Education: Washington to Gage

In University of Michigan's Clements Library of early American documents, Teaching Fellow John Alden last week was rummaging through the papers of British General Thomas Gage, came upon George Washington's handwriting. Rushing to librarians with his find, he learned he had turned up a hitherto unknown piece of Washingtoniana.

Dated May 17, 1768 and sent by way of Virginia's Acting Governor John Blair, Washington's letter sought from Gage a favor for some Virginian friends trading with Fort Pitt at the top of the Ohio Valley. They wanted Gage to promise not to make a...