George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Francis Deakins, 12 November 1790

From Francis Deakins

Monocacy [Md.] 12th Novr 1790.


I now Inclose you a draught of the Lands you viewed about this place, with the Offers the proprietors has made for the use of the public building &C.1—youl please to Consider our Neighbours as retired Industrious planters having no Incom but the produce of their farmes not more than a moderate Support for their familys, as a Reason why they have not been more Liberal.

I expected Mr Williams to have Sent me Some papers & notes about the mouth of Connegocheague which is not come to hand, his Brother Genl Williams was up immediately after you, who I Suppose will make that Return to you.2

Having no assistance in laying down the plats—much Other business on hand and a faint expectation of its possessing Superiour advantages to any other place, I hope will in Some degree apologize for the Roughness of it.3 I have the Honour to be Sir your Most Obedt Servt

Francis Deakins


For the background to this letter, see Memorandum from Jefferson, 29 Aug. 1790, source note, 14 Sept. 1790 and source note, to GW, 17 Sept. 1790 and notes, Agreement of Georgetown, Md., Property Owners, 13 Oct. 1790, source note, Otho H. Williams to GW, 1 Nov. 1790 and notes, and William Deakins, Jr., to GW, 3 Nov. 1790.

Francis Deakins (1739–1804), the eldest son of William Deakins, Sr., and Tabitha Marbury Hoye Deakins of Prince George’s County, Md., was a land surveyor and speculator and owned property near the mouth of the Monocacy River. During the Revolution he served as an officer in the Maryland militia, rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel. As a surveyor Deakins had previously met GW in July 1786 (see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:2).

1The enclosures have not been found.

2GW visited with Elie Williams at Williamsport on 21 Oct. 1790 during his presidential tour up the Potomac to view potential sites for the federal city. Only after GW’s departure was Elie’s brother, Gen. Otho H. Williams, able to travel to Washington County, Md., to organize support for the placement of the federal seat in the area. The only papers from either brother that have been found in DLC:GW are those sent by Otho, which do not deal with the mouth of the Conococheague Creek (see Otho H. Williams to GW, 1 Nov. 1790 and notes).

3Deakins apparently intended to forward a more finished plat to the president by his brother William Deakins, Jr., when GW passed through Georgetown, Md., on his way from Mount Vernon to Philadelphia (see William Deakins, Jr., to GW, 18 Nov. 1790).

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