Front Page Titles (by Subject) TOBIAS LEAR TO COL. BURGES BALL. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799)
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TOBIAS LEAR TO COL. BURGES BALL. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIV (1798-1799) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIV (1798-1799).
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TOBIAS LEAR TO COL. BURGES BALL.
Mount Vernon, Dec. 15th, 1799.
My Dear Sir:
Little did I think, when I last saw you, that I should have the painful task at this time imposed on me of informing you of the death of our beloved friend, General Washington. Alas, he is no more. These hands performed the last act of friendship to that great and good man between ten and eleven o’clock last night. He expired after a short illness of about twenty hours. On Friday he complained of a cold, but gave himself little trouble about it. On Saturday morning, he became ill. Dr. Craik was sent for. The symptoms appeared alarming an inflammation having taken place in this throat, which terminated in the disease called the quinsy. Dr. Dick, of Alex’a. and Dr. Brown, of Port Tobacco, were called in, and every medical aid used but in vain.
He bore his distress with astonishing fortitude; and conscious, as he declared, several hours before his death, of his approaching dissolution, he resigned his breath with the greatest composure, having the full possession of his reason to the last moment. While I am writing I conceive it all to be a dream. But when I consider for a moment I find, alas! there is but too much reality in it. The body will be deposited in the vault on Wednesday or Thursday. His executors are Col. Wm. Washington, of Westmoreland; Bushrod, George S., and Samuel Washington, Lawrence Lewis, and G. W. P. Custis.
Mrs. Washington bore the afflicting stroke with a pious resignation and fortitude which shew that her hopes were placed beyond this life. Present my best and affectionate regards to your good lady, Miss Milly, and the boys and believe me, &c.