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1 fashionable Hat or Bonnet.
6 p. Women's best Kid Gloves.
6 pr. ditto mitts.
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
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.
25 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.
12 doz. Bell glasses for Garden.
1 more Window Curtain and Cornice.
2 more Chair bottoms, such as were written for in a former invoice."
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.
66 '2 Wild Beasts, not to exceed twelve inches in height, nor eighteen in length.
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 by 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.
66 1 handsome suit of Winter Cloathes.
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 John Parke Custis, as above.
1 piece Irish linen, at 1s.
3 pr shoes for a boy 14 y'rs old.
3 p. Coarse Stockings for do.
2 pr Women's Strong Shoes, size 8.
2 p'r Stockings for do.
50 ells Osnaburgs.
A suit of livery Cloathes for the above
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.
A fashionable Cap or Fillet with bib apron.
4 fashionable dresses to be made of Long lawn.
2 fine Cambric frocks.
A Sattin Capuchin hat and neckatees.
A Persian quilted coat.
1 pr. pack thread Stays.
4 p. Calamanco Shoes, 6 pr leather ditto and
2 p'r Sattin do. with flat ties.
6 pr fine Cotton Stockings, 4 pr White Wors'd Do.
12 p'r Mitts. 6 p'r Gloves, white Kids.
1 p'r Silver Shoe buckles.
* 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.
1 pr. little Scissors.
3 M (thousand) large pins. 3 M short whites.
3 M Minikens.
1 Fashionable dressed Doll to cost a guinea. 1 Do. at 5s. A box Gingerbread, Toys & Sugar Images and Comfits.
A neat Small Bible, bound in Turkey, and Martha Parke Custis wrote on the inside in gilt letters.
A Small Prayer Book, neat and in the same manner. 12 yards coarse green Callimanco.
The above things to be put into a Strong Trunk-separate from: J. P. Custis's, whose will likewise be put into a Trunk, each having their names.
1 very good Spinet [a small harpsichord], to be made by Mr. Plinius, Harpsichord Maker, in South Audley Street, Grosvenor Square.
"It is begged as a favor that Mr. Carey would bespeak this instrument as for himself or a friend, and not let it be known y' is intended for exportation.
"Send a good assortment of spare strings to it.
"Books according to the enclosed List-to be charged equally to both John Parke Custis and Martha Parke Custislikewise one Ream of Writing paper.'
These specimens of orders which were sent out annually to England, are given as glimpses of the domestic arrangements at Mount Vernon, and the style in which the wealthier Virginia families, of cultivated tastes, lived before the Revolution It is evident that Washington and his family indulged in al the fashionable luxuries (not extravagances) of the day, pertaining to the table and the wardrobe; and in the absence of positive proof, these invoices would afford the strongest infer