George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jacob Gooding, 16 February 1775

From Jacob Gooding

Four mile Run febry 16 1775


I have thought of the affair we were talking about & shoud have comunicated my Proposals sooner but have been very unwell for some time past. if you will advance me Five Hundd Pounds Viz. £100 when I begin the Mill £100 more when she is half done & the other £300 when fit for work & give me a Lease for 100 Acres of Land adjoyning her during my Life & the Lives of my two children I will Build a Convenient Mill both for Mercht & Country work & Perhaps a Saw Mill & if I think Country Manufactur’d Cloth is likely to be Encourag’d will also Build a good Fulling Mill—I & my Successors shall keep the works all in repair & pay you Forty Pounds per Annum with this Proviso that on Repaying you the sum you Advance within a certain time to be agreed on the Rent shall be Reduc’d Six per Ct for Each Hundd Pounds so paid.1

I am convinc’d it will cost more than the sum I have mentioned to make the Improvments I inten’d but think I can doe with that & what I have, if the Proposals are worth your Acceptance Please let me Know & I will wait on you for if we agree I woud loose no time in Preparing for I woud willingly have her goe next fall. I am Sir Yr most Hble servt

Jacob Gooding


1Jacob Gooding and Robert Adam received a lease on 2 April 1772 from Charles Alexander for an unspecified amount of land on Four Mile Run. The lease was for the lives of Jacob Gooding and Robert Adam and Gooding’s son, John Gooding. Gooding and Adam were to be released from the contract “if the said Robert Adam and Jacob Gooding shall be of opinion after making a dam upon the said land that the same will not answer for the building of a water Mill.” In this case they were to pay Alexander or his heirs for any damages to the land or the timber growing thereon (Fairfax County Deed Book K–1 [1772–73], 82–86, ViFfCh). The hundred acres Gooding wanted to lease from GW was part of the land that GW had bought from James and George Mercer. Evidently nothing came of this venture of Gooding’s.

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