George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Hartley, 31 July 1789

From Thomas Hartley

[New York] Saturday Night July 31st 1789

Mr Hartley wrote to Mr Adam Rugart1 and enquired of him if about ten or twelve Mares fifteen hands high—not more than two Years old—bay or black—and of the Country Breed—could be had in Lancaster County—Price from £18 to £24 or £25 Pennsylvania—and if a remar[k]able fine and good Mare perhaps the President might go towards £30.

He has got an Answer from Mr Rugart that his Mares may be had.

He has also an answer from Yorke County that five or six if necessary may be expected there.

Mr Hartley wishes the President to give some Instructions Monday Morning upon the Subject.

The Name of the Person who will procure the Mares at Lancaster is Mr Adam Rugart.

The one at York Town is Mr Baltzer Spangler.2

They are both Men of Honour and Probity & will take a Pleasure in Obliging Genl Washington.

Mr Hartley will be ready to forward the necessary Directions as soon as the President thinks proper.

If the President should be too much hurried in public Business on Monday—Mr Hartley can forward any thing necessary on Wednesday next.


GW’s attempt to purchase brood mares for the Mount Vernon paddocks from Abraham Hunt (see his letter to Hunt of 20 July and Hunt’s reply, 21 July) evidently had been unsuccessful. No letter to Hartley requesting his help in acquiring the mares in Hartley’s district has been found, but since the Pennsylvania congressman was an occasional guest of the Washingtons, the request may well have been verbal. Hartley’s letter marks the beginning of a correspondence on the matter that lasted for some months. See GW to Hartley, 29 Sept., 20 Nov. 1789, and 16 Jan. 1790, and Hartley to GW, 6 Oct., 2 and 4 Dec. 1789, 22 Feb. and 15 Mar. 1790.

1Adam Reigart (1739–1813), for many years the proprietor of the Grape Tavern in Lancaster, Pa., served as lieutenant colonel of the First Battalion, Lancaster County Associators, during the Revolution and as a member of the Pennsylvania legislature.

2Baltzer Spangler, Jr. (1735–1798), was the proprietor of a tavern and wagon line in York, Pennsylvania.

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