George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 10 March 1794

From Edmund Randolph


Dear sir[Philadelphia, c.10 March 1794]

Whether the present deed from Mercer to you, differs in substance from the former, I do not recollect. But the date being a twelvemonth later, may be of serious consequence. It may let in creditors and subsequent purchasers.1

I beg leave therefore to suggest, that after acknowledging to Mercer the receipt of the deed, you remark, that upon observing the deed now sent not to be the same with that, which was here last year, you feel yourself under the necessity of asking, why the change was made: that you cannot carry in your head all the particulars of the former deed; but as it was the one, which you had upon examination approved, you were rather at a loss, how to act, until you should hear from him: that altho’ no doubt was entertained of the propriety of any thing, contained in the new deed, yet the postponement of the date a year later might look as if your contract with him was made now for the first time: and that in the mean time you would keep the deed to be decided on by you.2 I have the honor, to be, dear sir with sincere and affectionate attachment and respect yr mo. ob. serv.

Edm: Randolph

ALS, NN: Emmet Collection.

1The two deeds from John Francis Mercer granted GW a 519-acre tract from Woodstock Manor in Montgomery County, Maryland. On the deed dated 1 April 1793, see n.1 of GW to Mercer, 7 Aug. 1793. The more recent version was enclosed in a letter from John Gwinn to GW of 25 Jan. 1794, which has not been found (see GW to Gwinn, this date).

2Compare Randolph’s suggestion with GW’s letters to Gwinn and Mercer of this date.

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