George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Lewis, 3 October 1792

From John Lewis

3 Octr 1792

Dear Sir,

Inclosd I send you a Coppy of Mr Cowpers Accot1 according to the payments that were to have been made He has never paid (without it has been within a very few weeks past) more than between three & four hundred pounds. His bonds I have parted with except the one I send you wch was in part of the last payment. I had every reason to believe I shoud have been able by Howell to have sent you the full amount of the money due you (wth Cowpers Bond) But have been disappointed particularly in a Sum promissd me by Coll Fontain. yet have every reason to believe I shall get it shortly. On Saturday next I shall Certainly recd £50. I expected to have sent that sum more than I send you. Your or Maj: Washingtons order for that sum shall be paid on demand [.] It shall be but a few weeks sir you shall recd the full amount of the debt. Howell Brings you £212:6:5½ I shoud esteme it a favor you’d inform Majr Washington I did not know (till Howel Informed me) he had not recd the bond of £50 promissd by Doctr French. If is not paid in Ten days I can furnish him one of £57. which I hope will answer his purpose.2 I am Dr Sir Your most Obdt Hum: Servt

John Lewis

ALS, ViMtvL.

1Portsmouth, Va., merchant John Cowper’s account concerned land in North Carolina that he had purchased from GW and John Lewis, the eldest son of GW’s deceased brother-in-law Fielding Lewis. For background on this land deal, see George Augustine Washington to GW, 7 Dec. 1790, n.7, and Indenture with John Cowper, 17 May 1791, and note 1. For earlier efforts by GW and George Augustine Washington to obtain GW’s share of the money paid by Cowper to John Lewis, see GW to John Lewis, 20 July 1792, and notes. In late September, GW sent his nephew Howell Lewis to Fredericksburg to obtain his half of the money recently paid to Howell’s half brother John Lewis in partial settlement of this debt (see GW to John Lewis, 21 Sept. 1792).

2According to the enclosed account with John Cowper of 3 Oct. 1792, Cowper had paid £950 for the land, and as of 3 Oct. he still owed £140.5.8, which included £24.5.5½ in interest (D, DLC:GW). See also Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 354; Ledger C description begins Manuscript Ledger in Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 9.

William Fontaine (1754–1810), a veteran of the Revolutionary War who had served as a lieutenant colonel in the guards for the Convention Army prisoners from 1779 to 1781, lived in St. Martin’s Parish in Hanover County, Virginia. George French (1751–1824), an immigrant from Scotland, was a physician and businessman who served eight terms as mayor of Fredericksburg, Va., between 1789 and 1813.

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