George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Timothy Pickering, 28 April 1797

To Timothy Pickering

Mount Vernon 28th Aprl 1797

Dear Sir

Owing to my not sending to the Post Office in Alexandria with the regularity I used to do whilst I was in the exercise of public duties, I did not receive your favor of the 21st instt until yesterday:nor have I before, acknowledged the receipt of your letter of the 11th, which also came safe.

Not expecting to have much business to transact in Philadelphia I appointed no Agent there; and if Colo. Shreve would do as he ought, it would give me, & others, less trouble than is occasioned by his dribling payments. He was to pay for the land purchased of me (after the first advance) by Instalments; one of which becomes due the first day of June next; and by his obligation the money was to have been paid into the Bank of Pennsylvania. Not expecting any part before, I had made no arrangement therefor, and see nothing better under the circumstances you have mentioned, than for the Jersey man to pay the money into that Bank and send me the evidence of it; as I expect on that day, a payment at the same place by Colo. Ritchie, to whom I sold other land.1

As the Jersey man may be, as I certainly am, unacquainted with Bank transactions, your advice in the matter may do both of us a kindness; and information given to me, relative thereto, would much oblige Dear Sir Your Obedt & Affecte Hble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Colo. Biddle used to do all my business in Philadelphia between the close of the War and adoption of the General government, and to my satisfaction. If he is free from the embarrassments under which he laboured sometime ago, and safe, I should be glad to employ him again. Will you be so good as to inform me confidentially how the case is with him, at present?2

ALS, MHi: Pickering Papers; ADfS, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1See note 1 in Pickering’s letter of 21 April. Matthew Ritchie (d. 1798) of Washington County, Pa., served in the Pennsylvania legislature from 1782 to 1784. Ritchie purchased GW’s Millers Run land in Washington County in 1796. See Alexander Addison to GW, 4, 13 July 1796, GW to Addison, 8 July 1796, and Oliver Wolcott, Jr., to GW, 31 May 1797, n.2.

2See GW’s extensive correspondence with Clement Biddle when Biddle was conducting business for GW in Philadelphia between 1784 and 1789. See also Pickering’s response of 16 May to GW’s query about Biddle, and GW to Biddle, 28 May.

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