George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Andrew Ellicott, 28 February 1794

From Andrew Ellicott

Philadelphia Feby 28th 1794


The enclosed letter was to have been delivered by me, to you, last June;1 but from an expectation founded on my own feelings, I supposed that the commissioners for the public buildings in the City of Washington would certainly in the course of the summer go into an enquiry respecting the conduct of Mr Dermott; which was fully stated to them in several reports, particularly one bearing date June 17th, 1793, added to a wish that you might have no further trouble on my account with the embarrassing affairs of the City;2 I have been induced to delay its delivery till this time; fully convinced that no transaction of Mr Dermott’s, however injurious to the public, could induce the commissioners to institute an enquiry into his conduct.3 I have the Honour to be Your very Hbe Servt

Andw. Ellicott


1The enclosed letter was that from Andrew Ellicott, Benjamin Ellicott, and Isaac Briggs to GW of 29 June 1793, in which they presented their grievances against the continued employment, by the commissioners for the District of Columbia, of fellow surveyor James R. Dermott.

2In his letter to the commissioners of 17 June 1793, Ellicott asserted that Dermott had made several erasures and alterations on “the plan from which we worked” in an effort to discredit Ellicott’s work as chief surveyor (DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Letters Received, 1791–1802).

3While Andrew Ellicott was no longer employed by the D.C. commissioners, Dermott still was, and he retained his position in the surveyor’s office until 3 Jan. 1798 (D.C. Commissioners to GW, 23 Dec. 1793, and n.8; 3 Jan. 1798 minutes, DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Proceedings, 1791–1802).

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