From George Washington
Mount Vernon 13th Octr. 1799
Incon⟨venient as it was to⟩1 my finances, I have been ⟨induced⟩ to erect convenient to the ⟨Capital, in the⟩ Federal City, two houses2 which have ⟨the⟩ exterior of one, but by an ⟨arrangement of commu⟩nication may, according to the ⟨desire⟩ of the occupant, or occupants—may have all the conveniencies of one, or be entirely seperate & distinct.
For these buildings a person of the name of John Avery,3 ⟨wishes a boarding⟩ house in the building erected for the Governor of New York ⟨– – –⟩ for the occupancy of them ⟨for that⟩ purpose. In person & cha⟨racter he is⟩ a stranger to me; wherefore ⟨I take the liber⟩ty to enquire of you confiden⟨tially who⟩ the latter is, and whether you believe rent of about $1200 would be ⟨sure on his part. ⟩ This information (especially ⟨since he seems⟩ to be too full of himself) wd. very much ⟨oblige⟩
My dear Sir Yrs. always
ALS, letterpress copy, MS Division, New York Public Library; ALS (photostat), George Washington Papers, Library of Congress.
2. In the margin opposite these words Washington wrote: “to aid in accomodating the members of Congress.”
3. John Avery operated a boardinghouse in New York City in 1798 and 1799. He died in October, 1799, during the yellow fever epidemic ([New York] Commercial Advertiser, October 25, 1799).