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To George Washington from Bryan Fairfax, 6 December 1770

From Bryan Fairfax

Towlston Decr the 6th 1770

Dear Sir

I am very glad to hear of your safe Return which I had begun to doubt of—Poor Rockwood died on his way Home.1

I have inclosed a Letter which I received this Fall from Mr Montgomerie. Please to let me know your Determination, and if you should be inclinable (which I doubt of) to receive a payment from him, and make one to him as Mrs Savages Attorney, and will inform me of the place it would be agreeable to you to meet him I will endeavor to be there if possible and the Weather tolerable.2 I am Dr Sir Yr most obedt

Bryan Fairfax

I think Mr Montgomerie wd be answerable to Mrs Savage.

I had almost forgot to inform you that Mr Harrison could not undertake the Suit vs. Mr Mason as he had been retained by him, and no Suit has been yet brought as I expected to have seen you soon after I received Mr Harrison’s Letter; so that in Case you don’t agree to Mr Montgomeries proposal, I hope you’l direct the Suit to be brought by any one you think proper; For tho. we cant refuse an actual Payment from Mr Montgomerie we may one upon condition of repaying it to him.3


1GW sometimes used Rockwood, one of Bryan Fairfax’s hounds, for breeding purposes in an effort to improve his own pack of foxhounds. Rockwood was at Mount Vernon in August 1769 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 2:173). For other letters from Fairfax regarding foxhounds, see c.15 Oct. 1769, 15 July and 3 Aug. 1772.

2For a summary review of the Savage affair, see Henry Lee and Daniel Payne to GW, 24 April 1767, n.1. For a discussion of Thomas Montgomerie’s acting as attorney for both William Savage and his wife Margaret, see Bryan Fairfax to GW, 16 April 1770, n.1.

3Thomson Mason was the cosigner of the bond for £5,000 that William Savage gave to GW and Bryan Fairfax obligating himself to pay an annuity of £100 to his wife. See GW to Margaret Savage 28 June 1768, and notes. See also summary of the case of GW and Fairfax against Savage and Mason, 18 May 1772–17 May 1784 (ViMtvL). Although GW and Fairfax obtained a judgment against Savage in 1774, they never got from him any money for Mrs. Savage (see Lee and Payne to GW, 24 April 1767, n.1).

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