George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas West, 27 June 1786

From Thomas West

Alexandria [Va.] 27th June 86


I am sorry that the papers you mention are not ready for your perusal but you may rest Assured that nothing shall be wanting on my part to bring those matters to a final conclusion. since I spoke to you last on the subject have selected a number of the decd Colo. Colvills Papers many of which are of consequence and shou’d have had the whole ready by this day had proper care been taken of them before they came under my care but in the course of two Weeks expect to be prepared1 in the mean am sir yr most Obedt & very Hble Servt

Thos West


1Thomas West was the son of John West, Jr., who until his death in 1777 was, like GW, one of the executors of the estate of Thomas Colvill, his wife’s uncle who died in 1766. Thomas West, as his father’s executor, wrote to GW about the Colvill estate as early as 1779, and GW replied from New Windsor, N.Y., on 5 July 1779: “Let me entreat you to have the accts of that Estate put in the best Order imaginable—and every voucher, Paper, and memorandum which tends to explain, or can any ways illucidate matters, carefully selected, as I am very anxious, or shall be so the moment it is in my power, to have a final settlement of my Executorship of that Estate in order to obtain a discharge from the trust.” Despite West’s promises on this day, it was not “two Weeks” but more than four months before Thomas West sent GW the papers relating to the Colvill estate (see GW to James Tilghman, 20 July 1786, and GW to Thomas West, 6 Nov. 1786). For a summary account of the complexities of the Colvill estate and the continuing efforts to settle it, see the notes in GW to John West, Jr., December 1767; see also GW to John Swan, 23 May 1785, and the references in notes 1 and 2 of that document, and Thomas Montgomerie to GW, 24 Oct. 1788, source note. GW continued to be involved in the settlement of the Colvill estate, but see his description of how matters stood in the late 1780s in his letter to John Rumney, 24 Jan. 1788.

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