George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Ramsay, 29 January 1769

To William Ramsay

Mount Vernon 29th January 1769.

Dear Sir,

Frequently as I have seen you of late, I have always forgot to inform you, that Mr Adam, on whom I have depended for money, declare’s his inability of supplying me; it is not only out of my power therefore to furnish you & Mr Fairfax with the sum asked, but to comply with sundry engagements of my own; for both of which I am really sorry.1

Having once or twice of late heard you speak highly in praise of the Jersey College, as if you had a desire of sending your Son William there (who I am told is a youth fond of study & instruction, & disposed to a sedentary studious Life; in following of which he may not only promote his own happiness, but the future welfare of others) I shou’d be glad, if you have no other objection to it than what may arise from the expence, if you wou’d send him there as soon as it is convenient & depend upon me for Twenty five pounds this Currency a year for his support so long as it may be necessary for the completion of his Education—If I live to see the accomplishment of this term, the Sum here stipulated shall be annually paid, and if I die in the mean while, this letter shall be obligatory upon my Heirs or Executors to do it according to the true intent & meaning hereof—No other return is expected or wished for, for this offer than that you will accept it with the same freedom & good will with which it is made, & that you may not even consider it in the ⟨mutilated⟩ of an obligation, or mention it as such; for be assur’d that from me, it never will be known.2 I am Dr Sir Your most obedt Servant

G: Washington


1Ramsay and George William Fairfax spent the night of 3 Jan. 1769 at Mount Vernon, when the business referred to here may have been discussed. “Mr Adam” is Robert Adam, merchant of Alexandria.

2On 24 Feb. 1772 GW entered £25 in his account with Ramsay as “Cash advanced on Acct of your Son William at the Jersey College” (General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 47). In October 1772 GW recorded on the other side of the ledger £25: “By my promise to allow towards the Support of his Son at the Jersey College £25 pr Ann. to commence from the time of his going there which was in Octr last.” GW twice again records paying the £25, in June 1773 and in July 1774. Young Ramsay is not listed among the graduates of Princeton.

Index Entries