George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Gilpin and John Fitzgerald, 2 August 1788

To George Gilpin and John Fitzgerald

Mount Vernon Augt 2d 1788


As Monday next is the day on which the Directors, by the Constitution of the Company, are to make their report—and it has generally fallen to the lott of those on the Virginia side of the river to do this; I beg that you would from the minutes to which you are accessable—or from memory, bring forward the occurrences which may be proper to report at the General Meeting, about to be held. If this be delayed untill the day, there may be omissions which might involve censure, at least incur the charge of inattention. I will be in Town by 10 ’Oclock on Monday. The Treasurer should have his accts ready for exhibition1—I am with much esteem & regard—Gentn Yr Most Obt Servt

Go: Washington


1GW went “up to alexandria” on Monday, 4 Aug. “to a meeting of the Potomack Company; the business of which was finished about Sun down.” He remained in town for the night for the meeting of the directors the next day (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:373). GW made his annual report to the Potowmack Company on 4 Aug.: “The President & Directors of the Potomack Company beg leave to report that, since the general Meeting of last year by which they were instructed to Petition the Legislatures of the two States to pass an Act Obliging the delinquent Subscribers to pay their respective Quotas in a more summary way than by the common course of Law they now have the pleasure to inform the Company that such Laws have been obtained which they expect will be competent to the intention although the good Effects of them have not been as yet very productive.

“Since the call of Six perCent laid before the last meeting We have been under the Necessity, from the Delinquency of the Subscribers, to call for Six & one half perCent more which in the whole makes ⟨40⟩ perCent on each share subscribed.

“For the several orders in conducting the Business intrusted to our care We beg leave to refer you to the Secretary’s Books The unusual hieght of the Waters this Spring & Summer have greatly retarded our Operations on the river but should the Weather become more favorable we have reason to believe that a partial though not a perfect Navigation may be effected this fall & winter from Fort Cumberland down to the great falls—at which latter place the Canal is nearly completed[.] Our principal force has been applied to the Shenandoah & Seneca Falls, which, considering the Number of hands & unfavorable Season are in as great forwardness as we could expect.

“It appears to us by the Books of the Treasurer which you have had before you that the Sum paid unto his hands since our last report amount to £2990.2.2 Sterling which added to the former sum received makes Thirteen Thousand Seven Hundred & Nineteen Pounds Eighteen Shillings & Six pence Sterling in which are to be consider’d the Servants Utensils &ca on hand belonging to the Company agreeably to the Lists herewith submitted to you. G: Washington P.” (DS, NIC).

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