George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Unknown, 22 December 1786

To Unknown

Mount Vernon Decr 22d 86


I think the interest of the Potomack Company will be promoted by the purchase of Servants from Colo. Hooe, on the terms mentioned by Mr Stuart. viz.—Ten pounds pr Head, including one woman.1 My consent therefore to the measure, is hereby signified. with esteem I am Gentn Yr Most Obedt Hble Sert

Go: Washington

ALS, MdAA. The ALS contains no internal address, so the intended recipients are unknown. However, GW likely addressed the letter to John Fitzgerald and George Gilpin, directors of the Potomac River Company.

1At a meeting of the president and board of the Potomac River Company, held on 4 Oct. 1786, GW and other officers in attendance had ordered the publication of an advertisement “for Negroes to be hired in the Service of the Company.” The official minutes of the meeting make no mention of a proposal to hire slaves or servants from Company shareholder Robert Townsend Hooe (DNA: RG 79, Proceedings of the Board of President and Directors of the Potowmack Company, 1785-1800; for the October meeting, see GW to John Augustine Washington, 1 Oct. 1786). Richardson Stewart (Stuart), the manager of the Potomac Company, may have proposed the terms for the purchase of slave labor when he visited Mount Vernon on 21 Dec. (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:81). Between 20 Dec. 1786 and 4 March 1787, approximately 105 wage laborers—103 men and two women—performed work for the Company at the Great Falls (see GW to William Hartshorne, 2 March 1787, n.1; for more on the hire of slaves, see GW to Thomas Johnson and Thomas Sim Lee, 10 Sept. 1785).

Index Entries