George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Lewis, 25 August 1786

From George Lewis

Bath 25th of August [17]86

Dr Sir

By the particular request of Doctor Lemare, I have examin’d your houses at this place, and from the discription which the Doctor sayes you gave him of them he is induced to think you have been impos’d on[.] this supposition prompts him to wish of me an accurate and impartial discription of them, in there present situation. On viewing the houses I find them to be two of logs 19 by 17 each, hew’d inside and out, in hight what they call here, Story and half, cover’d wth long shingles, one of them floor’d above and below with a wall’d Cellar, which the Doctor sayes was intended for a Stable to contain nine horses; I think four might stand in it and no more; the other house has a floor above only, some stone under one end and side. The other logs lay on the ground; this house has a Chimney but Slightly built, and from appearances must certainly burn the house whenever there is a warm fire made in the harth. in Short the houses are esteem’d badly built, and of bad timber. The Doctor call’d in a Workman to examine the work, who agreed in opinion that it was badly done.1

I hope to have it in my power to pay you a visit with Mrs Lewis this fall, she is at this place for her health, and has receiv’d considerable benifit from the trip, and flatters herself another season will be the means of establishing her halth,2 she joins me in Love to my Aunt and yourself. Am Dr Sir with the warmest esteem and Afft. Yr

G. Lewis

ALS, with a postscript from John Augustine Washington, DLC:GW.

George Lewis (1757–1821), a son of Fielding Lewis and GW’s sister, Betty Washington Lewis, was married to Catherine Daingerfield Lewis (1764–1820) of Spotsylvania County.

1According to his diary entry of 6 Sept. 1784, when GW entered an agreement with James Rumsey for Rumsey to build at Bath (Berkeley Springs) a two-story dwelling house, 36 by 24 feet, and a kitchen and stable, each 18 by 22 feet, GW specified how the structures should be built (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 4:9–11). John Augustine Washington appended this statement to Lewis’s letter: “Doctr Lemare who is living in Genl Washingtons House at Bath, and much attached to his interest, conceiving the work not to be done properly, and agreeable to bargain prevailed on Mr G. Lewis to examine it, and has also requested me since to do the same, I find the work executed as our young Freind has stated it—I flatter my self with the pleasure of seeing the Genl the latter end of Septr at Mt Vernon and am Most sincerely & affy his affe Brother J. A. Washington.” See also Jean Le Mayeur to GW, 28 Aug., and James Rumsey to GW, 19 September.

2The George Lewises, who had lived for a time in Frederick County, were now living near Fredericksburg.

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