George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Fitzgerald and William Hartshorne, 21 January 1785

From John Fitzgerald and William Hartshorne

Alexandria [Va.] Jany 21st 1785


We are duly honor’d with your letter of 18th Inst. with the Virginia Bill & other enclosures the Bill we have put into the Printer’s hands & order’d him to strike one Hundred Copies which we expect will be compleated by monday next at which time we intend to forward Copies to the Managers at Richmond & Winchester—Mr Richards has promis’d to be very carefull of the Original.

We now return you all the other papers & would wish to know how many of the printed Copies we shall send to you as we are fully of opinion that the notification to the executive of Maryland will come with greater propriety from you than us.

We have taken a full comparative view of the Bills pass’d in each State, & find no difference except what we have noted on the other side—some of which we are induced to believe have happen’d thro’ mistake & the only one that appears essential is that respecting the width of Ground in which we are of opinion that the Maryland resolution is the most eligible.1

We have given the Bill only to the Printer, should you be of opinion that any of the resolutions sent by Mr Maddeson & number’d 1. 2 & 3 should be printed you will please return such to us & they shall be added.

We have full confidence that through the course of this Business you will be pleased to assist us with your kind advice in any matters which may occur to you. We have the honor to be with the highest respect & Esteem Sir your mo. Obedt Servants

John Fitzgerald
Wm Hartshorne


John Fitzgerald and William Hartshorne, merchants in Alexandria, were named by the Potowmack Company act to open the books of the company “for receiving and entering subscriptions” in Alexandria (11 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 510–25).

1At the end of the letter, there is the following notation: “Differences between the Maryland & Virginia Bills.

“An Empty Boat not having come down the River is to pay at her going up by the Virga Act 2/6 2/6 & 5/. This in the Maryland Act is left blank.

“Coin’d Silver in the Maryland Act valued @ 5/ 1¼ in the Virga @ 5/ 1¾ ⅌ Penny weight.

“By the Maryland Law the Width of Ground to be condemn’d is not to exceed 200 feet—by the Virga Act 140.”

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