George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Newton, Jr., 23 November 1789

To Thomas Newton, Jr.

New York Novr 23d 1789


Your letter of the 24th of October, containing an estimate of the cost of a Light-house which was to have been erected on Cape Henry—a draft of the same—and an account of materials placed upon the spot for the purpose of building, has been duly received;1 and I beg you to accept my thanks for your trouble in preparing & forwarding them—I am, Sir, Your most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

Df, in the writing of Tobias Lear, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

1Letter not found. On 21 Nov. Tobias Lear wrote Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton that “I am directed by the President of the United States to enclose and send to you, a letter addressed to him from Thomas Newton, Junr Esquire of Norfolk, dated October 24th 1789, containing an estimate made by Commissioners appointed by the States of Maryland and Virginia of the cost of building a lighthouse on Cape Henry in Virginia—an account of materials which were placed on the spot for that purpose—and likewise a dft of the lighthouse which was to have been erected” (DNA: RG 26, Light House Services Correspondence, Vault Materials). Hamilton acknowledged the letter on the same day, requesting Lear to “inform the President that I shall pay due attention to the information it convey’s” (DLC:GW). See also Newton to GW, 17 July 1789, and GW to Newton, 12 Oct. 1789. An undated estimate of the cost of building the lighthouse, signed by Newton, and a copy of a similar undated estimate sent by Newton to William Lindsay are to be found in DNA: RG 26, Light House Services Correspondence (Vault Material).

Newton may have written GW a second, private letter on 24 Oct.; a second letter sent by GW to Newton on 23 Nov. acknowledges Newton’s letter of “24th ultimo respecting the state of accounts between us, and the outstanding debts due to me, which I make no doubt you will use your best endeavors to recover” (LB, DLC:GW).

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