George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Jefferson, 9 February 1792

To Thomas Jefferson

[Philadelphia] Thursday Morng [9 February 1792]1

The P——requests that Mr J——would give the enclosed letter & papers a reading between this and dinner—and come an hour before it, that he may have an opportunity of conversing with him on the subject of them.2

Mr Walker of George Town is in this City—from him, if Mr J——could contrive to get him to his house, he might learn the sentiments of the people of the place, Carrolsburg &ca—with respect to the dispute between the Comrs & Majr L’——& generally of the State of the business.3

AL, DLC: Thomas Jefferson Papers.

For the background to this letter, see Pierre L’Enfant to GW, 21 Nov. 1791, editorial note.

1.Jefferson endorsed this letter as having been received on 9 Feb. 1792.

2The enclosures were probably Thomas Johnson’s letter to GW of 3 Feb., which has not been found, and its accompanying draft advertisement for designs for the U.S. Capitol. Jefferson revised the draft and returned it to the Commissioners for the District of Columbia on 6 Mar. 1792 (Jefferson Papers description begins Julian P. Boyd et al., eds. The Papers of Thomas Jefferson. 41 vols. to date. Princeton, N.J., 1950–. description ends , 23:224–28).

3For GW’s efforts to use Walker as an intermediary to resolve the dispute with L’Enfant, see GW to Jefferson, 15 February. George Walker (d. 1802), who was born in Scotland, established himself as a merchant in Georgetown before the Revolutionary War. In 1800 he returned to his native country, where he died (see Harris, Thornton Papers, 1:495). Walker wrote an article promoting the establishment of the Federal City between Rock Creek and the Eastern Branch that appeared in the Maryland Journal (Baltimore) on 23 Jan. 1789. He purchased in June 1791 from Overton Carr a 358–acre tract, the largest remaining parcel of the Hopyard or Houpyard (named for the original patent holder, Walter Houp). Walker’s land extended in a narrow rectangle across the eastern part of the Federal City from the Eastern Branch at current 15th Street, Southeast, to current H Street, Northeast. Walker probably wrote the “Description of the City of Washington” signed by “A Spectator” in the Maryland Journal (Baltimore), 30 Sept. 1791, which was reprinted in Philadelphia in Dunlap’s American Daily Advertiser on 7 Oct. 1791 and in the Gazette of the United States the next day.

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