George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 13 October 1769]

13. Captn. Marshall came over here & dined & I rid with him round his Land.

Thomas Hanson Marshall owned 480½ acres that bordered the Mount Vernon tract on the west, lying on both sides of the road that ran from Gum Spring to Dogue Creek. GW had long wished to acquire that land, but Marshall, who was in no great want of money, had been reluctant to let it go unless he could make an exchange for land adjoining his Maryland plantation (Marshall to GW, 21 June 1760, DLC:GW; GW to Lund Washington, 15 Aug. 1778, DLC:GW; GW to Lund Washington, 18 Dec. 1778, NjP:De Coppet Collection). Consequently, GW persuaded his fellow fox hunter Robert Alexander to promise to sell him, at £2 Maryland currency an acre, 300 to 400 acres of a tract next to Marshall’s plantation that Alexander’s wife, Mariamne Stoddert Alexander, had inherited. It was the offer of Mrs. Alexander’s land that today brought Marshall to Mount Vernon, where he verbally agreed to give GW that part of his land lying south of the Gum Spring road in return for an equal acreage from the Alexander tract, provided that he could obtain immediate use of the Alexander land (ledger a description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 96; Marshall to GW, 18 June 1769 and 8 Mar. 1770, DLC:GW).

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