To Francis Deakins and Benjamin Jones
Mount Vernon Augt 8th 1792.
You are requested to fix a valuation on that part of Woodstock Manor in Montgomery County which shall be assigned as the part of Mrs Sophia Mercer, as soon as convenient to you; & should there be no division take place within three months from this date between the Legatees of the late Mr Thos Sprigg, you are requested to form your Estimate on the average value of the whole tract—in affixing a price you will estimate what the Land wou’d now sell for in ready money,1 & should you differ in your opinions, you are requested to choose some third person who may determine as an umpire—in doing which you will much oblige Gentn yr hble Servants
John Fs Mercer
L (retained copy), in Bartholomew Dandridge’s hand, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.
For GW’s strongly worded suggestion that John Francis Mercer come to Mount Vernon to settle their accounts, see GW to Mercer, 23 July 1792. On this day GW also wrote and signed a memorandum, which reads: “that in settling the Accts of Mr John F. Mercer to this date, I have charged him with & have allowed in the same amount, One hundred & one pounds fifteen shillings, which by the Books kept by Mr Lund Washington for me, appear to have been money paid Mr James Mercer by Mr Washington” (DS, PHi: Etting Papers). Benjamin W. Jones, who was at this time the sheriff of Montgomery County, Md., later served as a rent collector for GW (see also GW to William Deakins, Jr., 13 Aug., William Deakins, Jr., to GW, 24 Aug. 1792, GW to Francis Deakins, 15 Jan., 5 Mar. 1798, Francis Deakins to GW, 24 Feb. 1798).
1. Sophia Sprigg Mercer (1766–1812), who had inherited Woodstock Manor from her grandfather Thomas Sprigg (1715–1781), married John Francis Mercer in 1785. Deakins and Jones sent GW their “Valuation of Mrs Sophia Mercers part of Woodstock Manor” on 20 Dec. 1792.