To John Francis Mercer
Mount Vernon 30th Jany 1786
The letter which you dropped for me at Alexandria I have received. If you can make it convenient to lodge the money in the hands of any person at that place, it would oblige me. I lie quite out of the line of opportunities to Annapolis—and to send there on purpose, would cost me 2½, or perhaps 5 prCt to fetch it.1
If Mr Pine, the Portrait Painter, should still be at Annapolis (which is scarcely to be expected) you would oblige me by paying him Twenty Guineas, and Sixteen dollars; and his receipt, for these sums, will be equal to that much of the £200 promised me. If he should have left Annapolis, I will remit the money to him myself.2
Mrs Washington joins me in compliments to Mrs Mercer—We shall always be glad to see you both at this place on your rout to or from Annapolis. My best respects attend Mr Spriggs family I am—Dr Sir Yr Obedt Hble Servt
ALS, PHi: Dreer Collection; LB, DLC:GW.
2. For Robert Edge Pine’s painting of the portraits of GW and his family at Mount Vernon, see Francis Hopkinson to GW, 19 April 1785, and GW to Hopkinson, 16 May 1785, and notes. In his cash accounts, GW has this entry on 27 Jan. 1786: “By R: Pyne, Pd him the 19th May 1785 Omitted to be charg’d £28.0.0” (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 207). Pine himself left Mount Vernon on 19 May, but his portraits of Martha Washington’s niece, Fanny Bassett Washington, and of the four Custis grandchildren were not delivered to Mount Vernon until 31 Dec. 1785 (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:129–31, 258). Not having a response from Mercer, GW on 26 Feb. wrote to Pine acknowledging the receipt of the pictures and enclosing “Twenty guineas & sixteen Dollars; the first for balance due on the pictures—the latter for their frames.” This he sent by William Hunter (GW to Hunter, 27 Feb. 1786).