George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Carter Nicholas, 5 January 1758

From Robert Carter Nicholas

Williamsburg 5th Jany 1758

Dear Sir.

Capt. McKenzie handed me yr Letter, which inclosed sundry Papers relating to yr Dispute with Mr Strother.1 Mr Power, poor Man, is gone from Home to try for the Recovery of his Health, which I fear will never be restored to him; Mr Wythe is also out of Town, so that I can’t with any Exactness say when we shall have an Opportunity of giving an Award; however I’ll get it done as soon as I can.2 I am very glad to hear of yr Recovery from so dangerous an Illness. If you’ve any good News ’twou’d be kind to tell it me; The Govr & his Family it is Thought will embark on Saturday next. I wish you many happy Years & am Dr Sir, Yr most obt humble Sert

Ro. C. Nicholas.


Robert Carter Nicholas (1728–1780), educated at William and Mary and a longtime resident of Williamsburg, was at this time practicing law and a member of the House of Burgesses from York County.

1The chances are that GW’s “Dispute” with Anthony Strother, Sr., is related somehow to the purchase in 1738 by GW’s father of Ferry Farm on the Rappahannock near Fredericksburg. Augustine Washington bought the farm from the estate of William Strother, the brother of Anthony Strother, and moved there with his family. At his death in 1743 he left Ferry Farm to his young son GW. In 1748 Anthony Strother bought from the executors of Augustine Washington’s estate 165 acres of Ferry Farm. The proceeds of the sale were to be paid to Mary Washington to be held by her for her minor son. The ledger in GW’s account with “The Heirs of Wm Strother Gentn decd” shows that he paid on 19 July 1756 a total of £43.10.9 to “Mr Anthony Strother by Colo. Fielding Lewis, for Land bought of your [William Strother’s] Estate and recovered from him by Colo. Henry Fitzhugh” (Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 278). This, the only Strother entry in Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , is dated 1756, but Fielding Lewis’s letter of 25 June 1758 acknowledging the receipt of £40 from GW with which to settle GW’s account with “Mr Strother” suggests the possibility that the ledger entry should be dated 1758 instead of 1756. On 18 May 1760 Anthony Strother wrote GW: “I reciev’d yours, in answer to which I can only say that I think that Land was conveyd to your Father by Mr John Grant and his wife [Margaret, the widow of William Strother], and the money thence ariseing was paid to me as Guardian to my Brothers Children to whome I paid it as the[y] came of age, so that I fear I shall be brought in my self, however as your right seems to be very clear, I only desire you’l let it lye till I can consult the Gentlemen who married those children who I will prevail on if possible either to refund the money, or submit it on the terms we did our dispute” (DLC:GW). The ledger has the following entry dated 5 Nov. 1768:

“By Cash of Messrs Jones & Maddison pr Colo. Fieldg Lewis £14.10.0
By Ditto of Colo. Thos Lewis pr Ditto 6. 4.6
Balle due G.W—n & chargd pr Contra 22.16.3

On 1 Jan. 1772 GW wrote off the balance due as a loss.

2James Power and George Wythe were prominent lawyers in the colony.

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