George Washington Papers

To George Washington from James Swan, 27 January 1787

From James Swan

Alexandria Saturday Morng 27 Jany [1787]

Major Swan’s most respectfull Compliments to Genl Washington: And intending to set off to morrow on his journey to Boston, has sent his servant with this Card of leave, and to request the honor of the General & his Lady’s Commands. Would have waited upon them in person, but some business & urgent causes of departure to morrow, prevents him.1

Requests the favor of the General’s accepting a Copy of a Pamphlet lately published at Boston on the resources of Massachusetts. There are some observations in it, which will apply to all the States, and if useful notwithstanding their incorrectness, will be regarded with approbation by every friend to œconomy & agriculture. The preface was struck off in the author’s absence, & is very incorrect and if the Dedication & heads of the Chapters coud be preserved, would be well to be destroyed.2

If there is any thing which the Genl or Mrs Washington or any of their friends might want from Boston, Mr Swan shall esteem it the most fortunate circumstance, to be the executor of their wishes.

Begs his best respects may be offered to the Generals Lady & to Mrs Washington—and to be remembred to young Mr George & Miss Custus.


1James Swan, for whom GW wrote letters of recommendation in 1785 to Chastellux and Rochambeau, spent the nights of 17 and 21 Jan. at Mount Vernon. See GW to Henry Knox, 28 Feb. 1785, n.1, and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:95, 97, 98.

2Swan’s pamphlet, a copy of which Swan also sent to Thomas Jefferson (Boyd, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 12:541–42), is entitled National Arithmetick: or, Observations on the Finances of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts: with Some Hints respecting Financiering and Future Taxation in This State (Boston, 1786).

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