George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Smith, 20 October 1789

From Thomas Smith

Carlisle [Pa.] 20th October 1789


I had the honour of receiving your Letter of the 23d Ulto with its inclosures, by Mr Scott1 while I was attending Bedford Court last week, whereupon I sent up by the same Gentleman Directions to the Prothonotary of Fayette County to Issue a writ against John Stephenson without loss of Time, & gave pointed directions to the Sheriff to serve it immediately—I thought this necessary, because Mr Stephenson has sold his Land & is going to Kentucke as soon as possible—indeed he would have gone down before this Tim[e] had he not been detained by some Judgments which I had obtained against him as Executor of Col. Crawford. Mr Whaley, whom perhaps you remember, gave me this information the week before last at Westmoreland Court, & expressed his fears that you would lose your Debt, or that the widow of the other obligor (who is already nearly ruined by being obliged to purchase Valentine Crawford’s Land a second Time) would be obliged to pay it; whereupon I requested Mr Whaley to write to you on the subject, which he accordingly did in the Letter which I herewith inclose2—I think it proper still to send it, because although what he read to me related to this subject only, it may contain something else.

Being on my way down from the western Courts when I was honoured with your Letter, it will be some time before I return to them, & therefore I sent your Letter to Mr Cannon by Mr Scott,3 by whom I also wrote to Mr Cannon on the subject of it, in pointed Terms, if you should much longer have cause of complaint, I shall entertain a different opinion of Mr Cannon from what I have hitherto had: I informed him that should he find it difficult to transmit money to you, he can send it to Carlisle, almost every week from Pittsburg, & I will with much pleasure send it forward without loss of Time; I have the honour to be with the utmost respect Sir your most obedient & very humble Servant

Thomas Smith


For background to this letter, see GW to John Stephenson, 13 Feb. 1784, n.2, and GW to Thomas Smith, 23 Sept. 1789.

1This is probably Thomas Scott of Washington County, Pa., United States congressman from Pennsylvania. The House of Representatives adjourned on 29 Sept. and it is likely that Scott carried the letter to Smith on his way home.

2Benjamin Whaley’s letter to GW, 9 Oct., reads: “the Demand that you Have against the Estate of Richard Stephenson deceased wherein Colo. Jon Stephenson and Hugh Stephenson give their Bond for the a Mount of your account I Should think it Proper to Inform you that Colo. Jon Stephenson is going down to Kentuckey this faull or earley next Spring & I Should be glad that your demand Should Be Laid in Before Colo. Stephenson gos down the River as the Estate of Colo. Hugh Stephenson is & will Be Liable to pay your demand If it is not Pade in time you gave Me the a Mount of your account when I was @ your House In May 1786 and I also Caulled upon Colo. Stephenson to discharge the account & He Promised that He wood But I Belive He never has as I transact the Business of the Estate of Hugh Stephenson I Should Be glad that the Matter Should Be Settled Before Colo. Jon Stephenson Leaves this Country theirefore If your Honour think it necessary please to Instr[u]ct the Gentlemen How dos your Bussiness In this Country to Recover your Money I am Confident that If Colo. Stephenson finds that the Bond Is in Attorneys Hands that he will pay the Money without a Law Suit it is onley neglect I am satisfied” (DLC:GW).

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