George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Joseph Anthony, 17 March 1799

To Joseph Anthony

Mount Vernon March 17th 1799


I have, lately, received from John Trumbull Esqr. (now in London) four setts of the Battle of Bunkers Hill, and death of General Montgomery; for which I subscribed, & am ready to pay; if I knew who was authorised to receive what is due thereupon.

Conceiving it most likely that his brother, Governor Trumbull, was so empowered, I wrote to him on the subject, but received for answer that he was not. He added, however, that he thought it probably you might be so; being of opinion that it was not his brother’s wish that the Subscribers should remit the amount of their Subscriptions to him, in London. If the Govr is right in this conjecture, be so good as to inform me, and what I owe on this account; as I have entirely forgot the terms of the Subscription.1 I am—Sir Your Very Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, owned (1990) by Mr. Joseph Maddelena, Beverly Hills, Calif.; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.

1For the Battle of Bunker’s Hill and Attack on Quebec engravings, see John Trumbull to GW, 18 Sept. 1798, and note 1 of that document; see also GW to Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., 6 Feb. 1799, Trumbull’s reply of 22 February, and John Trumbull to GW, 24 Mar. 1799. Joseph Anthony replied from Philadelphia on 26 Mar.: “Yours of the 17 Inst. duly came to hand my being in the Country prevented my returning a immediate Answer.

“Respecting Mr Trumbulls prints, I am Instructed by him to Receive the Subscriptions and remitt the Amount to him in London, the Terms to Subscribers were three Guineas for each print one half to be paid at Subscribing and the other half upon the delivery of the print” (DLC:GW).

GW again wrote Anthony from Mount Vernon on 30 Sept. 1799: “Sir I ought to begin this letter with an apology for having neglected to do, what should have been done long ago—that is—to remit the balance due on my subscription for Mr Trumbulls Prints.

“The truth is—that by waiting awhile for the unpacking of my Papers, to see if any thing would be found elucidative of my payment on this occasion, the thing had escaped me altogether, and occured again by accident.

“I now find that on the 5th of April 1790, I paid to John Trumbull Esqr. twelve guineas, which is entered in my Books as being one half of the Subscription for four copies of two Prints to be published by him. This, I presume, was paid at the time of my Subscribing; and as you observe in your letter of the 26th of March, that the other half of the subscription money was to be paid on delivery of the Prints, I enclose you a check on the Bank of Pennsylvania for twelve guineas more—say fifty six dollars—for which sum, when you shall have received it, I pray you to advise me, specifying in the receipt, the purpose for which it was paid. I am Sir Your Obedt Hble Servant Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers). GW followed this up with a final letter to Anthony from Mount Vernon on 13 Nov. 1799: “Sir, In September last, I enclosed you a Check on the Bank of Pennsylvania for fifty six dollars, to discharge my subscription for Mr John Trumball’s Prints; requesting, when the money was paid, that you would be pleased to send me a receipt therefor; expressing the purpose for which it was paid. Having heard nothing from you since, a doubt has arisen in my mind of the letter enclosing the Check, ever having reached you, which is the cause of this enquiry from Sir Your Most Obedt Hble Servt Go: Washington” (ALS, MHi; letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers).

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