George Washington Papers
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To George Washington from Gustavus Scott, 14 December 1795

From Gustavus Scott

George Town [D.C.] 14th decr 1795.


I am glad to have it in my power to inform you that tho’ once lost by a majority of 8 Votes, the Maryland Delegates have at length past a Law to take 40 of the new shares directed by the Company to be subscribed.1 It will pass the other Branch of the Legislature I have no doubt; & probably without a division. This little success husbanded with prudence will ensure a disposition of the remaining Shares. Genl Lee writes me by last mail that a petition is depending before the Virginia Assembly from which he has much hopes of Success.2 Happily the Intelligence from Annapolis has arrived time enough for the Southern mail, & I have given Mr Lee all the benefit to be gained from the Vote of this State. God grant that the Liberality of Maryland may rouse a similar spirit in Virginia.

I have nothing new to write from the City. With sentiments of perfect Respect I am sir. Yr mo. obt servt

Gusts Scott


1On 28 Nov. the Maryland House voted 35 to 29 against approving a committee report in favor of purchasing shares of Potomac Company stock. When brought up for reconsideration on 2 Dec., the report was approved 38 to 30. The bill pursuant to that report was approved by the House and sent to the Senate on 11 Dec. (Md. House Proc., Nov. 1795, description begins Votes and Proceedings of the House of Delegates of the State of Maryland. November Session, 1795. Being the First Session of this Assembly. [Annapolis, 1796]. description ends 43–44, 48–49, 65).

2Henry Lee’s letter has not been identified. A letter from the president and directors of the Potomac Company was read in the Virginia House on 28 Nov. and ordered to lie on the table. On 3 Dec. it was referred to the committee of the whole house on a similar petition by the James River Company. Action thereon was postponed, but the assembly approved a bill on 24 Dec., and on 26 Dec., “An Act for completing the Navigation of the Patowmac River” directed the state treasurer to subscribe to twenty shares of the new company stock on condition that Maryland subscribed to a proportionate number of shares and individuals completed the subscription (Va. House of Delegates Journal 1795, description begins Journal of the House of Delegates of the Commonwealth of Virginia, begun and held at the Capitol, in the city of Richmond, on Tuesday, the tenth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five. Richmond, 1795. description ends 50, 69, 124; Va. Acts 1795, description begins Acts passed at a General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Begun and held at the Capitol, in the city of Richmond, on Tuesday, the tenth day of November, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-five. Richmond, 1796. description ends 23–24).

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