Scope and arrangement
The George Washington papers combine manuscript items by or related to George Washington acquired by The New York Public Library and its predecessor the Lenox Library; reproductions of Washington materials held by other repositories and individuals; and correspondence, research files, and printed material, bearing on the study of Washington. Original material in the collection includes Washington’s notebook as a colonel in the Virginia militia (1757), the manuscript of his Farewell Address to the nation (1796), and letters he sent and received (1757-1799). Notable correspondents include James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, Timothy Pickering, James Ross, and Noah Webster.
Family papers contain letters, deeds, and receipts of Washington family members, including one letter of his wife Martha Washington and a bill of exchange for slaves signed by his nephew William Augustine Washington. The collection also includes papers of researchers, chiefly concerning the provenance and authenticity of Washington manuscripts, primarily the Farewell address. Correspondents include James Lenox, David Claypool, Jared Sparks, Moncure D. Conway, Worthington C. Ford, and Victor Hugo Paltsits. In addition, there are transcripts, photostats, and facsimiles of Washington documents not held by the New York Public Library, and Washington-related ephemera.