After the terrible attack of fever in Philadelphia in 1793, Washington wrote to a clergyman of that city,—
His adopted grandson he advised to "never let an indigent person ask, without receiving something if you have the means; always recollecting in what light the widow's mite was viewed." And when he took command of the army in 1775, the relative who took charge of his affairs was told to "let the hospitality of the house, with respect to the poor, be kept up. Let no one go hungry away. If any of this kind of people should be in want of corn, supply their necessities, provided it does not encourage them in idleness; and I have no objection to your giving my money in charity, to the amount of forty or fifty pounds a year, when you think it well bestowed. What I mean by having no objection is, that it is my desire that it should be done. You are to consider, that neither myself nor wife is now in the way to do these good offices."