To Tobias Lear
Mount Vernon 10th Sepr 1797
I have almost determined to build the Walls of the House intended for a Distillery (at my Mill) of Stone, for the sake of expedition; as the Carpenters work can be carrying on at the same time.1 Having this in contemplation, I would thank you for informing at what price foundation Stone from the Falls could be delivered to a Boat as near to my Mill as the Vessel could get and whether any person would undertake the delivery there accordingly. I shall use freestone from my own Quarry for the building above the Foundation.
When I was last at your Ho. Captn Preston was landing a number of Shingles—Pray inform me if he has any now for sale? the length, & average breadth and the price? Is Cornelius disengaged? Could he be had to assist in my building? could any other be obtained & on what terms.2 In much haste, dinner waiting Yrs
ALS, Edward Eberstadt & Sons catalog no. 134, item 636, 1954.
2. Cornelius McDermott Roe lived at Big Spring near Leesburg. He had worked for GW as a stonemason and bricklayer during the 1780s, first as an indentured servant, then for a salary. See GW to George Augustine Washington, 29 July 1787, n.6.