Wythe to George Washington, 16 July 1787

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Wythe letter in the Centennial Book of the Signers, by William Brotherhead (Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, 1872).

George Wythe was forced to resign from the Virginia delegation of the Federal Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, due to the illness of his wife, Elizabeth, back in Williamsburg.

A facsimile of this letter from George Wythe was published in William Brotherhead's The Centennial Book of the Signers (Philadelphia: J.M. Stoddart, 1872), listed as being in the "possession of F.J. Dreer, Esq." A catalogue of the autographs of Ferdinand Julius Dreer, privately distributed in 1893, lists this letter as being from Wythe to the Governor of Virginia, "Beverley" Randolph.[1] However, since Wythe did write a letter to Edmund Randolph (governor of Virginia in 1787), and Wythe addresses the "executive" of the Federal Convention, it is most likely this letter was written to George Washington, head of the Virginia delegation, and president of the Convention.

Letter text, 16 July 1787


The reason which moved me, and the only one which could have moved me, to retire from the convention at Philadelphia, not only continues, but i fear is more urgent than it was. the executive, therefore, are desired to consider my letter to governour Randolph, or this, sir, to you, as a resignation of the office which i was deputed ^to sustain in the convention. i have the honour, with undissembled respect, to be,

your most obedient serv.

16 july 1787

G. Wythe

See also


  1. A Catalogue of the Collection of Autographs Formed by Ferdinand Julius Dreer (Philadelphia: n.p., 1893), 253.