George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Hayward Foote, 7 June 1799

To William Hayward Foote

Mount Vernon 7th June 1799


In searching old Memos., I found notes of which the enclosed is a Copy. I was uncertain at the time of running the meanders of the run, on which side the body of the water went, of course, as the Run is the boundary, it was then, and still may be, uncertain, to whom the Island belongs. But if my memory serves me, I think it was claimed by George Ashford; and the courses will, I believe, comprehend it. That Survey however, being a private one, made for my own satisfaction, can have no binding effect on the adjacent owner.1

It will, of course, be recollected, that as my Survey of the Meanders of the Run was made near 30 years ago, that a considerable variation (perhaps two degrees) have taken place since.2 I am Sir Your Very Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.

1William Hayward Foote was the nephew and farm manager of Elizabeth Foote Washington, the widow of Lund Washington. After Elizabeth and Lund Washington left Mount Vernon in 1784, GW in 1785 conveyed to Lund 450 acres taken from the three parcels of land to the west of Dogue Run which GW had purchased between 1761 and 1763 from John and George Ashford and Simon Pearson. For the location of the tract and the details of the transaction, see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:240, 293, and 4:80–81.

2Although it does not appear to have a direct connection with the question raised by Foote, it may be noted that on 29 June GW appended this notation to a survey that he made: “not being able to make Mr [Albin] Rawlins’s Survey of some of the Fields at Dogue-Run close, I went out with my Compass this day & surveyed the following fields in the following man[ne]r—viz.” GW’s survey is in DLC:GW.

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