George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Townsend Hooe, 25 April 1793

From Robert Townsend Hooe


Sir,Alexandria [Va.] April 25th 1793.

Within these few days mister wilson has applied to me to settle with you such part of the judgment on the Bond, as you may think proper to appropriate towards payment of mister Bennett’s claim; & I have had a conversation with mister Keith upon that subject, who thinks Colo. Little & myself ought to enter into bond to indemnify you against the Claim that Giles’ heirs had upon the Estate of Colo. Thomas Colville, exr of John Colville.1 This I think reasonable myself, and if your Excellency thinks proper to take bond from Colo. Little and myself for indemnity to the amount of whatever is now to be paid mister Bennett out of the first judgment;2 I will accomodate mister Wilson, & pass such rects as mister Keith may think necessary. mister Little & myself can run no risk; because Lord Tankerville upon that subject wrote me in these words—“I find I am still under the necessity of waiting not only the return of mr Gregg from the north, but the proper attestations on the part of Giles’ representative, respecting the discharge of his claim on the Estate. I have searched my own papers in vain for the receipt from mister Shadforth, which, in the removal to my present house, may have been mislaid, or may be in the hands of an Attorney employed by me at the time of payment, whose Affairs are so much deranged that I have no hopes of recovering any thing from him. But I have written to my Agent in the north, and I trust I shall soon be enabled to send you some satisfactory acknowledgment from Giles’ representative.”

Besides this we have good bonds & Mortgages to the amount of upwards of £20,000 in our hands, and are still adding to them by sales of mister Bennett’s Estate every day.3 I am, Sir, With the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most Obedt servt

R. Td Hooe

Copy, in Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr.’s writing, DLC:GW. GW’s docket on the back of this letter indicates that the “Original” had been “sent to Jas Keith.”

1For the tangled affairs of the estate of John and Col. Thomas Colvill, of which Henry Astley Bennett and his brother Charles, the fourth earl of Tankerville, were heirs, see GW to Hooe, 7 Feb. 1793, and notes. Alexandria merchant William Wilson served as an agent for his brother Cumberland Wilson and other debtors of the estate (GW to James Keith, 7 April, n.1). For the judgments in favor of the estate, see Court Judgment, 22 May 1792. GW had engaged Alexandria lawyer James Keith to help with the settlement of this estate. Col. Charles Little resided at Cleesh, a Virginia plantation that John Colvill had left to his brother for life, after which it was to go to Lord Tankerville (Fairfax County Will Book B–1, 97–101, ViFfCh). Little joined Hooe in acting as an agent for the Bennetts (see Thomas Montgomerie to GW, 24 Oct. 1788, source note). For the claim by a descendant of Thomas and John Colvill’s sister Esther Colvill Giles, see Keith to GW, 8 April, and note 3.

2For payments made to Hooe in behalf of Henry A. Bennett, see GW to Hooe, 7 Feb., n.3, to Keith, 17 Mar. 1793; see also GW’s “One View” of the accounts of the Colvill estate in Ledger C description begins General Ledger C, 1790–1799. Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 13–17.

3For the estate in Virginia that the Bennetts inherited from John Colvill, see Thomas Montgomerie to GW, 24 Oct. 1788, and source note.

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