George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Richardson, 5 July 1784

To Thomas Richardson

Mount Vernon 5th July 1784


This day se’night a letter for you covering Bank Notes for 150 Dollars was lodged in the hands of Mr Watson.1 Since (that is on Saturday last) I received your favor of the 27th ulto enclosing the cost of four Matrasses £49.10.2—a price which exceeds anything I had the most distant idea of; in a word it is an errant imposition of the workman—and therefore I hope Colo. Biddle will enquire into the matter before the accot is paid.2 If, notwithstanding, other people pay at these rates, I must submit—tho’ I could have bought in Alexandria as large & as good hair Mattrasses covered with ticking for £3.10., as the one which I have already received from Philada; but this I was unacquainted with until I returned from that place, & then it was too late I thought to countermand my order. Under this cover you will receive one hundred & twenty dollars more, in Bank notes for the use of Colo. Biddle, to whom, as I have not received a letter myself from him, I pray you to mention my sentiments respecting the mattrasses.

You would oblige me by causing one of the inclosed Advertisements to be affixed in George town, Bladensburgh, Fredericktown, Hagers-town, & any other place which you may think proper on the Maryland side of the Potomac—I shall put one of them in the Baltimore paper next week.3 I am Sir, Yr Most obt Servt

G: Washington


1Richardson wrote GW on 10 July that he had received on 5 July GW’s letters of that day and also one of 29 June. The earlier letter has not been found. Mr. Watson is probably the merchant Josiah Watson of Alexandria.

3On 15 July 1784 two advertisements dated 24 June appeared under GW’s name in the Virginia Journal and Alexandria Advertiser. The one advertising “Washington’s Bottom for lease” reads: “The Plantation or Farm, on which Mr Gilbert Simpson, the Copartner, now lives, lying in the County of Fayette, State of Pennsylvania, commonly called and known by the Name of Washington’s Bottom.—The Lot contains 600 Acres (Part of a larger Tract) but may, if it should be found more convenient, be divided into two Tenements.—It is near the River Yohiogany, and on the great Road leading from Virginia and Maryland to Pittsburg, distant from the latter about 35 Miles.—Appertaining to this Lot are about 150 Acres of cleared Land in Meadow, Pasture and Tillage, under good Fencing, a good Dwelling-House, Kitchen, Barn, Stable, and other necessary Buildings, 120 bearing Apple-Trees, &c.—The Quality of the Soil is inferior to none in that Country, and the Situation advantageous for a Tavern.

“At the same Time and Place will be sold, the Stock, which is large, of Horses, Cattle, Sheep, and Hogs; and the Negroes, for the ensuing Year, hired, or otherwise disposed of.—Bond, with approved Security, will be required, and Twelve Months Credit given without Interest, provided the Principal is punctually paid at or before the expiration of the Year, otherwise to bear Interest from the Date of the Bond.

“A Merchant Mill on another Part of the Tract, distant about a Mile from the above Farm, will be let on the same Day to the highest Bidder, for a Term of Years.—This Mill is near the River, but not exposed to Freshes, works two Pair of Stones in a large Stone House, has Bolting Cloths and other Conveniencies for manufacturing.—It was built by the famous Dennis Stephens, and grinds incredibly fast.—Grain may be received, and Flour transported to all Parts of that Country, by Water.—The Subscriber, or an Agent properly authorised to transact the Business in his Behalf, will be on the Premises at the Time of Sale.”

The second advertisement, “Land to Lease at Great Meadow and Bath,” reads: “At the Time and Place aforesaid, will be let to the highest Bidder, for the Term of Ten Years, a Lot of Land at, and including the Great Meadow, or larger Part of it, situated on the main Road from Fort-Cumberland, to Pittsburgh, and about half Way between the Two.—On this Lot there either is or ought to be some Improvements; and it is calculated to reseive very many, being one of the best Stands on the whole Road for an Inn.

“At Bath, in the County of Berkeley, on Tuesday the 7th of September next, will be let to the highest Bidder for the Term of Seven Years, a small Peninsula (or Neck of Land, formed by a bend of the River) containing 240 Acres, near 200 of which is rich low Ground.—This Land is situated on Potomack River and bounded thereby 400 Poles, 12 Miles above the Springs or Town of Bath aforesaid, which affords a ready Market for grain and the smaller Articles of a Farm, whilst it is become highly probable that the Navigation of the River will be extended, and Water Transportation thereby made easy and cheap for the heavier and more bulky ones.—There are Improvements on the Place.”

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