From Francis Deakins
George Town post Office Augt 10th 99
I have this minute Recd the inclosed Letter1—I Cant advise any Change in the mode of the Rents that I think may answer better then the present—the plantation is rather worn to Confind them to Grain alone—while they have to pay in Tobo they may pick out manuerd Land enought for it—Shou’d you however wish any Change whatever please to mention it & it Shall be done2—with great Respect
1. As the collector of rents from the tenants on GW’s Woodstock Manor property in Montgomery County, Md., Hezekiah Veatch wrote Deakins on 7 Aug.: “Dear Sir The Tenants on General Washingtons part of Woodstock have all give up their places—Mr Warring Says he Informed you when he was down with Tobo That he should not Continue on his place Another Year—And he still says the same—And that you may rent his place to any person makeing application for it—And Mr Nathan Harding Come over to me this morning And give up both his places—And says he Intends to set out on Sunday next in order to get him a place over the allegany mountains near the mouth of Buffolow—As the Tenants are now about to leave their places, If any new Arrangements are thought Necessary this would be the only time to make them—And if not the Rents I expect will continue the same Together with every other Instruction to the Succeeding Tenants—As I have no doubts but there will be many apply But I shall not Engage Any of the places untill I hear from you” (DLC:GW). For references to GW’s acquisition of one-half of Woodstock Manor in 1792 from John Francis Mercer, see the note to Priscilla Beale to GW, 2 April 1797 (Papers, Retirement Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series. 4 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1998–99. description ends , 1:60).
2. GW’s reply to Deakins of 17 Aug. reads: “Dear Sir, Your favor of the 10th Inst. enclosing a letter from Mr Veatch of the 7th instant, came duly to hand. The receipt of which ought to have been sooner acknowledged as he appears to be waiting directions.
“I am very well satisfied with the Rents of my part of Woodstock as they now stand; but if you, on consulting Mr Veatch, should be of opinion that they could be placed on a better footing now, or at any time hence, it would be equally agreeable to me that you should make the alteration and it shall be confirmed by Dear Sir Your most Obedt & obligd Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers).