Letter, Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren, March 7, 1778

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  • Letter, Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren, March 7, 1778

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Letter, Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren, March 7, 1778


Martha Washington in the American Revolution


This 1778 letter was written at the winter camp in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. Martha Washington corresponded regularly with Mercy Otis Warren, Boston historian and one of the leading lights of the Revolutionary era. Martha’s comments about the course of the war were an unusual foray into what was usually her husband’s exclusive domain.


Martha Washington





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Mercy Otis Warren Papers, Massachusetts Historical Society.

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Massachusetts Historical Society

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Dear Madam                                 Valley forge March the 7th 1778

I am now to thank you for the two very kind Letters which you have been pleased to favor me with. - the one written some time Last summer, and the other by Mr Bowdoin. It gave me a peculiar pleasure to hear by the gentleman that you and Genl Warren enjoyd good health - and this pleasure was not a little increased by hearing from yourself that you are so very happy in your state - noe traces of the enemy being left; but on the other hand, plenty of every thing usefull and necessary to be percured - indeed I think providence was very bountifull in her goodness to your state: even when the enemy was in it, we found then every article in plenty, and full sufficient for the use of the army - in virginia we have no British troops since the cruel Dunmore left us - but how soon we shall, is not at this time known; I hope, and trust, that all the states will make a vigorous push early this spring, if every thing can be prepard for it, and thereby putting a stop to British cruelties - and afford us that peace liberty and happyness which we have so long contended for -

It has given me unspeakable pleasure to hear that Genl Burgoyne and his army air in safe quarters in your state -would bountifull providence aim a like stroke at Genl Howe, the measure of my happyness would be compleat

I came to this place about the first of February whare I found the General very well - 1 left my Children at our House - Mrs Custis has lately had a fine girl, which makes the second since she left Cambridge; she is so much confined with her children, that she stays altogather with them

I left Mr Bowdoin in Alexandria he was a good deal distressed on account of Mr Blairne a french gentleman his partener - who was by accident drowned crossing the Potomack river; his Body was not found when I left home; his behavour and agreeable manners, rendered him a favourite with all that know him, and caused his death to be much lamented

The General is in camped in what is called the great Valley on the Banks of the Schuykill officers and men are cheifly in Hutts, which they say is tolarable comfortable; the army are as healthy as can well be expected in general - the Generals appartment is very small he has had a log cabben built to dine in which has made our quarter much more tolarable than they were at first.

It would give me plasure to deliver your compliments to Mrs. Gates, but she lives at so great a distance from me that I have not seen her since we parted at Newport two years agoe; the General joins me in offering our respectfull compliments to Genl Warren and yourself. -

I am Dr Madam with esteem
your affectionate Friend and
very Hble servt
Martha Washington



How to Cite this Item

Martha Washington, "Letter, Martha Washington to Mercy Otis Warren, March 7, 1778," in Martha Washington, Item #31, https://marthawashington.us/items/show/31 (accessed April 6, 2021).