George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 10 May 1799]

10th. Morning lowering & Mer. at 60. Clear afterwards with a brisk Wind from So. Wt. which in the Evening veered to No. Mer. 72 at Night. Mr. Thos. Digges & Mr. Jas. Welch dined here & retd.

The due date for Welch’s first payment on the Kanawha lands (31 Dec. 1798) had gone by without GW receiving any word from Welch. GW wrote several times requesting the money due him. He not only needed the money, but as he finally wrote Welch on 7 April 1799, “I have heard too much of your character lately, not to expect tale after tale, and relation after relation, of your numerous disappointments, by way of excuses for the noncompliance of your agreement with me . . . however you may have succeeded in imposing upon and deceiving others, you shall not practice the like game with me, with impunity” (DLC:GW). Welch protested his good intentions and promised to come to Mount Vernon in May. Welch was still unable at this time to come up with the money, and although GW gave him a further extension until November, he never received a penny from Welch for the lands. After GW’s death, his executors seem to have canceled the contract and permitted Welch to keep his Elk River lands (PRUSSING description begins Eugene E. Prussing. The Estate of George Washington, Deceased. Boston, 1927. description ends , 120–21, 472–75). See entries for 24 Nov. and 18 Dec. 1797 and 10 Oct. 1798.

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