George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Tilghman, 31 March 1794

To William Tilghman

Philada March 31st 1794

Dear Sir,

Your favor of the 23d instt came duly to hand.

The laws, in the cases of both Mr George and Mr Chalmers must regulate ⟨my con⟩duct. To do all that these will permit, is enough for my justification—more I shall not covet. If, however, as I conceive the fact assuredly is, the latter Gentleman has actually received, and did not pay a hundred pounds which was put into his hands as part of a Bond due to the estate of Colvill (and was then bearing interest) it would seem but justice that he should allow interest for that sum when applied to his own use—but if there is a principle arising from analogy or reciprocity opposed thereto I must be content with what Mr Chalmers will pay, and this I am disposed to in order that my administration of the estate of Colo. Colvill may be finally closed.1

With respect to Mr George, I had rather his acct should be settled & a new bond taken for the whole balance payable at a given time (when he will be punctual, & by which the money can be drawn from Mr Chalmers) than to receive part this spring and the residue in the Fall; because the demands upon Colvills estate (except the residuary legacy) have all been discharged; and because the money which is due had better remain at interest than lye dead in my hands or subject me perhap to the payment of it.

If the law of Maryland has stopped interest during a certain period of the War, the estate of course must (as I have observed before) lose it. The case however, was otherwise in Virginia for there I have lately recovered a pretty heavy debt with interest from the date of the bond which was taken before the war. With very great esteem & regard I am, Dear Sir Your Obedt Hble Sert

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is from the letter-book copy.

1An entry of 17 June 1795 in the account of Thomas Colvill reads: “By Cash received of George Chalmers of London formerly an Attorney employed by the Executors of Thomas Colvill to recover of Sydney George of Maryland a debt due from him to the Estate of which he received in Maryland money £100.—which sum he alledges to have paid soon after the receipt, to one of the Executors, but from the great length of time since the transaction the receipt has been mislaid, but the sum received by him he has agreed to pay upon Condition of having the same refunded when ever he can produce the Receipt, and directed a Bill to be drawn for the said £100—at par being £60 Stg which at an Exchange of 176 produced £105.12.0 Maryland money equal to £84.7.7¼” Virginia currency. The estate was not settled until 18 July 1796, when £932.17.3¾ was paid “into the Bank of Alexandria agreeably to a Decree of the High Court of Chancery of Virginia, being the balance due from me as Surviving Executor to this Estate as per Settlement with the Court of Fairfax” (Ledger C description begins Manuscript Ledger in Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 15).

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