George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Francis Lightfoot Lee and Ralph Wormeley, Jr., 12 March 1784

From Francis Lightfoot Lee and Ralph Wormeley, Jr.

Mount Airy [Va.] 12th march 1784


The inclosed letters were received last summer, but, as your public engagements, at that time, did not permit your return to Mount Vernon, nor give you leisure to advert to transactions of private concernment, we postponed laying them before you, till you had withdrawn yourself from those public and official engagements.

we are totally ignorant of the part Col. Tayloe took in this affair,1 which is the subject of Mr Montagu’s letter:2 we know the estate was sold, but, how it has been paid for; in what money; what has not been paid; and whether, any of the purchasers, may not have paid, be men of responsibility, are what we know not of; we should therefore esteem it a favor, if, you would inform us, as fully as you can, relative to this business, that from your knowledge and authority we may give Mr Montagu every light, that they may diffuse, we are with every degree of respect, and the highest esteem, Sir, your most obedient and most humble Servants

Francis Lightfoot Lee

Ralph Wormeley junr

LS, in Francis Lightfoot Lee’s hand, MA. The enclosures have not been found.

Francis Lightfoot Lee (1734–1797) of Menokin, Richmond County, Va., and Ralph Wormeley, Jr. (1744–1806), of Rosegill, Middlesex County, Va., were married to daughters of John Tayloe (1721–1779) of Mount Airy, Richmond County. Lee and Wormeley were two of the executors of Colonel Tayloe’s will.

1The “affair” was the sale of George Mercer’s American landholdings in November 1774; John Tayloe, George Mason, and GW were empowered to make the sale. For GW’s explanation of his and Tayloe’s role in the Mercer sale and its complex aftermath and for references to documents relating to GW’s involvement, see GW’s response to Lee and Wormeley dated 20 June 1784, and notes.

2Edward Montagu served as attorney for two of George Mercer’s British creditors. See GW to Montagu, 5 April 1775.

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