Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO FRANCIS DANDRIDGE, LONDON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO FRANCIS DANDRIDGE, LONDON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO FRANCIS DANDRIDGE, LONDON.
Mount Vernon, 20 September, 1765.
If you will permit me, after six years’ silence,—the time I have been married to your niece,—to pay my respects to you in this epistolary way, I shall think myself happy in beginning a correspondence, which cannot but be attended with pleasure on my side.
I should hardly have taken the liberty, Sir, of introducing myself to your acquaintance in this manner, and at this time, lest you should think my motives for doing of it arose from sordid views, had not a letter which I received some time this summer from Robert Cary, Esqr. & Co., given me reasons to believe, that such an advance on my side would not be altogether disagreeable on yours. Before this I rather apprehended that some disgust at the news of your niece’s marriage with me—why I could not tell—might have been the cause of your silence upon that event, and discontinuing a correspondence which before then you had kept up with her; but if I could only flatter myself, that you would in anywise be entertained with the few occurrences, that it might be in my power to relate from hence, I should endeavor to atone for my past remissness, in this respect, by future punctuality.
At present few things are under notice of my observation that can afford you any amusement in the recital. The Stamp Act, imposed on the colonies by the Parliament of Great Britain, engrosses the conversation of the speculative part of the colonists, who look upon this unconstitutional method of taxation, as a direful attack upon their liberties, and loudly exclaim against the violation. What may be the result of this, and of some other (I think I may add) ill-judged measures, I will not undertake to determine; but this I may venture to affirm, that the advantage accruing to the mother country will fall greatly short of the expectations of the ministry; for certain it is, that our whole substance does already in a manner flow to Great Britain, and that whatsoever contributes to lessen our importations must be hurtful to their manufacturers. And the eyes of our people, already beginning to open, will perceive, that many luxuries, which we lavish our substance in Great Britain for, can well be dispensed with, whilst the necessaries of life are (mostly) to be had within ourselves. This, consequently, will introduce frugality, and be a necessary stimulation to industry. If Great Britain, therefore, loads her manufacturies with heavy taxes, will it not facilitate these measures? They will not compel us, I think, to give our money for their exports, whether we will or not; and certain, I am none of their traders will part from them without a valuable consideration. Where, then, is the utility of these restrictions?
As to the Stamp Act, taken in a single view, one and the first bad consequence attending it, I take to be this, our courts of judicature must inevitably be shut up; for it is impossible, (or next of kin to it), under our present circumstances, that the act of Parliament can be complied with, were we ever so willing to enforce the execution; for, not to say, which alone would be sufficient, that we have not money to pay the stamps, there are many other cogent reasons, to prevent it; and if a stop be put to our judicial proceedings, I fancy the merchants of Great Britain, trading to the colonies, will not be among the last to wish for a repeal of it.1
I live upon Potomack River in Fairfax county, about ten miles below Alexandria, and many miles distant from any of my wife’s relations, who all reside upon York River, and whom we seldom see more than once a year, and not always that. My wife, who is very well, and Master and Miss Custis, (children of her former marriage,) all join in making a tender of their duty and best respects to yourself and their aunt. My compliments to your lady, I beg may also be made acceptable, and that you will do me the justice to believe that I am, dear Sir, your most obedient humble servant.1
[1 ]“Government is set at defiance, not having strength enough in her hands to enforce obedience to the laws of the community. The private distress which every man feels, increases the general dissatisfaction at the duties laid by the stamp act, which breaks out, and shews itself upon every trifling occasion.”—Gov. Fauquier to Earl of Halifax, June 14, 1765.
[1 ]“December 16, 1766. At a meeting of the Trustees [of Alexandria], ‘Present, Geo. William Fairfax, Esq. The Trustees proceeded to appoint a Trustee in the room of Geo. Johnston, deceased, and have unanimously chosen George Washington, Esq.’ He declined serving.”—Historical Magazine, July, 1863.