George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Hopkins, 27 April 1788

To John Hopkins

Mount Vernon April 27. 1788.


I received the enclosed Tax bill by the last post in a letter from Mr Charles Lee who informed me that you had furnished him with it, and was so obliging as to offer to settle it with the Sheriff.1 I must beg you to accept of my best thanks for your kind offer, and shall take the liberty to trouble you upon the occasion.

The specie Tax for the years 1785 & 6 amounts to £107.11.9 which I find, by the Revenue act passed the last Session, may be discharged in Certificates of a particular description, and for the payment of which I have enclosed you 8 Warrants amounting to £

To discharge the Certificate tax for the above mentioned years, amounting to £91.12.8 I have enclosed 305 53/90 Dollars in Indents, which, if I am rightly informed, will pay all arrears of the Certificate tax.3

I shall endeavour to procure Tobacco notes to pay £71.14.6 due for the year 1787, and will forward them to you as soon as I can obtain them.4

I observe that the Sheriff, of Green Briar has, in the enclosed bill, given in a tract containing 10,990 acres which lies on the west side of the Great Kanawa, and has omitted one of 7276 Acres patanted in my name and that of George Muse but now my sole property laying on the East side of said River. If the Great Kanawa seperates the County from Green Briar from any other (as I conceive it does) this statement is erroneous; however I am not sufficiently acquainted with the bounds and divisions of those Counties to decide upon it; the Sheriff ought to know whether it is right or not, and I will thank you to mention the matter to him. The tract of 2000 Acres is also on the West side of the Great Kanawa, tho’ by the tax bill it is placed in the County of Green Briar5—Independently of the tracts here mentioned, I have 3 other lying on the Ohio, between the mouths of the Great and little Kanhawa, but in what Counties they be or under what predicament they are, I know not possibly sold; tho no application has ever been made to me, or any person in my behalf, to my knowledge, for the taxes—these contain 2314 and 2448 Acres and 4395 Acres making together 9157 Acres—I have also, higher up the Ohio a small tract of 587 Acres called the round bottom but how it is taxed, or what steps have been taken to collect it I know not.6

Upon the reception of this you will be so obliging as to inform me if the warrants & Indents are such as will answer the purpose. I am yours &c.

Go. Washington


1See Charles Lee to GW, 17 April. The letter-book copy of GW’s tax bill for Greenbrier County shows tracts of 2,000, 10,990, and 2,950 acres to be taxed, valued at 6 shillings an acre, for a total value of £4,782. The specie tax on the three tracts was £35.17.3 in 1785 and £71.14.6 in 1786 and 1787; the certificate tax was £45.16.4 in 1785 and 1786; there was no certificate tax for 1787. GW listed the payments he made in his account with John Hopkins and his account of “Taxes and Parish Levies” (Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , 267, 268).

2The correct total is actually £107.13.2, which is what GW has correctly recorded in the enclosed list of warrants. The eight warrants listed in the letter book include the four warrants issued on 29 Nov. 1786 for articles supplied to the Fairfax County militia in 1774, totaling £87.16.6 (see GW to Anthony Singleton, 1 Mar. 1788, n.2), one warrant of £4.16 issued 8 Dec. 1783 payable to Thomas Swain for services in the Fairfax County militia, one of £2.14.8 issued on 5 Aug. 1782 to Joshua Smolley for his services in the Loudoun County militia, one for £9 issued by the Prince William County court of claims on 2 Nov. 1783 to Mathew Whiting “for Corn furnished the Continent,” and one for £3.6 issued on 4 Oct. 1783 in Loudoun County to William Smith “for waggon hire” (27 April 1788, LB, DLC:GW). For the ultimate disposition of these warrants, see Hopkins to GW, 14 May.

3The indents are not listed in the letter book.

4For the payment of this, see the postscript in GW to Charles Lee, this date.

5On 20 June Hopkins confirmed that the Great Kanawha was the county line and attempted to explain why GW was to pay tax to Greenbrier County on land not in Greenbrier County and was not to pay tax on some of the land in that county. The sheriff of Greenbrier was Robert Renick.

6For GW’s land on the Great Kanawha and Ohio rivers, see the references in the source note, GW to Thomas Lewis, 1 Feb. 1784, and GW’s advertisement, an enclosure in GW to John Witherspoon, 10 Mar. 1784.

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