George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Bernard Moore, 23 January 1771

To Bernard Moore

Colchester Jany 23d 1771

Dear Sir,

Your Letter of the 12th Inst. by Mr Seaton was delivered to me at this place in my way to Dumfries where I am going upon an Arbitration fixd to this day.1 I am exceeding sorry to hear of your unfortunate Circumstances and wish that the situation of my own Engagements, woud permit me to subscribe more largely to your relief than they will; but having several pretty large Sums of my own to pay it is utterly out of my power (with any sort of convenience) to advance more than One hundred pounds for the purpose and on the terms you mention; this I am willing to do, and accordingly have wrote to the Trustees informing them thereof2—I have no doubts of your putting me upon as good a footing as any of the other Subscribers & therefore do not condition with you for terms or say anything further on that head but again beg that something effectual may be done to secure myself & Brothers from the payment of your Bond to Mr Lightfoots Estate as I am sensible it woud be attended with great Inconvenience to some of them to advance this money & be a hardship upon us all.3 I am Dr Sir Yr Most Obt H. Servt

Go: W—n

ADfS, DLC:GW. In numerous deletions and insertions, not noted, GW sought only to clarify, not to change, his meaning.

1For the “Arbitration,” see GW to Charles Washington, 25 Jan., n.4. GW lent Augustine Seaton £2.3 at Colchester on this date (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 325). At some point GW sent this account to Seaton: “Mr Augustine Seaton Dr Jan: 23 1771 To Cash lent you at Colchester £2.3.0,” followed by this notation: “Sir, Please to pay the above Sum to Mr James Hill and his receipt will discharge you from the claim of Yr Hble Servt Go: Washington” (DLC: Julian Collection of Autographs). GW wrote the debt off in General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 37, at some unspecified time.

2GW’s memorandum “To Carter Braxton Esqr. & the Gentn Trustees of Colo. B. Moore,” written at Colchester, 23 Jan., on the same sheet as the draft of this letter to Moore, reads: “Colo. Bd Moore having informd me that he is endeavouring to make up a Sum of Money to purchase Slaves for the immediate Support of his Family I do hereby agree to become answerable to you as his Trustess on this acct for the Sum of One hundd pounds curry payable a year hence. I am Gentn Yr Most Obt Go: W—n” (AdfS, DLC:GW).

3The deceased Mr. “Lightfoot” may have been William Lightfoot of York County, son of Philip Lightfoot (d. 1748) and younger brother of Armistead Lightfoot (d. September 1771). It would appear that GW and his brothers were securities for a bond of Moore’s to the Lightfoot estate.

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