George Washington Papers

From George Washington to George Gilpin, 29 May 1788

To George Gilpin

[Mount Vernon, 29 May 1788]

My Nephew informs me that you propose to set off for Shenandoah tomorrow. Particular matters which I have on hand will prevent my doing of it till Saturday—possibly in the afternoon of that day, time enough to reach Mr. Fairfax’s. Early on Sunday I will call at the Great, & proceed to the Seneca Falls and if business should not require Mr. Smith to proceed before that time, I should be glad to meet him at the first place, but not otherwise.1

It is my earnest wish that the meeting should be full—business requires it—& for that reason I hope Colo Fitzgerald will attend, and that the Maryland Members could be carried2 on. Barring accidents I will be at the place of Rendezvous by 10 o’clock on Monday.—Such papers as will be wanting be so good as to take with you, particularly the charges &c. against Stuart.3

L (incomplete), printed in Goodspeed’s catalog no. 106, item 5787, 1914.

1GW begins his full account in his diary of his attendance at the meeting of the directors of the Potowmack Company with this entry of Saturday, 31 May: “After an early dinner, in company with Colo. Humphreys, I set out for a meeting of the Directors of the Potomack Company to be held at the Falls of Shenandoah on Monday next. Reached Mr. Fairfax’s about an hour by Sun, who with his lady were at Alexandria; but a cloud which threatend rain induced us notwithstanding to remain there all night” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:334). James Smith was the assistant manager of the company.

2Perhaps GW wrote “counted.”

3Before adjourning on Tuesday, 2 June, GW and the directors on Monday wrote the following letter to Richardson Stewart (Stuart): “We met today by appointment to hear the charges against you but could not with propriety go into an examination of witnesses in your absence, which however to be regretted we believe is involuntary. On a general view of the situation of the Company’s affairs being of the opinion that the present funds or prospects will not warrant our continuing two managers we have come to the inclosed resolution. It is with reluctance we found ourselves under the necessity to make an arrangement which at this point of time may possibly be thought by your enemies to be occasioned by the charges against you, but it has proceeded solely from our duty and inclination to promote the Company’s interest without being influenced in any degree by facts alleged and not examined into. The preference given to Mr. Smith is on different principles and we expect cannot surprise you or hurt your feelings. We request on the expiration of your present year you will deliver up the property of the Company under your care to his hands. . . . G. Washington, P[,] Thos. Johnson[,] T.S. Lee[,] Geo. Gilpin” (Bacon-Foster, Development of Patomac Route, description begins Corra Bacon-Foster. Early Chapters in the Development of the Patomac Route to the West. Washington, D.C., 1912. description ends 82). For the recommendation of the directors to James Smith, see ibid., 83, and Records of the Columbia Historical Society, 15 (1912), 173–74.

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