George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Charles Lee, 27 April 1788

To Charles Lee

Mount Vernon April 27th 1788

Dear Sir,

Your two favors of the 11th & 17th Inst. have been duly received—I am much obliged to you for the trouble which the negotiating the Certificate that I forwarded to you has given, and must further intrude upon you by requesting that you will dispose of the certificates which are in your hands to the best advantage and have the proceeds of them passed to my Credit with the James River Company—As I have already discharged my taxes here for the last year, I shall have no occasion for them on that score.1

I thank you, my dear Sir, for your kind attention in forwarding the Acct of my taxes due upon my lands in Green Briar, and as you inform me that Mr Hopkins is so obliging as to offer to settle with the Sheriff for them, I shall write to him upon the subject, and enclose him Certificates to discharge all that is due previous to the year 1787, for the payment of which I shall endeavour to procure Tobacco notes, which shall be forwarded to him as soon as I can obtain them. With great regard and esteem I am, Dear Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Sert

Go. Washington

P.S. Enclosed is a letter to Mr Hopkins under a flying seal, which you will be so good as to close and deliver to him;2 you will see by the contents what steps I have taken to discharge the tax bill which you forwarded to me, and as it is probable that others of a similar nature will be rendered in (if the lands are not already sold) I think it would be best to lodge the Certificates which you have in the hands of Mr Hopkins to pay that part of the tax which is due for 1787, and I will devise some other method to answer the demands of the James River Company.3


1GW is referring to the certificate for £69 that he received from the state in partial payment for the slave executed in 1781, which he had forwarded to Lee on 4 April. Lee wrote GW on 17 April that he had exchanged the certificate for warrants payable for taxes. Before finishing this letter of 27 April, GW changed his mind about the disposal of the warrants. See the postscript and note 3.

2On 17 April Lee sent GW information about the taxes due on his land on the Great Kanawha in Greenbrier County, and GW’s letter to John Hopkins attempting to arrange the payment of these taxes is dated 27 April.

3On 14 May Lee informed GW that he had followed instructions and turned the warrants over to John Hopkins. See note 1.

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