5 Decemr 1796. Philadelphia
My dear sir
Your preparations for leaving this City and the period drawing nigh when that event will take place, reminds me that it is time for me to prepare some plan for myself by which I may obtain a livelihood after that shall happen; and impels me (tho’ with very great reluctance) to intrude on your usual indulgence for a moment. And that I may take up as little of your time as possible, I will briefly state to you the only plans I have yet contemplated, and beg your advice respecting them. 1st—If you should be disposed to divide & sell out your lands on the Kanhawa; I would with pleasure do every thing in my power to promote your advantage in that respect & for this end would willingly take up my residence at the Kanhawa. In this way I conceive the Land would produce you more than in any other. I could, I expect, at the same time dispose of some coarse merchandise to advantage. If you should not think proper to dispose of the lands in this way—perhaps [then] you would cause a settlement on your own account to be made on some part of them, to increase their value, & in which I might find employment.
2dly I have thought of purchasing Goods at this place of the large wholesale dealers—& sending them to Alexandria to establish a retail store. With industry & attention, I think this would be profitable.
3dly That which I should most prefer, & wch would be most congenial to my disposition, would be to obtain the management of some small tenement of your’s, either of part of the land you had of Mercer, or of any of your’s in Berkely or Frederic. These are the outlines of plans on which whatever consideration you are pleased to bestow, will command my gratitude; and I beg you to accept, Dr Sir my sincere respect & affection.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.