From David Stuart
Alexa. [Va.] April 4th 1794
Coll Little & Mr Minor have just informed me, that the trespasses committed on your land near Alexa., have much exceeded this winter what has been usual in that way—that the hoop timber of which there was a good deal is entirely gone—that, as if it was not enough to get fire wood without molestation from it, it has now become a practice to cut down & carry off the best timber trees—On asking Coll: Little’s opinion on the best mode of preventing such practices in future—he observed, that Mr Minor who lived convenient to the land, would be the most proper person to give an eye to it; and that he was sure he would do it at your desire.1
I then applied to Mr Minor to know whether he would or not; his reply was, that he would do it with pleasure if it was your desire—From my knowledge of Mr Minor, I really think him the most proper person you can employ for the purpose, as he lives very near if not adjoining to the land; and is very active and stirring.2
I expect it is no news to you to be informed, that our small grain at present, has but a bad appearance.
I have just recieved a letter from Mr Macrae of Georgia formerly an inhabitant of this place, requesting me to mention him to you as a Candidate for the office lately filled by Mr Forsyth in that State—From the impression, that you will be aided in making your appointment, from the variety of characters presented to you; I take the liberty of recommending him to your consideration—He was much respected in this place, as an intelligent honest man.3 I am Dr: Sr, with the greatest respect Your Affecte: Serv:
1. For earlier problems with timber being removed from GW’s land on the north side of Four Mile Run and for Charles Little’s attempt to assist GW in preventing such trespasses, see GW to Bushrod Washington, 8 Jan. 1792, and notes. Fairfax County resident George Minor also owned a large tract near Four Mile Run. The flexible stems of the hoop-ash, Fraxinus sambucifolia, were used to make barrel hoops.
3. The letter from former Alexandria merchant Robert McCrea to Stuart has not been identified, but for a letter recommending McCrea’s appointment as the new U.S. marshal for Georgia, see James McHenry to GW, 18 February. On the death of Robert Forsyth, the former marshal, see n.1 of James Hendricks to GW, 15 January. Stuart’s recommendation of McCrea arrived too late for GW’s consideration (see GW to U.S. Senate, 5 March 1794).