George Washington Papers
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From George Washington to William Augustine Washington, 29 April 1793

To William Augustine Washington

Philadelphia April 29th 1793.

Dear Sir,

Whilst I was at Mount Vernon in the early part of this month, I recd your letter of the 20th of March, and was in hopes it would have been followed by the Oyster shells you gave me reason to expect; but none had arrived the 24th, when I last heard from Mr Whiting. If I am to relinquish all expectation of getting them I wish to be informed thereof, that I may try, through some other source, to obtain a supply before my building is at a stand for want of the lime necessary to carry it on.1

The other part of my letter to you—respecting the practicability of hiring Negro Carpenters; the terms if to be had; and whether a white man of known industry and integrity could be had to look after them, and on what lay; you have not answered.2 Present my best regards to Mrs Washington and your family & be assured of the esteem & friendship of Your Affecte Uncle

Go: Washington

ALS, sold by Sotheby’s, Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana, catalog 6981, item 331, 19 May 1997.

1GW stayed at Mount Vernon 2–13 April (GW to Tobias Lear, 12 April, and note 1). William Augustine Washington’s letter to GW of 20 Mar. and Anthony Whitting’s letter to GW of 24 April have not been found. For GW’s attempt to purchase oyster shells for use in the construction of a barn at Dogue Run farm, see his letter to William Augustine Washington of 17 Feb., and notes 1, 3. For William Augustine Washington’s explanation of his delay in shipping the shells, see his letter to GW of 14 May.

2GW posed these questions in his letter to Washington of 3 March. For GW’s dissatisfaction with his current overseer of carpenters, Thomas Green, see GW to Whitting, 26 May 1793, and note 5. In this context, the word “lay” means “terms of employment.”

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