George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Lewis, 19 May 1788

To Thomas Lewis

Mount Vernon May 19th 1788


Enclosed is the duplicate of a letter I wrote to you agreeably to the date, but having heard nothing from you since, I am apprehensive it may have met with a miscarriage and therefore send this copy by your Brother who will endeavor to contrive it safe to you.1

I have been called upon for Taxes, and threatned at the sametime with a Sale of the Land after June, if the money is not paid before, by the Sheriff of Green brier County—As I have been suffering loss after loss for near ten years while I was in the public Service and have scarcely had time to breath sence. to this proceedure seems to me to be a little hasty, no regular application bee’n made to me—nor I might add any application at all but by these threats indirectly sent. to be threatned with a Sale when I cannot upon enquiry find that others who have lands in the same County has been treated in that rigorous manner seems to carry with it singular appearince. I am however, endeavouring to provide for the payment but wish to meet that measure and indulgence which is shewn to others.2

I have heard also, that People, under some other authority than mine, are settling in the point of a Fork between Cole River an[d] the great Kankawa; as I have a tract of two thousand Acres which encludes this spot these persons should be informed thereof to prevent deception to themselves, or trouble to me. The authority (if you encline to act under it) with which you are invested will enable you to settle this matter with them and to continue them thereon if you can agree on terms.3 I am &ca

Go. Washington


1See GW to Thomas Lewis, 25 Dec. 1787. The brother referred to was Andrew Lewis, Jr. (see GW to Andrew Lewis, Jr., 1 Feb. 1788).

2See GW to Henry Banks, 22 Nov. 1787, GW to Bushrod Washington, 3 Dec. 1787, and, especially, Charles Lee to GW, 17 April 1788, and the references in note 2 of that document.

3For this tract of land, see GW to Thomas Lewis, 1 Feb. 1784, n.6. This letter of 1 Feb. 1784 was to Thomas Lewis, the brother of Gen. Andrew Lewis, whereas the letter printed here was written to Gen. Andrew Lewis’s son Thomas. GW’s letter to Lewis of 25 Dec. 1787 had given Lewis authority to act for him, but Lewis wrote on 27 Aug. 1788 refusing the commission.

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