George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Hanson Marshall, 21 June 1760

From Thomas Hanson Marshall

Mary Land the 21st of June 1760


Yours of the 20th Instant I Recd this Day;1 I have not the Least thought, (nor Ever had) of making Sale of any Part of my Land in Virga, unless I had an oppertunity of Purchasing, Immediately (Lands) Joining to me in Maryland, which there is not the Least Prospect off Just now, as the Lands are in the hands of Gen[tleme]n who have not the Least thought of making Sale thereoff.

Captn Posey was mentioning to me sum short Time Past, that he had agreed to Let Mr French, have the Woodland (Tract of Land) he bought of your Brother, for the Same he gave for it; on which I told Capt. Posey (in a Bantr) that I must Let Mr French have that Slipe of mine which Run by Mrs Manleys. As Immagend he would give me a great Price for it, as it Ley Very Conven[ien]t & was well stocked with Timber tho. At the Same Time hand not the Least thought of affering Said Land;2 I am Sensable how your Lands Surround mine, & Probabilly will In a Short Time be more so, However Sir If I should have an oppertunity of Purchasing Land’s In Maryland Conveniant, would Willingly sell my Land in Virga; if this Should Happin, or if I should Incline to Sell my Land In Virga at Any rate, you may Depend on my Giving you the Refuseal &c.3 I am With Great Regard Sir your Most Hble servt

Thos Han. Marshall


Thomas Hanson Marshall (1731–1801) lived at Marshall Hall in Charles County, Md., just across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon.

1GW’s letter has not been found.

2All of these lands mentioned here were just southwest of Mount Vernon on Mount Vernon Neck and were all part of the former Spencer half of the original 1674 grant from Lord Culpeper to Nicholas Spencer and John Washington. John Posey was the owner of a six-acre strip of land on the Potomac River at the mouth of Dogue Run. He also controlled in the right of his wife Martha Posey (by the will of her first husband George Harrison) a larger adjoining tract to the north. In September 1759 Posey bought two parcels of adjoining land totaling 345 acres from GW’s brother Charles Washington. In June 1760 Posey sold the 145–acre wooded tract on Muddy Hole Branch, a tributary of Dogue Run, to Daniel French, who already owned land in the area. Posey had informed GW in February 1760 of the possible sale of this land, and GW surveyed it in March, when he found that the tract actually contained only 136 acres. GW evidently was not interested in buying the land at that time. See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:235–36, 251; 2:143, 188. Sarah Harrison Manley lived on a 142–acre tract on Dogue Run. A small slip of Marshall’s land lay between the land owned by Daniel French and that owned by Mrs. Manley.

3Marshall’s land was finally obtained by GW in 1779 after years of negotiations (ibid., 2:188).

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