To Robert Lewis
Philadelphia March 7th 1793.
I have received your letters of the 4th & 9th of Jany in answer to mine of the 23d of Decr.
I would not have you seek—at least apparently—Major Harrison; but if you should, or could conveniently fall in with him soon, and without forcing the conversation, talk to him again on the Subject of his land adjoining me, & extract any thing farther from him on the subject thereof that might be useful to me I should be glad to know it.1 The enclosed letter to Mr Whiting from Mr Chichester2—the only person except Thomson Mason his Son in law (who also has poor3 tenanted land adjoining Harrisons should become so) that can, in my opinion step forward as a competetor, Shews his ideas of the value of it: but altho’ this may be the intrinsic4 worth, yet, circumstances considered, I would give more for it, if it is unincumbered with leases than what is there mentioned, or, I would give, by way of exchange, Lands in Ketucky for it.5
I expect to be at Mount Vernon before the 5th of April6—& shall, probably, take Fairfax Court (which I believe is on the 15th of that month) on my way back to this City.7 Between these dates, if Mr Harrison wd call upon me—at Mount Vernon with his papers—the bargain, if made at all, might soon be concluded.8
I cannot as I expect to take the meeting of the Commissioners of the Federal District at George Town (about the first of April) well be at home before the 5th of that month;9 nor will public business allow me to stay there longer than the 15th. The last being necessary on acct of the Will of my deceased Nephew Majr Washington; which, I expect, will be proved at that time.10 The first on the business of the New City. I shall come home alone, merely for the purposes abovementi[on]ed and to look into some matters of my own which Require attention.
My best wishes attend Mrs Lewis in which your Aunt joins me11—and I am—Your sincere friend and Affectionate Uncle
P.S. Return the enclosed Letter to me.
ALS, NN: Washington Collection; ADfS, CSmH; LB, DLC:GW.
1. For GW’s desire to purchase the land of William B. Harrison, see GW to Lewis, 23 Dec. 1792, and enclosure (see also GW to Anthony Whitting, 24 Feb., n.8). Lewis’s letter to GW of 26 Mar. has not been found.
2. The letter from Richard Chichester to Anthony Whitting has not been identified.
3. The word “poor” is underlined in the draft and letter-book copy.
4. The word “intrinsic” is underlined in the draft and letter-book copy.
6. On 27 Mar., GW left Philadelphia for Mount Vernon, where he arrived on 2 April. He departed Mount Vernon on 13 April and returned to Philadelphia on 17 April (GW to D.C. Commissioners, 3 April, to James Keith, 13 April; JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 107).
7. GW tentatively planned to attend the Fairfax County court on 15 April because he anticipated that the will of his nephew George Augustine Washington might be filed at this court’s session (GW to Burwell Bassett, Jr., 4 Mar.).
8. In the draft GW first wrote “would Soon be decided”; he then crossed out “would” and “decided” and inserted “might” and “concluded,” respectively, above the line.
10. On the draft manuscript GW first wrote and then struck the phrase “that will detain me so long as.” George Augustine Washington had died on 5 Feb. 1793 (see GW to Frances Bassett Washington, 24 Feb.).
11. Judith Walker Browne Lewis was the wife of Robert Lewis.