George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer, 28 February 1785

From Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer

Annap[oli]s [Md.] Feby 28. 1785

Dear Sir,

It will not be the smallest inconvenience to me, to keep your Trees til the Fall, which I believe to be the best time for Transplanting, provided they be tied to Stakes with Straw to prevent the Hard Winds incident to our Winters from shaking them too much. It will also be necessary to put a little litter of some kind or other, no matter what, about the bottoms of the Stocks to guard the Roots against our severe Frosts, which I have found from experience to be very injurious where this precaution has not be taken. The Certificates you mentiond signed by Mr Hiligas & Mr Hopkinson & countersigned by Mr Harwood This State cannot without a special direction from Congress I believe pay. Perhaps Mr Lund Washington intended to have lent the Money to Maryland Mr Harwood having then Acted in a double capacity. if there should have been any mistake in this business it may be rectified.1

I hope to have the pleasure of being at Mount Vernon on the 19th of March when this transaction may be further explained, for be assured My dear Sir that it will ever afford me the greatest pleasure to serve you or any of your Connexions to the utmost of my power being with the most perfect Attachment Dear Sir Your Excellencys most obedient Servt

Dan. of St Thos Jenifer

Be pleased to present my most respectful Compliments to your Lady & family.


1At some short time before this, GW had, either by mail or in person, consulted Jenifer in his capacity of intendant of the revenue for the state of Maryland about fifty-four Continental loan office certificates that Lund Washington had bought for GW from the Maryland Continental loan office in February and March 1779. At the time Lund Washington bought the certificates, Thomas Harwood (1743–1804) was both the treasurer of Maryland’s Western Shore and the United States commissioner of the Continental loan office in Maryland. The Maryland legislature enacted a law in 1782 providing that those who had bought Continental certificates in Maryland and were citizens of Maryland could exchange the Continental certificates for Maryland certificates. GW may have had this in mind when he approached Jenifer. In any case, GW and Jenifer had an opportunity to talk further when Jenifer was at Mount Vernon on 20 and 21 Mar. as one of the Maryland commissioners meeting with the Virginia commissioners about Potomac River matters. It was at this time that GW turned over to Jenifer his certificates, along with the descriptive list that GW had made. Jenifer returned GW’s list, and GW endorsed it: “Received April 4th 1785. From Danl of St Thos Jenifer Esqr. One thousand and sixty nine pounds one shilling and seven pence specie; ⟨illegible⟩” (CSmH), before returning it to Jenifer on 12 April. The total face value of the loan certificates was 19,400 dollars. See Jenifer to GW, 31 Mar., n.2. On 31 Mar. Jenifer wrote a letter to GW enclosing the Maryland auditor general’s computation of the depreciation of GW’s certificates and the value in specie of Maryland currency on 31 Mar. 1785. He also enclosed an order on the Alexandria firm of Robert Hooe & Co. for £ 1,069.1.7, the computed present value of the certificates. Michael Hillegas (1729–1804) signed the certificates in 1779 as United States treasurer, and Francis Hopkinson (1737–1791) signed them as United States treasurer of loans.

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