George Washington Papers

To James Tilghman, Jr., from George Washington, 27 April 1772

To James Tilghman, Jr.

Mount Vernon April 27th 1772

Sir

Your Horse having, in appearance at least, got perfectly over his Founder1 I send him to you by the bearer, and am with very great esteem Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, owned (2004) by Mr. Joseph Rubinfine, West Palm Beach, Florida. GW addressed the letter to Tilghman at Alexandria.

James Tilghman, Jr. (1748-1796) was the younger brother of Tench Tilghman, who served as GW’s trusted aide-de-camp during the Revolutionary War. At this time, James was residing in Alexandria, but in early 1774, he briefly went to live with his father in Philadelphia due to poor health. James later removed to Maryland, and in 1789 was appointed one of seven commissioners to carry "into execution" a law adopted by the Maryland legislature for the purpose of erecting a courthouse in Talbot County, Md. (Tilghman, History of Talbot County, description begins Oswald Tilghman. History of Talbot County, Maryland, 1661–1861 . . .. 2 vols. 1915. Reprint, Baltimore, 1967. description ends , 2:231-2). Tilghman served in the Maryland legislature for several terms, and in January 1791, he was appointed associate justice of the 2d Judicial District in Talbot County. James Tilghman and GW were strong acquaintances; the former was a frequent visitor at Mount Vernon, and in 1773, GW invited James to accompany him to horse races in Annapolis (see GW to Tilghman, 25 Sept. 1773, [first and second], and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:103, 114-5, 200, 245-6).

1"Founder" refers to an inflammation of the "laminar structures" of a horse’s foot, which often results from overuse (OED description begins James A. H. Murray et al., eds. The Oxford English Dictionary: Being a Corrected Re-Issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles. 12 vols. 1933. Reprint. Oxford, England, 1970. description ends ). The horse may have received the injury during Tilghman’s most recent visit to Mount Vernon from 20 to 22 April (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:103).

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