Mount Vernon, Virginia —

Dearest Martha,

These forty years with you have been some of the happiest and most rewarding years of my life. I shall rest easier knowing that this new nation will long outlast me.

As I part this life, I ask that you work with President Adams and Congress to ensure that it be a federal crime for future generations to remove the tags from their mattresses. I don’t want an ungrateful nation to forget about me. I know that from henceforth my birthday will be one of sweet deals and crazy savings, but I must retain control over this one thing.

Also, my love, speaking of retaining control — I ask that you free my slaves. If it’s not too much trouble. I don’t like to be a bother. Please let them know that they have been good slaves, and that I have valued them, despite never having paid them. You know, it’s just these crazy days we live in. I’ve treated them well, some may say that it would have been cruel of me to release them sooner. Where would they go? What would they do with their freedom? It would be such a burden for them. Anyways, as I was saying, please free them. If you want. It’s your call, my beautiful bride.

With love and admiration,

Your Little General

By Emily Sanchez