George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Jacob Read, 17 July 1784

From Jacob Read

Annapolis [Md.] 17th July 1784


The Bearer Mr Prager comes recommended in the Most handsome manner to the Delegates from the State of South Carolina to Congress, by The Honourable Mr Laurens from London.1

Mr Prager also bore Letters from Doctor Franklin and Several others of the Principal American Characters in Europe to the Gentlemen of Greatest Weight in Philadelphia.

Permit me to Introduce this Gentleman to your Acquaintance and to request for him that Polite attention that all Strangers of Merit ever receive at Mount Vernon.

The Object of my friend in Visiting Virginia after paying his respects to Yourself is to View with a correct Mercantile Eye Your Ports Harbours Warehouses &ca as he has established an Extensive Concern in Philada & may probably form Connexions in Some of the Neighbouring States.2

As the Cridit of Mr Pragers House is Unlimited and undoubtedly good their Establishment in the Unitd States Cannot but be of the greatest Commercial benefit.

I Shall offer no appology for the Liberty I take in this Introduction because I am Sure it Affords you pleasure to see men of Merit & Consideration arrive & Settle in these States.

Do me the favour to present my best respects to Mrs Washington & believe that it will always afford me the greatest pleasure to render you every Service in my power in My present and every other Situation. I am with the greatest respect & regard Sir Your most obliged & most Obedient Servant

Jacob Read


1Mark Prager, a nonprofessing Jew from England, came to Philadelphia after the Revolution and with members of his family established in the city the important mercantile firm of Pragers & Company. See Joseph Mandrillon to GW, 25 Oct. 1788, n.3. On 21 June 1787 while attending the Constitutional Convention, GW had dinner at Prager’s house in Philadelphia.

2On 23 July 1784 GW wrote William Fitzhugh of Maryland introducing Prager in these terms: “The Bearer Mr Prager is a Gentln who is very extensively engaged in Trade, & a partner in several very capital Houses in Europe. He is taking a review of the state of our Trade & ports, & probably, if he find them answerable to his wishes, will fix a House in this State” (LB, DLC:GW). On the same day he wrote Gov. Benjamin Harrison: “Mr Prager who will have the honor of presenting this letter to your Excellency, is a Gentleman deeply engaged in Trade, & is a partner in several very capital houses in Europe. He is taking a review of the Ports &c. of this State, before he fixes his commercial plans; which, while they subserve his own interest, may be beneficial to this Commonwealth” (LB, DLC:GW).

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