George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Page, 30 March 1794

From John Page

Philadelphia March 30th 1794


The Multiplicity & importance of Business in which I have been engaged, prevented my making the Extracts from Mr Anderson’s Letter which I promised you on Tuesday last, till unfortunately it was mislaid so that I have not yet found it—but I recollect that he gave me his Opinion freely that Mr Gayle was an honest punctual Man, & he supposed capable of making such Payments as you might require—& that he made an Offer of his Services to negotiate the Business for you, if you had no particular Person in View on whom you might rather rely.1 I have received another Letter from Mr Anderson, in which he desires me to inform you, that he finds others besides Gayle are disposed to purchase your Land—He thinks that fifty Shillings per Acre, on long Credit, the Interest paid annually, & Payment well secured, are the best Terms that can now be had.2 I am Sir your most obedient humble Servant

John Page


1Page, who was currently representing Virginia in the U.S. House of Representatives, may have given a verbal promise, rather than a written one, on Tuesday, 25 March, since no written letter from him of that date has been found. His correspondence with Mr. Anderson has not been identified. On the offer from Joshua Gayle to purchase a 400-acre tract owned by GW in Gloucester County, Va., see Gayle to GW, 8 Dec. 1793, and n.1.

2GW did not sell this property until 1797, when George Ball agreed to purchase it for £800 (GW to Ball, 6 March 1797). At the time of his death on 14 Dec. 1799, GW still had not received full payment from Ball (see the Schedule of Property enclosed in GW’s Last Will and Testament, 9 July 1799, and n.6 [Papers, Retirement Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series. 4 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1998–99. description ends , 4:513, 521]).

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