George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Leslie, 23 March 1793

From Robert Leslie

Philad. 23d Mch 1793

Sir when you resided at New York, I had the honour of reciving your subscription to the inclosed, but as my gowin to London, will provent me from compleating the design, and as I mean to return all the money that I have recived on that acount, I here send yours, with my sincearest thank, for the honou⟨r⟩ you have done me by subscribing to my undertaking,1 I am Sir with respect and gratitude, you humble Servent

Robert Leslie

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Leslie was a prominent horologist and inventor residing in Philadelphia. The enclosure has not been identified. In 1789 Leslie had planned to build a museum in New York City, and he may have collected money for this project from GW when the city served as the seat of the federal government 1789–90 (Brook Hindle, David Rittenhouse [Princeton, N.J., 1964], 314). Perhaps the subscription supported Leslie’s attempts to devise a new pendulum for use in establishing an accurate system of weights and measures (“Report on Weights and Measures,” July 1790, Jefferson Papers, description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 40 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950—. description ends 16:602–75). Although GW had signed on 2 Feb. 1793 patents for three different pendulums designed by Leslie, the inventor was still working on a “Clock and Pendulum” after his arrival in London (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 41; Leslie to GW, 24 July).

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