George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, 6 February 1789

From Henry Lee

Alexa. 6th Feby 89

My dear General.

I am willing to guarantee the land as you may choose, provided you will agreable to the spirit of our bargain secure my payment for the horse in Kentucky lands, should those sold to you prove insecure or doubtful in title.1

You have alone or in conjunction with Mr Lewis a tract of land near Suffolk, which if you incline to sell I shall be glad to negotiate for.2

I must trouble you to forward to me by the first messenger from Mount Vernon, two additional copys of Magnolios pedigree, as I wish to transmit to So. Carolina triplicates to provide against miscarriage—such as the one before sent will be fully sufficient. I am dear General truely & unalterably yours

Henry Lee


2Presumably Lee is referring to the tract of 1,119 acres of land in what was then Nansemond County, Va., purchased by GW, Fielding Lewis, and Thomas Walker in 1766 at a time when GW was most interested in the development of the Dismal Swamp. GW still held his portion of the property at the time of his death. In the schedule of property appended to his will the tract was valued at $8 an acre and described as lying “on the Road from Suffolk to Norfolk—touches (if I am not mistaken) some part of the Navigable water of Nansemond River. The rich Dismal Swamp,” he added “is capable of great improvement; and from its situation must become extremely valuable” (ViFfCh).

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