George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Andrew Ellicott, 16 March 1793

From Andrew Ellicott

Georgetown, March 16th. 1793.


The Commissioners of the public buildings have at length dismissed me from the business in which I have been engaged in the City of Washington without giving me an opportunity though demanded of verbally explaining what from misrepresentation and the want of knowledge of the plan they supposed to be unpardonable inaccuracies.1 I do assert, and posterity will bear me witness to its truth, that there is not a work of that nature or magnitude in the Universe executed with equal accuracy and I do require an examination into the general execution of the plan by men of known professional abilities in that way otherwise I shall consider myself a sacrifice at the schrine of ignorance.2 I am sir with esteem and gratitude your o’b’d’t serv’t,

Andrew Ellicott.

Printed copy, Columbia Historical Society Records, description begins Records of the Columbia Historical Society. Washington, D.C., 1895–. description ends 2:189–90. GW received this letter on 19 Mar. (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 95).

1For the dispute between surveyor Ellicott and the D.C. commissioners, see D.C. Commissioners to GW, 11–12 Mar., and notes 4–5, and D.C. Commissioners to GW, 13 Mar. 1793, and note 3.

2GW did not respond personally to Ellicott but instead, on 19 Mar., had Tobias Lear forward Ellicott’s letter to Thomas Jefferson, who explained the president’s position in a letter to Ellicott of 22 March. For the text of Jefferson’s letter, see Jefferson to GW, 22 Mar., n.1.

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