George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to Tobias Lear, 22 November 1790

To Tobias Lear

Mount Vernon Novr 22d 1790

Dear Sir

The day is come, and the hour at hand, or very nearly—when our journey will commence for Philadelphia. From the Stage driver’s Acct the Roads in places, especially between George Town and Baltimore, are almost impassible—This circumstance and the desire of not injuring my horses, will make my movements very slow. and they may be precari⟨mutilated⟩les is very unwell—and my bungling Smiths has lamed one of the Horses that draw the Waggon in Shoeing him.

I think Mr Page judged very wisely in not sending his new Coach for me1—I thank him for offering to send it to meet me at Chester, but as it is my wish, and intention to enter the City without any Parade [or] notice, the old Coach will answer all the purposes of the New one.

Austin & Herculas goes on in this days Stage, & will, unquestionably arrive several days before us. Richmond and Christopher embarked yesterday by Water—the former not from his appearance or merits I fear, but because he was the Son of Herculas & his desire to have him as an assistant, comes as a Scullion for the Kitchen.2

Your Mare shall receive the same usage, care and Attention that my Brood Mares do; and you are very welcome to the Jack. She may remain yours, or be mine at your own price as is most agreeable to yourself.3

I fear from the accts you have transmitted of the State of the Buildings, & refs. to the House I am to occupy, that I shall be exceedingly incommoded. I shall have twelve horses with me, if nothing therefore is done to the Stables, Hiltzimers must be engaged for such as cannot stand in my own.4 I have only time to add our best wishes and that I am Yr Affecte

Go: Washington

ALS, PWacD: Sol Feinstone Collection, on deposit PPAmP.

1For correspondence concerning Stephen Page and the coach GW hired for the trip from Mount Vernon to Philadelphia, see GW to Lear, 31 Oct. 1790 and notes 3 and 4, and 17 and 23 Nov. 1790, and Lear to GW, 4–5, 7, 14, and 21 Nov. 1790. On 3 Dec. 1790 Lear paid Page $53.33 for the use of his coach and horses (Decatur, Private Affairs of George Washington, description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends 170).

2GW’s “Mullatoe Man” Austin (d.1794), a married dower slave who served the family at Mount Vernon, New York, and Philadelphia, was sent back to Virginia under pretext in the spring of 1791 to avoid the possibility of his claiming his freedom under Pennsylvania’s 1788 abolition law, which provided that adult slaves of new citizens of the state were entitled to their freedom after six consecutive months’ residence (GW to David Stuart, 11 June 1784, n.3; GW to Lear, 12 April 1791; Letters and Recollections of George Washington, description begins Letters and Recollections of George Washington: Being Letters to Tobias Lear and others between 1790 and 1799, showing the First American in the management of his estate and domestic affairs. With a diary of Washington’s last days, kept by Mr. Lear. New York, 1906. description ends 37–39; Decatur, Private Affairs of George Washington, description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends 39, 223–26; Freeman, Washington, description begins Douglas Southall Freeman. George Washington: A Biography. 7 vols. New York, 1948–57. description ends 6:308, n.8). Christopher (sometimes called Christopher Sheels) was a young Mount Vernon slave who had accompanied the family to New York and returned to Virginia in August 1790 with Robert Lewis. While later serving as GW’s body servant, he was bitten by a dog and almost died of rabies. On 13 Dec. 1790 Lear paid Captain Scott $14.94 for Richmond’s and Christopher’s passage and for shipment of sundry articles (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 6:263; Decatur, Private Affairs of George Washington, description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends 21, 39, 147, 173, 224).

3For Lear’s mare, see Lear to GW, 14 Nov. 1790.

4Jacob Hiltzheimer (c.1729–1798) emigrated from Germany in 1748. During the Revolutionary War he superintended the Continental Army stables at Philadelphia. Hiltzheimer was active in civic affairs and represented the city in the state assembly from 1786 to 1797. On his way to Mount Vernon in September 1790, GW had left his coach horses at Hiltzheimer’s stables on South Seventh Street and later continued to board his horses there because of lack of space in his own stables (Expense Account of Journey to and from Philadelphia, 21 May–12 June 1776, n.6; Philadelphia Directory, description begins Clement Biddle. The Philadelphia Directory. Philadelphia, 1791. description ends 1791, 58; Ferguson and Catanzariti, Morris Papers, description begins E. James Ferguson et al., eds. The Papers of Robert Morris, 1781–1784. 9 vols. Pittsburgh, 1973–99. description ends 1:294, n.3; Parsons, Extracts from the Diary of Jacob Hiltzheimer, description begins Jacob Cox Parsons, ed. Extracts from the Diary of Jacob Hiltzheimer, of Philadelphia. 1765–1798. Philadelphia, 1893. description ends vii-viii; Decatur, Private Affairs of George Washington, description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends 165, 271–72).

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