George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles Carroll, 10 January 1785

To Charles Carroll

[Mount Vernon] 10th Jany 1785.


Immediately after my return from Annapolis, I wrote to some Gentlemen of my acquaintance in the Assembly of this State, suggesting the expediency of a conference between Delegates of their Body & yours, on the extension of the inland navigation of the river Potomac, & its communication with the Western waters.1 When I receive an answer, I will communicate the contents of it to you. I am &c.

G: Washington

P.S. Are you likely Sir, to ascertain soon, to whom I am to pay the balance which is due for the land I bought of the deceas’d Mr Clifton under the decree of our high Court of Chancery?2

LB, DLC:GW. GW’s clerk dated the letter-book copy of this letter 10 Jan. 1785, but its contents indicate that GW wrote it between 3 and 19 Dec. 1784: i.e., between the time he wrote his letter to James Madison on 3 Dec., the day after returning from Annapolis, in which he called for a meeting between Maryland and Virginia delegates on Potomac matters, and the time that he got notice from Lt. Gov. Beverley Randolph, on 19 Dec., that he was to be one of the Virginia commissioners to meet with members of the Maryland legislature. He could not have written it in January 1785.

2When GW in 1760 bought from William Clifton the neck of land containing 1,806 acres across Little Hunting Creek at Mount Vernon, Charles Carroll (1702–1782) of Annapolis, the father of Charles Carroll of Carrollton, was one among several prominent Marylanders who held a mortgage on Clifton’s Neck dating back to 1747. The elder Charles Carroll refused to accept the settlement that GW reached with the other mortgage holders after he had bought the tract at public sale in May 1760, and it was not until 1791 that the younger Charles Carroll and his sister Mary Carroll Digges gave GW clear title to the land. For a full summary of the negotiations in GW’s purchase of Clifton’s Neck, see note 1 in GW to Benjamin Waller, 2 April 1760.

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