Lear, Frances "Fanny" Bassett Washington, 1767-1796
Found in 30 Collections and/or Records:
A.D. 46 pages. Autograph document, leatherbound ledger. Account book kept by Fanny Bassett Washington from the death of her husband George Augustine Washington until her marriage to Tobias Lear. Household, financial accounts.
D.S. 1 page. Bond. Fulton agrees to pay Mrs. Washington, widow of George Augustine Washington, thirty-five pounds "... upon the first day of January next ensuing  ... for the hire of a Negro Man named Reuben for one year ..." Frances Bassett Washington (Lear) died in 1796 so it is unclear who this document is really intended for, or if the date is incorrect.
A.L.S. 2 pages. Sends the letter by her husband [John Bassett, Fanny's brother] -- he has been an invalid for a week -- envies her her fine son [G. Fayette Washington] -- mentions Mr. Bassett's death. Autograph letter signed, integral cover, laminated, docketed by Fanny B. W-n, watermark. Date on original catalog card appears as  March 30. The writer was daughter of Wm. Burnett Brown of Elsing-Green.
A.L.S. 2 pages. Fauquier. Tells of illness of husband John and children -- dangers as they traveled along road to Fauquier, pursued by mad hog -- mentions 4 children. Autograph letter signed, laminated. Name on original manuscript appears as "B. C. B." [Enclosed with letter of Aug. 13, 1794, John Bassett to Frances Washington].
A.L.S. 2 pages. Eltham. Bettsy [wife?] has been very ill all summer, but has lately been revived by the copious use of wine and bark -- advises Fanny not to go to town in middle of summer, because of ague and fever -- brother John and family went up country to Mr. Robert Lewis's for their health -- Mrs. Lyons ill. Autograph letter signed, integral cover, docketed by Frances Washington, mutilated, laminated, watermark. Name on original manuscript appears as "Burwell Bassett."
A.L.S. 2 pages. Says Maria likely has the measles. Describes symptoms and treatment. Docketed to Mrs. Washington, Mount Vernon.
A.L.S. 1 page. Alexandria. Mrs. Trutton (?) is moving from Mrs. Washington's house, hasn't paid rent due -- she has rented, or sublet, the rest of her time there to Mr. Dobbin, who agrees to stay there for some time if she will agree to paint and stop the roof leaks. Autograph letter signed, integral cover, docketed by Fanny Washington, laminated. Name on original manuscript appears as "G. Deneale."
A.L.S. 1 page. The Exchange, Fauquier County. He, wife and sick children are at the Exchange for healthy air -- hasn't written or heard from her since recent trip to Mt. Vernon -- will try to visit again shortly -- encloses letter from Mrs. Bassett. [See letter of Aug. 15, 1794, B.C. Bassett to Frances Washington]. Autograph letter signed, integral cover, and redirected cover, docketed by F. Washington, mutilated, laminated, watermark. Name on original manuscript appears as "J. Bassett."
A.L.S. 2 pages. Ill health and business prevented his going to visit her or even writing -- he is even unable to return to Mr. Robert Lewis's [The Exchange, Fauquier County] for Mrs. Bassett -- expresses affection for Fanny and her children, telling her they have an "excellent pattern" in her, while she has "the best of guides, an amiable and benevolent heart." Autograph letter signed, separate cover, laminated, watermark (crown over GR).
A.L.S. 1 page. Studley, Hanover County, VA. Mentions Fanny's approaching marriage to [Tobias] Lear -- invites them to come to Studley to visit -- [Mrs. Lyons was Fanny's aunt. She was married to Judge Peter Lyons, and the sister of Col. Burwell Bassett]. Autograph letter signed, docketed by F. Washington, laminated, incomplete watermark. Name on original manuscript appears as "J. Lyons." Date on original catalog card appears  July 12.
In this letter Martha asks Fanny to send with Austin, her servant, several muslin borders which Charlot was to hem. Also, Martha insists that "you must let me know if you are in a certain way and when the event will happen,..." Expects to be home "about the first of August" and wonders "... is B[etty] Lewis married -".
Chocolate and shoes for Maria--poor condition of schools--Carter Harrison and family.
Hopes Fanny's children will be well thru winter--uneasy over Dr. David Stuart's illness, but is recovering--sent Maria's shoes to her--Nelly not so much grown as Mr. Lear described, but Wash [George Washington Parke Custis] outgrows his clothes--"I hope that when Nelly has a little more gravatie she will be a good girl. At present she is I fear half crazy."
Family news--has sent her gowns by ship--her poor sister [Elizabeth Dandridge Henley's] hard lot in life; a drunken husband--Betsy [Eliza Parke] Custis's grave and retiring disposition.
Although not alone, she has missed her since she left--General goes over the mountains next month--expects brother [Bartholomew Dandridge] up and will go down to see him in Sept.--Mrs. [David] Stuart improving--her stays arrived from Annapolis--paid Mrs. Charles Stuart who paid mantua maker--Miss Ramsay married--Nelly well--Tubs [G.W.P. Custis] never unhappy about absent friends--letter from her [Fanny's] pappa, didn't mention Fanny.
Martha asks Fanny Bassett Washington to send her several articles up to New York from Mount Vernon: a silver seal "with my Father's arms" or a "good impression" of it and a "white necklace ... and some small mother of pearl beads that is in one of the drawers in my cabinet ..."
News of her health--purchasing silk and muslin in Philadelphia --sending some sewing and kitchen staples to Mount Vernon--news of the President (just completing his southern tour)--nephew Bartholomew Dandridge innoculated for small pox--news of her children.
Concerning the declining health of Fanny's husband, George Augustine Washington, who had just relinquished his job as manager of Mount Vernon and moved to Eltham, the Bassett family home. Also other family news.
Comments on the death of a son of Dr. and Mrs. James Craik--Mrs. Harrison and children in German Town for their health--will send Fanny's shoes and mattress by packet to Mt. Vernon--President says she may use broad or narrow boards, whichever she prefers--Bartholomew Dandridge is sick--they came to German Town for his health and President's--the spot on Washington's face doesn't seem to respond to medicine--Nelly has returned from her jaunt.
The significance of this letter to Martha’s niece Fanny is the mention of several specific slaves in the Presidential household. Martha complains about the sewing work of Charlotte and Caroline and gives her condolences regarding Giles, an enslaved coach driver who was apparently injured in an accident. She also mentions Hercules, the enslaved Washington cook who several years later would run away from the household. Misdated as '1790.' Autograph letter signed, 3 pages.