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Letter to Harriot Washington Parks, July 22, 1796
George Washington. Autograph letter signed: Mount Vernon, to Harriot Washington Parks, 1796 July 22. 2 p.

Mount Vernon 22d July 1796

Dear Harriot,

The last Post brought me your letter of the 17 [inserted: th instant] informing me of your Marriage the preceding day [inserted: with Mr. Parks].

Far from being displeased at the event, I offer you my congratulations thereon; and sincerely wish it may prove [struck: a] [inserted: the] source of continual happiness to you. Much [inserted: of this] depends on your [strikeout] [inserted: own disposition] [inserted: on] a prudent deportment towards your husband; and [inserted: on] the accomodation of your views to his circumstances. If the first are more extensive than the latter, it will involve both of you in difficulties; perhaps [inserted: in] ruin. Always keep the old adage in remembrance ''Take your measure according to your cloth" and do not, because you may see others do so, (some because their fortunes enable them, and others because they are excited to it by vanity) endulge yourself either in dress, or a mode [2] of living that will [inserted: be] produc [struck: e] [inserted: tive of] embarrassmt.

Having much company in the house, [struck: I shall only] [inserted: at prest. I have time only to] add, that your Aunt, & Nelly Custis unite with me in best wishes for the happiness [inserted: & prosperity] of your self & Mr. Parks; and that if it shd. suit his business at any time, to make a visit here, while we are at home we should be glad to see you both at Mount Vernon. With great regard I remain Your Affecte. Uncle
Go: Washington
Mrs Harriot Parks.

Notes: Unpublished. Harriot married Andrew Parks on 16 July 1796. Washington and his sister Elizabeth raised Harriot after her parents death. Although Washington knew and approved of the engagement, he was unable to attend the ceremony. Elizabeth rushed the wedding so that the couple would be married before she left on an extended trip.