George Washington Papers

Promissory Note to John Harper, 18 February 1775

Promissory Note to John Harper

Feby 18th 1775

I Promise to pay to Captn John Harper or his order, In, or before the Month of May, next ensuing the date hereof, the Sum of Fifty two pounds ten Shilling Virginia Currency It being for value of a Negro boy Tom; or Thomas1 sold by the said Harper to

Go: Washington

Recd July 24th 1776 of Genl George Washington by the hands of Mr Lund Washington Fifty two pounds 10/ in full for my Father.

John Harper

ADS, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP.

1GW bought young Tom to send to his Ohio lands with James Cleveland. See Lund Washington to GW, 29 Oct. 1775. In February 1776 when Harper requested payment for the slave, Lund Washington wrote GW that “Cleveland says he is of no great Value, as there is a good Deal of money Circulating now, in West Augusta I woud sell him, was I in your place” (8 Feb. 1776).

2The signature is probably that of John Harper’s son Robert Harper (died c.1782), a lawyer in Alexandria who married Sarah Washington, daughter of John Washington of Leedstown in Westmoreland County.

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