George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Digges, 4 June 1760

From William Digges

June the 4th 1760


I recd the Proclamation from Mr Green last Thursday & have sent it to Mr Igs Digges in order to know his determination, mine being to meet on the 17th in order to Receive my money & wash my hands of that Troublesome affr.1 I cannot judge the Reason Mr Cook has so often disapointed me in not sending the vinegar to Bladensburgh in order to Meet my Boat:2 but shall know it the first opportunity that offers & am yr Most obt Humble St

W. Digges

P.S. if you have any Command by McGahien, Dr Ross will be here Tomorrow in his way Down to Clear him out.3

ALS, ViMtvL. Below the P.S. at the end of the letter is the notation in Digges’s hand, “To 8000 lb. of Hay at 3/6—£14.0.0” (see Cash Accounts, June 1760, n.4).

William Digges, member of a prominent Maryland Catholic family, lived in Prince Georges County at his plantation Warburton, across the Potomac River from Mount Vernon. The Digges and Washington families were close friends and neighbors for many years.

1The troublesome affair was the Clifton settlement. See GW to Benjamin Waller, 2 April 1760, n.1. Charles Green was one of the commissioners appointed to settle Clifton’s affairs. The proclamation Digges refers to is probably the notice signed by the court-appointed commissioners, GW, George William Fairfax, and Charles Green, that “all persons concernd do now deliver up their Bonds Deeds Mortgages, and other Securities, and Paper’s relating to the said Lands, and if they are not at present ready to deliver them up that they and every of them meet and deliver them up to the Subscribers on the seventeenth day of June next ensuing and that at the said time that they and every of them meet at the Court of Fairfax County at Alexandria the Day aforesaid with their Wives, to join in, sign and perfect, such Deeds or other Conveyances as may be judgd or legally deemd sufficient for the effectual and legal Conveyance of the said Lands to the aforesaid purchaser pursuant to the said decree May 20th 1760” (document relating to the proceedings of the commissioners in the suit of Clifton v. Carroll et al., 20 May–17 June 1760, ViMtvL). The release of the Clifton’s Neck land from Clifton and his creditors to GW was signed on 17 June, and William Digges and John Addison both acknowledged payment to them of their share of the settlement. Digges’s share was £304.15.3 sterling and Addison’s was £364.19 sterling. Ignatius Digges refused to sign the deed or receive his share of the money (Fairfax County Deed Book D, 762–68).

2An undated entry under William Digges’s personal account reads “By Mr Jno. Cooke for 15 Gall. Vinegar” (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 101).

3William McGachen was a ship captain who occasionally performed small commissions for GW. In a glowing recommendation to Robert Cary and Co. GW stated that McGachen “for several years past has commanded a Convict Ship into this River” and is “a Gentleman of known skill, diligence and Integrity” (4 Oct. 1763).

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