George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 November 1774]

21st. Attended at Wests Ordy. with Mr. James Mercer & sold all the Bull run Lands. Returnd to Colo. Peytons.

GW found his role in the auctioning of the Mercer land, which had “a good deal of exceeding poor and broken ground in it,” to be a frustrating experience. As the auction proceeded, he saw he was not getting prices anywhere near the original estate inventory valuation made in 1767. “But,” he reported to his fellow executor, John Tayloe, “there was no help for it; everything that could be done, was done, to dispose of it to the best advantage; in attempting which, I had three Lots of the Land (by endeavouring to raise [the price of] them) left upon my hands” (30 Nov. 1774, WRITINGS description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 37:508).

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