George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Timothy Pickering, 21 April 1797

From Timothy Pickering

Philadelphia April 21. 1797


To-day a Jerseyman called on me to enquire whether I knew of any agent of yours in this city, who could receive money for you. He said Colo. Israel Shrieve had formerly purchased some land of you at Red-Stone, which the Colo. sold to the Enquirer’s brother, in whose behalf he had come to pay two hundred pounds.1

Not knowing of any such agent, I told the man I would inform you of his application, and in about two weeks could give him an answer. You will be pleased to favour me with the requisite information. I am with great respect Sir your most obt servt

Timothy Pickering

ALS, DLC:GW; retained copy, MHi: Pickering Papers.

1On 31 July 1795 GW transferred the title to the 1,644–acre tract called Washington’s Bottom in Fayette County, Pa., to Israel Shreve (1739–1799) for £4,000. GW had owned the tract since 1768. In 1772 GW entered an agreement with Gilbert Simpson, Jr., to develop the property and ended the agreement in 1784. Shreve began renting most of the tract in 1787 and began negotiating to purchase the whole of it in 1794. For GW’s partnership with Simpson, see particularly the source note in Simpson to GW, 5 Oct. 1772. For Shreve’s purchase of the tract, see particularly Shreve to GW, 22 June 1785, source note, 23 Dec. 1794, 26 May 1795, GW to Shreve, 14 Jan., 27 June 1795, and James Ross to GW, 8 June 1795. Shreve proved to be chronically unable to make payments when due, and much of GW’s extensive correspondence after 1795 with his land agent in Pennsylvania, James Ross, and with Shreve himself is concerned with collecting overdue payments from Shreve.

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