Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO REV. JONATHAN BOUCHER. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO REV. JONATHAN BOUCHER. 1 - 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 REV. JONATHAN BOUCHER.1
30 May, 1768.
Mr. Magowan who lived several years in my family, a tutor to Master Custis (my son-in-law and ward,) having taken his departure for England, leaves the young gentleman without any master at this time. I should be glad therefore to know if it would be convenient for you to add him to the number of your pupils. He is a boy of good genius, about 14 years of age, untainted in his morals and of innocent manners. Two years and upwards he has been reading of Virgil and was (at the time Mr. Magowan left him) entered upon the Greek testament.
I presume, he has grown not a little rusty in both having had no benefit of his tutor since Christmas, notwithstanding he left the country in March only. If he comes, he will have a boy (well acquainted with house business, which may be made as useful as possible in your family to keep him out of idleness) and two horses to furnish him with the means of getting to Church and elsewhere, as you may permit; for he will be put entirely and absolutely under your tuition and direction to manage as you think proper in all respects.
Now Sir, if you incline to take Master Custis, I should be glad to know what conveniences, it may be necessary for him to bring, and how soon he may come. For as to his board and schooling (provender for his horses, he may lay in himself.) I do not think it necessary to enquire into and will cheerfully pay ten or twelve pounds a year, extraordinary, to engage your peculiar care of, and a watchful eye to him, as he is a promising boy, the last of his family and will possess a very large fortune. Add to this my anxiety to make him fit for more useful purposes than horse racer.
This letter will be sent to you by my brother at Fredericksburg and I should be obliged to you for an answer by the first post to Alexandria near to which place I live. I am, &c
P. S. If it is necessary for him to provide a bed, could one be purchased in your neighborhood? It would save a long carriage.
[1 ]Jonathan Boucher was born in England, migrated to Port Royal in 1759, and in 1762 became rector of the parish in King George County, removing shortly after to St. Mary’s. He established a school in his house and among his pupils was John Parke Custis. At this time he was a constant and voluminous correspondent of Washington, but on the advent of the Revolution he became a loyalist, and, as such, a severe critic of Washington’s conduct. It is in the light of that position that the following extract from his autobiography must be read. “Mr. Washington was the second of five sons of parents distinguished neither for their rank nor fortune. Laurence, their eldest son, became a soldier, and went on the expedition to Carthagena, where, getting into some scrape with a brother officer, it was said he did not acquit himself quite so well as he ought, and so sold out; soon after which he died at Barbadoes. George, who, like most people thereabouts at that time, had no other education than reading, writing and accounts, which he was taught by a convict servant whom his father bought for a schoolmaster, first set out in the world as surveyor of Orange County, an appointment of about half the value of a Virginia rectory, i. e. perhaps 100 l a year. When the French made encroachments on our western frontier in 1754, this Washington was sent out to examine on the spot how far what was alleged was true, and to remonstrate on the occasion. He published his journal on this occasion, which, in Virginia at least, drew on him some ridicule. Yet when, soon after, a regiment was raised in Virginia, he had interest enough to be appointed the Lieutenant-Colonel of it, or rather, I believe, at first the Major only. A Colonel Jefferson [it was Fry] who had formerly been grammar master in the College, commanded the regiment, and a Colonel Muse [Innes?] who had been a sergeant, and therefore knew something of military discipline and exercise, was the second in command. Jefferson soon died, and Muse was disgraced, from some imputations of cowardice, so that the command devolved on Mr. Washington. At Braddock’s defeat, and every subsequent occasion throughout the war, he acquitted himself much in the same manner as in my judgment he has since done—i. e. decently, but never greatly. I did know Mr. Washington well; and though occasion may call forth traits of character that never could have been discovered in the more sequestered scenes of life, I cannot conceive how he could, otherwise than through the interested representations of party, have ever been spoken of as a great man. He is shy, silent, stern, slow and cautious; but has no quickness of parts, extraordinary penetration, nor an elevated style of thinking. In his moral character he is regular, temperate, strictly just and honest (excepting that as a Virginian, he has lately found out that there is no moral turpitude in not paying what he confesses he owes to a British creditor), and, as I always thought, religious: having heretofore been pretty constant, and even exemplary, in his attendance on public worship in the Church of England. But he seems to have nothing generous or affectionate in his nature. Just before the close of the last war he married the widow Custis, and thus came into possession of her large jointure. He never had any children, and lived very much like a gentleman at Mount Vernon, in Fairfax County, where the most distinguished part of his character was that he was an admirable farmer.”