George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 15 August 1774]

15. Went in Compa. with the aforementd. Gentlemen to Colo. Fairfax’s Sale. Mr. Ramsay, Mr. Dalton, & Doctr. Craik came home with me—the Rest did not. Miss Carlyle & her Sister went aw[a]y.

Francis Willis, Jr. (1745–1828), had advertised a sale, to take place on this date, of the household and kitchen furniture from Belvoir. He also placed an advertisement for rental of the mansion house itself with its 2,000 acres and several fisheries (Va. Gaz., P&D, 2 June 1774). GW wrote George William Fairfax that he feared the latter would be disappointed in Willis’s estimate of the rental value of Belvoir and he was not optimistic about the prospects of leasing the house and land, for “there are very few People who are of ability to pay a Rent equivalent to the Interest of the Money which such buildings may have cost, who are not either already provided with a Seat, or would choose to buy one, in order to Improve it . . . & as to your Fishery at the Racoon Branch, I think you will be disappointed there likewise as there is no Landing on this side the River that Rents for more than one half of what you expect for that. . . . I have already advertizd the Publick of this matter, also of the Sale of your Furniture, as you may see, by the Inclosd Gazette. . . . The Advertisements are in Mrs. Rinds Gazette also & the one relative to Renting shall be put into the Papers of Maryland & Pensylvania whilst the other is already printed in hand Bills, & shall be distributed in the several Counties & Parts round about us” (10–15 June 1774, PPRF).

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