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From George Washington to Miles Smith, 27 March 1798

To Miles Smith

Mount Vernon 27th March 1798


A few days ago I was favoured with the receipt of a letter from William Strickland Esqr. of York in England; which, as it was introductory of you, to me, I presume it must have passed through your hands.1

It would have afforded me much pleasure if you had been the bearer of that letter; and if at any time, business or inclination should induce you to make a tour into this State (Virginia) I should be much gratified in seeing you at this retreat; and in conversing with you on the principles and practice of Husbandry, notwithstanding my thread is nearly spun, and my wish is to Lease out my Farms (containing from five hundred to 1200 Acres of Ploughable ground) before it is broken. I live within eight or nine miles (by land & water) of Alexandria. I am Sir Your Obedt Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS, NNMM; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW.

1William Strickland’s letter of 26 Nov. 1797 from York, England, reads: “The Bearer of this Mr Miles Smith now residing at Ross Hall in N: Jersey is already known to You by name. I am satisfied that he will meet with a most welcome reception from You, when I assure you, that he is a Gentleman of most Honourable & excellent Character; & that he was moreover in this country the best practical farmer on an extensive scale I ever was acquainted with, & as he has turned his mind to the same pursuit in America & now followed it there for some years, he cannot but have made observations on the agriculture of the two countries, contrasted with each other, as well as the modes of improvement most advantageously to be pursued in America, which must be well worthy of the attention of any one who may have communication with him; I therefore strongly recommend to Your notice a person with whom I have been most intimately acquainted all my life” (DLC:GW). Strickland first wrote GW about Smith on 30 May 1796. See also GW to Strickland, 15 July 1797, and note 4 of that document.

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