George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Alexander White, 14 July 1785

To Alexander White

Mt Vernon 14th July 1785

Dear Sir,

Mr Fraunces’s letters to you & to me, the last of which I also enclose for your perusal, are so expressive of his wants as to render it unnecessary for me to add ought, on the occasion of them.1

He has been considered (tho’ confined within the british lines) as a friend to our cause: It is said he was remarkably attentive to our prisoners in the City of New York; supporting them, as far as his means would allow, in the hour of their greatest distress: this it is which lead both Governor Clinton & myself to countenance & support him; & is the cause I presume of his applying, thro’ me, to you—& must be my apology for giving you the trouble of this letter.

With respect to his demand against the Estate of Genl Lee, I know nothing; his letter, to the best of my recollection, is the first intimation I ever had of his being a Creditor; the propriety & justice therefore of the Claim must speak for themselves, & will no doubt have their due weight: the time of payment seems interesting to him.

The subject of this letter reminds me of an accot of my own against Genl Lee’s Estate, which I put into your hands at the Springs last year.2 With great esteem I am &c.

G: Washington

LB, DLC:GW. When acknowledging this letter on 26 July, White identifies it as a letter of the “16th instant.”

1Samuel Fraunces enclosed a letter to White in his letter to GW of 26 June. For White’s role as attorney to settle Gen. Charles Lee’s estate in America on behalf of Lee’s sister, Sidney Lee, see Sidney Lee to GW, 23 May 1784, n.3, and 5 April 1785. See also White to GW, 26 July 1785.

2White promises on 26 July to pay GW as soon as possible. GW must have seen White in September 1784 when on his way to Pennsylvania GW stopped at Bath in Berkeley County to view James Rumsey’s model of a self-propelled boat.

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