George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Peter Stover, 9 November 1761

To Peter Stover

[Williamsburg] Novr 9th 1761

Mr Peter Stover,

I gave your Petition into the Assembly on Friday last which was receivd, and a Bill ordered to be brought in for establishing a Town according to the prayer of it—this Bill was to have come into the House on Saturday but whether it did or not I can’t certainly say, as I was too sick to attend the whole day, notwithstanding I went there for that purpose;1 however as there was no danger of An act passing in the manner you desird I left the names of the Trustees which you gave me as I likewise did the name of the Town with Mr Israel Christian desiring him to have them specified in the Bill—I also desird him to ask you if you wanted Fairs appointed, that the whole might be done under one. My Indisposition continuing upon me puts it out of my power to attend the House—I have therefore (as there remains no difficulty now) begd Mr Christian to do the necessary part which is nothing more than to fill up the Blanks in the Bill with the names of the Trustees and Town; when this is done the whole will be finishd, and the Town establishd by Law, which will enable you to comply with yr agreement with the Purchasers of Lotts.2 I am Yr Friend &ca

Go: Washington

ALS, CSmH. The letter was addressed to Stover “in Williamsburg.”

Peter Stover (Stauffer; d. 1799) was a settler in Frederick County who came from Strasburg in Alsace.

1GW submitted the petition to the House of Burgesses on Friday, 6 Nov., and on the next day, Israel Christian, a burgess from Augusta County to whose committee GW’s petition was referred, presented the bill for establishing the town of Strasburg in Frederick County (JHB, 1761–1765 description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 12, 17). GW recorded in his Cash Accounts, 1761, “visits and attendance” on 14 Nov. from Dr. Peter Hay and on 17 Nov. from Dr. William Small. He paid the former £15 and the latter £20.

2The bill, signed into law by the governor on 14 Nov. 1761, provided for holding fairs in the town twice annually. It named as trustees, in addition to Stover, William Miller, Matthew Harrison, Jacob Bowman, Valentine Smith, Charles Buck, Isaac Hite, Leonard Baltice, John Funk, and Philip Huffman (ibid., 21, 26; 7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 473–76). The town was to be established on a parcel of Stover’s land which already had been laid off in streets. There long had been in the area a settlement largely of Germans, called Staufferstadt, or Stovertown, names by which it continued to be known for many years.

Index Entries