George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bryan Fairfax, 16 April 1770

From Bryan Fairfax

April the 16th 1770

Dear Sir

Having been travelling five days and not getting home till 11 oClock last night, I find myself & Horses rather too much fatigued to go to Court as I intended.

Mr Montgomerie informed me at the last Court that he shd be up at this in order to have his power of Attorney fully proved—and I wrote to Colo. Mason last week desiring to be informed of the date of his Power of Attorney, the one to Mr Montgomerie being dated the 6th of October 1769—I have directed Joe to enquire for a Letter from Mr Mason and deliver it to You, and I shall be obliged to You to open it, and if the date is not posterior to that of Mr Montgomerie’s and you incline to receive from him as Mr Savage’s Attorney the three years Annuity due, being £300, and pay it to him as Mrs Savages, I am also willing, and your Receipt will be as effectual as a joint one from us both. Mr Montgomerie receiving the money as her Attorney will be answerable to her for it, and this may be a speedy way of getting the money paid to her—for Mr Montgomerie told me he would settle it in that manner if agreeable to you.1

I purposed to have spoke to you in person upon the Subject but being much fatigued I am in hopes this Letter will answer the same End. I am Dr Sir Your most obedt

Bryan Fairfax

I shall be obliged to You to excuse my not coming to Mr Montgomerie to whom I made a promise of being at Court, and I have hurried myself too much in order to perform it.


1Margaret Savage sent from Ireland her power of attorney to Thomas Montgomerie of Dumfries, which gave him the authority to receive the £100 annuities owed her by her husband Dr. William Savage. Since he was also Dr. Savage’s agent in Virginia, Montgomerie might, as Fairfax is suggesting, pay the annuity on Savage’s behalf and receive it from himself on Mrs. Savage’s behalf. On 17 April, Montgomerie had Mrs. Savage’s “Letter of Attorney” recorded in the Fairfax County court in Alexandria, with GW in attendance as a justice (Fairfax County Order Book, 1770–72, 15). Presumably, Mrs. Savage sent the power of attorney to Montgomerie and sent another, secretly, to George Mason, who did not act on her behalf.

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