George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gustavus Scott, 21 December 1797

From Gustavus Scott

Annapolis [Md.] 21st Decr 1797.

D. Sir

I am happy to have it in my power to inform you that by the casting vote of the Speaker of the house of Representatives We have succeeded in our Application for a Loan for the City: the Resolution has also past the other branch without Opposition.1 Interesting as this Measure is to the U.S. I can not deny myself the Pleasure of communicating it to you.

I shall remain here untill a final Decision is had on the application of the Potk Company. I hope the good Conduct of its friends will carry it through.2 You will however readily beleive it is not very certain when our Loan has been carried by one Vote only. I am with sentiments of perfect Respect Dr Sr Yr mo. obt sevt

Gusts Scott


1According to the journals of the Maryland house of delegates, it was on 22 Dec. 1797 that the speaker William Thomas (1758–1813) cast the deciding vote on the resolution: “That this state will loan, for the use of the city of Washington, the sum of one hundred thousand dollars. . . .” Perhaps Scott misdated his letter, but he also dated his letter to the other commissioners for the District of Columbia with this news, 21 December.

2The applications of the Potowmack Company to both the Maryland and the Virginia legislatures at this time failed. See John Mason to GW, 24 Jan. 1798; see also GW to John Mason, 2 Jan. 1798, and Tobias Lear to GW, 12 Jan. 1798.

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