From William Deakins, Jr.
Bath [Va.] August 24th 1792
Your much Esteem’d favor of the 13th Instant (Covering a Letter for my Brother & Mr Jones) came safe to hand yesterday.1 My Brother is now here. I have Enquired of him, respecting Mr Benja. Jones, he thinks him an honest reasonable Man, & will Act with him to Value Mr Mercers Land agreeable to your request. Doctr James Stewart who holds one third of the same Tract with Mr Mercer, is now here, he has (I believe,[)] received letters from Mr Mercer, he leaves this tomorrow, & will call in his way home, to see the Land, and give Orders for a Division to take place.2
I hope whenever I can be usefull to your Excellency, you will freely command me, Assuring Yourself it gives me the Utmost pleasure to execute any of your commands. With every Sentiment of Respect & Esteem—I am Your Excellency’s Most Obt Servt
Will. Deakins Junr
ALS, DLC:GW. In addition to the address to GW at Mount Vernon, Deakins wrote “George Town 31st Augt” and indicated “Free” postage on the cover.
1. For the covered letter, see GW to Francis Deakins and Benjamin Jones, 8 Aug. 1792.
2. For GW’s earlier attempts to collect a long-standing debt from the estate of John Mercer (d. 1768), father of James and John Francis Mercer, see GW to James Mercer, 18 Mar. 1789, and note 1, and 4 April 1789, and GW to John Francis Mercer, 5 April 1789, 30 June and 23 July 1792. In April 1793 GW accepted a 519–acre tract in Montgomery County, Md., as a final payment for the debt (see Ledger C description begins Manuscript Ledger in Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 4). This land was one-half of Woodstock Manor, which John Francis Mercer’s wife, Sophia Sprigg Mercer, had inherited (see GW to Francis Deakins and Benjamin Jones, 8 Aug. 1792). Dr. James Steuart was married to Rebecca Sprigg Steuart, a sister of Sophia Mercer.