George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Stephen Sayre, 1 September 1784

To Stephen Sayre

Mount Vernon 1st Septemr 1784


The round of company in which I have constantly been, & other circumstances since I had the honor to receive your favor of the 20th ulto, induced me (indeed obliged me) to postpone from day to day, my answer, until the period has now arrived when I can do no more than give it a bare acknowledgment, being in the very act of setting out for the Western Country.1 I could not depart however without thanking you for the sentiments you have conveyed respecting the mode for extending the inland navigation of Potomac. I have not time to be explicit in giving you mine—it shall be the subject of conversation when I return; in the mean while it would give me pleasure to hear that you are disposed to submit your plan to the public. My wish is that the public should be possessed of every scheme that has a promising tendency, that [they] may adopt the best, after a just comparison of them. The period is arrived when something ought, and I presume will be undertaken.2 I am Sir &c. &c.

G: Washington


1GW left Mount Vernon with Dr. James Craik on 1 Sept. for his journey into Pennsylvania. There he visited his property at Washington’s Bottom and at Chartiers Creek, or Millers Run, among other places, before giving up his plans to go down the Ohio in order to inspect his landholdings on that river and on the Great Kanawha. GW wrote very few letters during the trip, which lasted from 1 Sept. to 4 Oct., but he did keep a journal. The journal, with the editors’ extensive notes, in Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:1–71, provides a detailed record of GW’s movements and activities. See also GW’s cash accounts for September 1784 in Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , 199–200. GW and Craik were joined by GW’s nephew Bushrod Washington and by Craik’s son William, who accompanied them into Pennsylvania.

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