George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Ramsay, 15 July 1757

From William Ramsay

Alexandria July 15th 1757

Dr Sir

I am favor’d with yours,1 Mr Barnes Accepts your proposals. Mr Barnes did not doubt the goodness of the Mine, but was rather too sanguine in his expectations from the prospect. As he was incumbred he hop’d to raise three or four hundred pounds that way, but was to return it if the Search shou’d not answer, by the Sale of the whole Land, if not otherwise to be Accomplish’d.

I have engag’d you two Shares, Mr Carlyle two, which are all that are to be dispos’d off. I suppose you will give Mr Carlyle instructions with regard to your Share, if I can be of any service you know you may commd me2—A Gentn in Town Yesterday from the Head of the Bay says we may depend on the Fleets being Arriv’d, if so, we may hope to have it confirm’d next post—There are already employ’d in the Works 6 Men, two more I think will be enough to carry on two Shafts at a time, & if Industrious, three Months may determine our search, at four. I wish you great Success in this & all your other enterprizes & am with regard Dr Sr Your Affectionate H. Servant

Wm Ramsay


1GW’s letter has not been found.

2Abraham and Sarah Barnes of Fairfax County granted certain mineral rights on their land to William Ramsay on 15 April 1757. For the sum of £150 Ramsay was to receive “one fourth part of all Mines, Oars, Minerals, Mettals & Semi Mettals of what denomination & kind soever that now are or shall or may be found at any time on the Land of said Abraham Barnes lying & being situate in Fairfax County on or near Sugar Land run commonly calld the Sugar Lands with conveniency of Wood for the use of all & any works that shall or may be erected in search of Oar of any kind.” Ramsay was to pay one-quarter of all expenses that might arise (release of Abraham and Sarah Barnes to William Ramsay, Fairfax County Deeds, Book D–1, 424–25, Vi Microfilm). Abraham Barnes was the stepfather of Denis McCarty, formerly an ensign in the Virginia Regiment. His wife, Sarah Ball McCarty Barnes, was a cousin of GW’s. John Carlyle was up at Winchester with GW at this time.

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