George Washington Papers

Advertisement, 4 August 1773


[4 August 1773]


The plantation whereon Mr. William Clifton formerly lived, lately possessed by Mr. Samuel Johnston, and at present in the tenure and occupation of his daughters; this plantation, or farm, is very pleasantly situated on Patawmack River, about five miles below Alexandria, and contains about 200 acres of cleared land, very good for grain of every kind, and tobacco; as also one of the largest and best springs on this side the Blue Ridge, within twenty yards of the door; it has a front upon the river of near a mile and an half, affording several good fishing landings; one of which only rented last spring, during the shad and herring season, for Twenty-five Pounds; to this belongs a well accustomed Ferry, upon the most direct road leading from Annapolis through Colchester, Dumfries, and Fredericksburg to Williamsburg; on the premises are a dwelling-house, with two brick chimnies and seven rooms, a kitchen, smoke-house, &c.1

George Washington.

Printed in Pennsylvania Gazette (Philadelphia), 4 Aug. 1773.

1GW leased this land on Clifton’s Neck to Samuel Johnston in 1761 during Johnston’s life and the life of his wife, Hannah Johnston. Johnston died in 1769 and his wife in 1771. Johnston’s daughters Hannah and Suckey (Susannah) continued to rent the farm through 1773 (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 46). No deed for the lease of the land in 1774 or 1775 has been found. A ferry from Clifton’s land to the land of Thomas Wallis in Prince George’s County, Md., was first authorized by the Virginia legislature in 1745 (5 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 364–65). Clifton’s, or Johnston’s, Spring, near the ferry-house was a favorite area for picnics and other outings, and also for duels. See Lease to Samuel Johnston, 25 Dec. 1761 (Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 7:100–102).

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