George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Lewis, 15 December 1787

From John Lewis

15 Decr 1787

Dear Sir,

Being at Richmond for some time past did not get your favor of the 7th Inst. till yesterday.1 I have inclosd a Coppy of the Account you requested, the articles you stand Charged with ⟨not⟩ extended I will get the accot of from Mr Payne & send you.2 I think I have seen amg my Fathers papers a list of money he was to receive & pay away for you at one of the General Courts I have looked for it but as yet have not found it. I have some papers in Culpeper (where I some time since lived) which it perhaps may be among I shall go to Culpeper in the course of a few days when I will look for it. and if I can find it I will send it you.3 I wish the Lands in which you were interested with my Father sold. provided a tolerable price can be had for them wou’d you undertake the disposal of them I shoud be exceedingly glad you wou’d[.] I am satisfied any Sale you might make of them wou’d be agreeable to the Executors4 I believe I shall go to the Westward this next Summer if not sooner if possible wou’d wish the Lands sold before I go, yet as tis a very bad time for the Sale of property owing to the Scarcety of money will be guided in the sales of the land by yr better Judgment. There is also the Share my Father held in the Dismal Swamp Company lands for Sale what do you suppose it worth I have been apply’d to for it but am not able to say what price to ask. As well as I recollect my Father valued it at £2000 I doubt whether the one half of that sum cou’d be had for it at present. Colo. Jameson informs me some Gentlemen are desirous of draining the lands for a share of them If I can with propriety agree to such a proposition I woud do it Chearfully as I think it woud greatly inhance the value of the Shares. have you heard of any such proposition.5 Please to give my Compts to Mrs Washington. I am Dr Sir Your Most Obedt Servt

John Lewis

ALS, ViMtvL.

1Letter not found.

2The account has not been identified. Mr. Payne may be Daniel Payne of Stafford County who was a merchant in partnership with Charles Yates of Fredericksburg in 1787 (Crozier, Spotsylvania County description begins William Armstrong Crozier, ed. Spotsylvania County, 1721–1800: Being Transcriptions, from the Original Files at the County Court House, of Wills, Deeds, Administrators’ and Guardians’ Bonds, Marriage Licenses, and Lists of Revolutionary Pensioners. New York, 1905. description ends , 406). John Lewis was living in Fredericksburg.

3John Lewis’s father, Fielding Lewis, who died in 1781, attended to some of GW’s business for him at the beginning of the Revolution. See GW’s Memorandum to Fielding Lewis, and its enclosure, 30 April 1775, and notes.

4For the two tracts of land, one in Nansemond County, Va., the other in Gates County, N.C., which GW and his brother-in-law Fielding Lewis purchased jointly before the Revolution and for the sale of the tracts, see GW to Thomas Walker, 10 April 1784, n.3; see also GW to John Cowper, 25 May 1788, GW to John Lewis, 16 Sept., 8 Dec. 1788, and John Lewis to GW, 7 Dec., n.1, 13 Dec. 1788.

5GW and Fielding Lewis were among the founding members of the Dismal Swamp Land Company in 1763 (Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 7:269–74). Colo. Jameson was undoubtedly John Jameson (1751-1810) who served as an officer throughout the Revolution, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel in the 2d Continental Dragoons in 1779.

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