George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Fielding Lewis, 16 September 1769

From Fielding Lewis

September the 16th 1769

Dear Sir

I expect with this You will receive a Letter from my Son Fielding inclosing an Order on Mr Robert Alexander for the Balla. of his Wifes Fortune which I am very apprehensive is reduced to a small Sum as Mr Alexander writes me that he has paid several Orders and requests that the Ballance may be taken out of his Hands and dispos’d off in the manner I shall think most to Fieldings advantage;1 I shall therefore be Oblig’d to you to purchase Slaves to the Amount; he has allready bought three very Ordinary Hands and unless he gets very good ones for the remainder of his Money he will not be able to live, indeed I am allmost certain that he will in a year or Two spend every Shillg as I cannot perceive the least amendment since his Marriage, nor2 has he the least regard to any advice I give him.3 I hope you have had an agreeable journey to the Springs and that Miss Custis has been benefitted by them. we have nothing new, nor have I lately heard from Nansamond:4 the late Wind & Rain has done incredible damage below; all the Fother intirely lost and the Corn blown down, Tobo that was in the Fields lost and several Ships &ca drove ashoar, we have suffer’d in this Neighbourhood yet not very considerably. Our Election comes on next Munday, cannot say who will be our Burgesses tho’ expect B. Grymes will be one alltho’ every Man of any tolerable understanding I beleive will be against him. Mr Dixon & Mr Marye are the other two that offer and its beleiv’d Mr Dixon will be chosen.5 I am Dr Sir your most Affect. Hume Servt

Fielding Lewis


2Lewis wrote “not.”

3The pleas of Fielding Lewis, Jr., to GW for help after his father’s death and upon GW’s return to Mount Vernon in 1784 were to reveal these predictions of the elder Lewis to be entirely accurate. See Fielding Lewis, Jr., to GW, 22 Feb. 1784, and GW’s response, 27 Feb., and notes.

4For reference to their joint purchase of land from Marmaduke Norfleet, see Cash Accounts, November 1769, n.1.

5In the House of Burgesses that before being dissolved by Lord Botetourt met from 8 to 17 May, Benjamin Grymes and Peter Marye represented Spotsylvania County until the house declared them illegally elected on 13 May and they were disqualified. In the special election of September 1769, Benjamin Grymes was reelected and Roger Dixon was chosen to replace Marye. The special election was held in Fairfax County on 14 Sept. 1769, and GW and John West were reelected “without a Poll, their being no opposition” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 2:180).

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