbs best jar Raisins. 25 lbs Almonds, in the Shell
1 hhd best Porter. 10 loaves double and 10 single refined Sugar. 12 lbs best mustard. 2 doz. Jack's best playing cards. 3 gallons of Rhenish in bottles. 100 lbs white Biscuit. 14 doz. Bell glasses for Garden. 1 more Window Curtain and Cornice. 2 more Chair bottoms, such as were written for in a former
Such were Washington's orders for his house at that time. These items were followed by others pertaining to his farming operations and the servants upon his estate; and also medi cines for family use.
And now, the mansion at Mount Vernon having an accomplished mistress to preside over its hospitalities, and to receive and entertain some of the best society of Virginia, articles of taste were introduced to embellish it. In the handwriting of the master we find the duplicate of an order, as follows:
“DIRECTIONS FOR THE Busts.—One of Alexander the Great; another of Julius Cæsar; another of Charles XII. of Sweden; and a fourth of the King of Prussia.
“N. B. These are not to exceed fifteen inches in height, nor ten in width.
“ 2 other Busts of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough, somewhat smaller.
“2 Wild Beasts, not to exceed twelve inches in height, nor eighteen in length.
“Sundry ornaments for Chimney-piece.”
These items indicate the military taste of Washington at that time, and show his reverence for the great military leaders of whom history had made her enduring records. Many years later, when Washington had become as renowned as they, the Great Frederick sent him a portrait of himself, accompanied Ly the remarkable words—“From the Oldest General in Eu rope to the Greatest General in the World !”
Two years after his marriage, Washington sent the following order to Robert Carey, Esq., in London:
“FOR MASTER CUSTIS, 8 YEARS OLD.
“1 handsome suit of Winter Cloathes. A suit of Summer ditto, very light, 2 pieces Nankeens with trimmings. 1 silver laced hat. 6 pair fine Cotton Stockings. 1 pr fine worsted ditto. 4 pr. Strong Shoes. 1 pr. neat Pumps. 1 p. gloves. 2 hair bags. 1 piece ribbon for ditto. 1 p. silver Shoe and Knee buckles. 1 p. Sleeve buttons. A Small Bible neatly bound in Turkey, and John Parke
Custis wrote in gilt letters on the inside of the cover. A neat Small Prayer Book bound as above, with Johın Parke
Custis, as above. 1 piece Irish linen, at 18. 3
pr shoes for a boy 14 y’rs old.
3 p. Coarse Stockings for do.
Women's Strong Shoes, size 8.
boy of 14. A hat for do. “NOTE.-Let the livery be suited to the arms of the Custis family.”
“For Miss Custis, 6 YEARS OLD.
“ A coat made of fashionable Silk.
* An Egrette or Aigrette was an ornament for the head then much used by people of fashion. They were sometimes made of tufts of feathers, diamonds, etc., but more frequently of ribbons. In the above invoice both kinds were ordered.