To Bushrod Washington
Philadelphia Feby 23d 1794
Your letter of the 13th instt with the enclosures, came duly to hand. I thank you for draughting the answer which I have put my signature to; and with the Bill, now return.1
If I mistake not, my renunciation of the Executorship of Colo. Fairfax’s Will already stands on record in the Genl Court, on some former occasion; be this however as it may, I have always refused, & never intended—directly nor indirectly, to have any agency in the Administration of the affairs of that Estate.2
It gives me much pleasure to hear, through a variety of Channels, that you are becoming eminent, & respectable in the Law. In this, and every transaction of your life, let honor & probity be your polar star. Your Aunt & all here join me in best regards for you & Nancy & be assured of the Affecte regard & friendship of
ALS, NjP: De Coppet Collection; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.
1. GW’s answer of this date to the bill of complaint reads: “The answer of George Washington to the Bill of Complaint exhibited against him in the High Court of Chancery in the Commonwealth of Virginia by Wilson M. Cary only acting Exectr & Trustee in Virginia of Geo. William Fairfax decd.
“This defendt saving and reserving to himself all benefit of enception to the uncertainties and insufficiencies in the sd Bill contained for answer there unto or unto so much thereof as he is advised is material for him to answer unto saith that he admits that George Wm Fairfax may have departed this life about the time in the said Bill set forth, having first made & publish’d his last Will and Testament as in the Bill stated. He also admits that the Sd Geo. W. Fairfax in and by his said Will did appoint the said Complainant together with Geo. Nicholas and this defendant Executors & Trustees of his estates lying in Virginia and did make such bequests & dispositions as the Sd Bill States; but this defendant being too much engaged in public business as well as with his own private concerns to enter upon so considerable an undertaking as that confided to him by the will of the Sd Geo. W. Fairfax hath uniformly refused to Join in the burthen of executing the Said will, and still influenc’d by the same reasons must decline interfereing in the business of the Said estate as Executor & Trustee. He therefore hopes that no decree of this Honble Court will pass against him which can in any manner affect him, or bind him to undertake a Trust which for the reasons above mentioned he hath hitherto refused & denying all combination & confederacy he prays to be hence dismiss’d with his reasonable Costs in this behalf expended” (DS, ViFCC; DS [photocopy], Vi).