[This page also includes some notes written in pencil listing topics discussed in this letter.]

Washington Feby. 20— 1825

My Dear Wife,

We went to Mount Vernon yesterday,
as I mentioned that we should, except that Duncan
was of our party instead of Winthrop. It was the most
gratifying excursion I ever made, notwithstand-
ing the road was so horrible that I walked at
least twelve miles in the course of the day. In
going I walked the whole distance from Alex-
andria -- except about 3/4ths of a mile. The
place is well worth visiting for the majestic
beauty of the situation -- how extremly interesting
then when connected with all the associations be-
longing to it, as the residence of the immortal Wash-
ington. We entered the private way leading thro'
the plantation to the Mansion house, about two
miles from it. About half a mile distant from
it, the buildings strike the view, with an im-
posing affect. Nothing can surpass the beauty of
the situation -- on an eminence, on the margin
of the majestic Potomac -- sweeping along for
a great distance in full view -- a mile& an half
wide, presenting many fine points -- a fort &
other interesting objects. The House is an ancient
building -- in a style of anterevolutionary ar-
chitecture—with a cupola & antique vane,

with a covered, way at each end, in a curved
form, leading to several buildings & offices
on each side -- the whole arranged in great symetry,
& altogether united to the character of him, whose
whos residence there will forever make it an object
of the deepest interest, & whose ashes still repose in the
bosom of the adjoining field. In the rear of the buildings
is an extensive lawn & beautiful lawn, with various
trees & shrubs on each side. On the right hand is the
garden, containing with green houses containing a
variety of plants, with several lemon & orange
trees loaded with fruit. I have two lemons & an orange
which I shall carefully bring to you. In the rear of
the building is a piazza the whole length of the build-
ing, in which no doubt the Hero & sage often walk-
ed to enjoy the refreshing breezes from the water & to
meditate upon measures for the good of his Country,
or reflect on the liberty & happiness which he
had conferred upon her thru' so much toil & suffering.
Between this & the river's bank is a delightful field,
& the shore is lined with various trees & shrubs.
On one side of this is a summer house delightfully beautifully
situated. And at a little distance, is the tomb,
the object of indescribable interest, as plain as you
have heard it described -- of brick -- with a loose woo-
den door, covered with earth, upon which grow several cedar trees. These are much mutilated
by the loss of branches taken by visitors -- and two have
been sacrilegeously sawed off & taken away! I enclose
some sprigs for Ann & Caroline and shall bring others
home. The tomb is in the most romantic spot im-
aginable -- very near the river -- at the edge of the
bank—upon which Washington no doubt loved
to roam.     The old fashioned apartments in the
house are very convenient & respectable, & much
of the furniture remains. In the entry is hanging
in a glass case, the key of the Bastile, sent to W. by
Lafayette. I doubt whether a paint brush has
been applied by the present possessor, & every thing
has an appearance of dilapidation. The back yards
&c especially by the dwellings of the slaves are very
gloomy. It is a great pity that the buildings are
not kept in good order -- tho' I hope they will never
be modernized, or lose the features given them
by W.     On the whole I was extremely grati-
fied—& enjoyed a melancholy interest -- marred
only by the indignation & horror of slavery with which
incidents on our short ride filled me, and which
I will relate when I see you.     Would to heaven
the politicians of this day -- upon whose lips the
name of W. is forever sounding, would make
him their model -- would study his character
& imitate him in his purity, integrity & exalted
patriotism. Where shall we find -- not his equal --
this cannot be expected again -- but his resemblance:
Alas! We should search in vain.     I was disappointed in not hearing from home today. It is a very cold storm,
& I suspect is snowing in Salem. I have been to meeting &
heard Mr. Little, the unitarian minister, preach a
very sensible discourse. Nothing new here.

My Dear Mary -- kiss our sweet children for their
absent Father -- & beleive me to be Your's most affecty.
L. S.


Mrs. Leverett Saltonstall