George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Mason Locke Weems, 26 March 1799

From Mason Locke Weems

Dumfries March 26 [17]99

Very honord Sir.

I was t’other day in Norfolk where a very particular friend of mine Captn James Tucker a man of merit and money, begd me to ask a favor of you which we both concluded your goodness wd readily grant.

Captn Tucker is a Wealthy Merchant of Norfolk, largely in the importing line. He has lately been applied to for a quantity of Merchandize on credit by a Gentleman who calls himself Major James Welch and who says moreover that he is the man who purchasd your excellency’s Western lands of which report says you sold so much some time ago.

Captn Tucker wishes to know whether a Major Welch did purchase your excellency’s lands or a part of them, and whether he met your excellency’s expectations in the way of Payment.1

If your excellency will condescend to honor me with a line on this subject it will be very gratefully acknowledgd both by Captn Tucker & his and your Excellency’s much Obligd

M. L. Weems.


The Rev. Mason Locke Weems (1759–1825) married Frances Ewell in July 1795, and the couple lived in Dumfries near the home of her father, Col. Jesse Ewell. Weems no longer served as a cleric and instead devoted himself to the sale and promotion of books (Weems, Life of Washington, description begins Mason L. Weems. The Life of Washington. Edited by Marcus Cunliffe. Cambridge, Mass., 1962. description ends xi).

1See GW’s response of 31 March. See also James Welch’s description of his business activities, Welch to GW, 25 April.

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