George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Peter Trenor, 29 January 1790

From Peter Trenor

Newry [Ireland] 29th Jany 1790

Shortly after I had the Honour of receiving your Excellencys Letter, at portsmouth Virginia, dated Mount Vernon the 15th November 17861 Enclosing one for Mrs Anne Ennis,2 of Dublin, I returned to this Country, & handed your Letter to that, Poor distressed Lady, whose Circumstances, has been reduced to the Lowest Ebb, owing ⟨meerely⟩ to a train of dire Misfortunes, and I do assure your Excellency was it not for the support I gave her, from time to time, that she woud have been in a most deplorable Situation—she was in daily expectation of hearing that your Excellency, had got the affairs of the late Mrs Savage finally settled, as your Letter gave her hopes that there woud be a final Issue put to the Business, in a Term or two, from that Period.3

By this Conveyance I have forwarded to Geo. Pollock Esqre of Newyork4 Authenticated before the Lord Mayor of Dublin the following Papers5 Viz.: Copy of Mrs Savages Will—(wherein she has bequeathed to your Excellency £200 V. Cy & to Bryan Fairfax Esqre ⟨£100⟩ of like Money—which two sums & the £53 Bh you advanced in 1772 your Excellency will please deduct from the Amount received & the remainder you’l be so good as to order into Mr Pollocks hands[.] Copys of the late Richard Ennis’s Will[;] Power of Attorney from Mrs Anne Ennis Wife to said Richard Ennis to me & Power of Attorney from me to said Geo. Pollock Esqre to be proven on your side by Capt. William Chevers of the Ship Ann & Susan[;] also ⟨Mrs⟩ Savages Death & Interment, Authenticated before the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

Knowing that your Excellency will do every thing that justice or equity will admit of, to help the Distressed Mrs Ennis, I have the Honour to be Your Excellencys very obedt Servt.6

Peter Trenor

⟨Mutilated⟩ thing defficient in the Papers, forwd to Mr Pollock, your Excellency will be so obliging as to point same out to me, which shall be rectified in course.


For background to GW’s involvement in Margaret Green Savage’s affairs, see Henry Lee and Daniel Payne to GW, 24 April 1767, n.1; GW to Margaret Savage, 28 June 1768 and 27 Jan. 1772; Trenor to GW, 8 Nov. 1786, and note 1; GW to Anne Ennis, 15 Nov. 1786; John Dixon to GW, 5 Mar. 1789, and note 1; GW to Bryan Fairfax, 6 April 1789, n.3; and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 2:181–82, 228, 3:81.

1Letter not found. Trenor later referred to it as being dated 16 Nov. 1786 (Trenor to GW, 1 Oct. 1792, Collections of Lord Fairfax of Cameron, Gays House, Holyport, Maidenhead, Berkshire, England).

3“We are encouraged by our Lawyers to expect a final issue of the business in a term or two more; but what reliance is to be placed on these assurances, is not for me to decide” (GW to Anne Ennis, 15 Nov. 1786).

4George Pollock was a successful New York City merchant who owned property at 6 Nassau and 23 Water streets and was later a legal client of Alexander Hamilton’s (New York City Directory, description begins The New-York Directory, and Register, for the Year 1790. New York, 1790. description ends 1790, 80; Syrett, Hamilton Papers, description begins Harold C. Syrett et al., eds. The Papers of Alexander Hamilton. 27 vols. New York, 1961–87. description ends 18:43–44).

5The enclosures, which have not been found, were sent in response to GW’s comments: “for our security, there must be an attested Copy of the Will [of Mrs. Savage], under the Seal of the Corporation where it is recorded, annexed to a regular power of attorney (to be proved in this Country) from the Executors to some person here, to receive the money from us” (GW to Anne Ennis, 15 Nov. 1786).

6Not having received a reply, Trenor again wrote from Newry in 1792 enclosing a duplicate of his 29 Jan. 1790 letter, which he misremembered as 28 Jan., and beseeching “that your Excellency may give directions to your Law Agent or Secretary to have this matter finally adjusted & the Money paid to George Pollock Esqre of New York, which your Excellency will Perceive by the foregoing Letter that he is fully Impowerd to receive same—I do assure your Excellency that it has been an inconvenience to me, laying out of the large sum of Money so long which I advanced towards the support of the Widow Ennis—from your Excellencys Benovelent Character I am certain that it is neither y⟨ou⟩r Inclination nor wish that The Money shou’d be withheld a day after the recovery thereof—Your Honouring me with a few Lines in case the affair is not finally adjusted, will confer a favour on your Excellencys Most Obed. Servt” (Trenor to GW, 1 Oct. 1792).

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