George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Albert Gallatin, 11 March 1793

Tobias Lear to Albert Gallatin

Philada March 11th 1793


On Saturday last the President recd a letter, wh. was enclosed in one to you from Mr Thos Bowen, in wh. Mr Bowen requests to be informed by the President, of the person who administerd on the Estate of a Mr George Harrison who formerly lived near Alexandria.1

In reply to Mr Bowen’s enquiry, the President has directed me to give you the following information (which is all he possesses on the subject) in order that it may be communicated to Mr Bowen.2

G.W. Can give very little satisfactory information respecting the enquiry of Mr Thomas Bowen.

The only person of the name of Geo: Harrison he ever heard of in the part of the Country mentioned by Mr Bowen has been dead little short of 50 years.3 He left a Widow but no Children, and the Reversion of the land on which he lived to a Nephew of his by the name of John West (after the death of his Wife) from whom I bought it about 20 years ago.4

The Widow married a second time a person of the name of Posey—but whether she had been appointed an Executrix of the will of Harrison—Administered on the Estate—or who else acted in either of these charact[er]s I am unable to say it being before my time & have had no concern in his affairs or knowle⟨dge⟩ of them further than buying the land as ⟨a⟩bove ⟨mentioned⟩.

Enclosed is your lettr from Mr Bowen which covered the Presidents. I have the honor to be &ca

T. Lear.

Df, in the writing of Tobias Lear and GW, ViMtvL; LB, DLC:GW. The letters and words in angle brackets are from the letter-book copy.

1Thomas Bowen’s letter to GW of c.9 Mar. 1793 has not been found, and the letter from Bowen to Gallatin remains unidentified.

2At this point on the draft, Lear wrote “(Here is inserted the information contained in the enclosed paper).” The next three paragraphs are from a separate leaf and are in the writing of GW. In the letter-book copy Lear’s parenthetical aside is excluded and the paragraphs of both authors appear as one letter.

3George Harrison, who owned land along the Potomac River adjacent to Mount Vernon, died in 1748.

4Harrison’s widow, Martha Price (d. 1769), later married Thomas Posey (Thomas Hanson Marshall to GW, 21 June 1760, note 2). John West, Jr. (d. 1777), of Fairfax County, who had served as a lieutenant in the Virginia militia during the campaign of 1754, sold 203 acres to GW in the 1770s (Lund Washington to GW, 29 Oct. 1775, note 8).

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