George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Samuel Hanson (of Samuel), 7 April 1793

To Samuel Hanson (of Samuel)

Mount Vernon Aprl 7th 1793.


A few days only before I left Philadelphia, your letter of the 22d of February came to my hands.1 Why it was so long on its passage I am unable to inform you.

I have put my name to the Subscription paper therein enclosed, although as a common centre, I am applied to for aids beyond my means—for in truth2 I escape few contributions to any thing of this sort—or to public buildings—such as Colleges Churches &ca &ca that are undertaken by Subscription within a circle of considerable extent around me. Were it not for these I wd have given a larger sum than is affixed to my name,3 as the measure is entirely approved by Sir, Your Most Obedt & very Hble Servant.

G. W——n


1GW departed Philadelphia for Mount Vernon on 27 Mar. (JPP, description begins Dorothy Twohig, ed. The Journal of the Proceedings of the President, 1793–1797. Charlottesville, Va., 1981. description ends 107). Hanson’s letter of 22 Feb., written at Alexandria, reads: “The Episcopal Congregation of this Town & Neighbourhood, being extremely pleased with the induction of that Respectable Character and accomplished Preacher, Mr Davis, wish to complete their satisfaction by the acquisition of an Organ.

“As no one can be more desirous of obtaining it than myself, I have been requested to undertake the Collection of Subscriptions; and I have been instructed to leave a place at the head of my Paper for a Name which has always been foremost in every undertaking both of private and public munificence.

“I think it necessary to mention my being only an Agent in the business, that, should there be any impropriety in the present application, no more than a due share of it may be imputed to me” (DLC:GW).

Christ Church in Alexandria, Va., had recently chosen as its new minister Rev. Thomas Davis, who served there until 1806 (Meade, Old Churches, Ministers, and Families of Virginia, description begins [William] Meade. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1857. description ends 2:260). After GW resigned as a vestryman of Truro Parish in the early 1780s, he began to attend Christ Church in Fairfax Parish, and he purchased pew 5 in 1785 (Slaughter, Truro Parish, description begins Philip Slaughter. The History of Truro Parish in Virginia. Edited by Edward L. Goodwin. Philadelphia, 1908. description ends 89, 97).

2At this place on the draft manuscript, GW wrote and then struck the phrase “nothing of this.”

3The subscription paper, containing the amount of GW’s donation, has not been identified.

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