George Washington Papers

From George Washington to John Fitzgerald, 11 August 1793

To John Fitzgerald

Philadelphia Augt 11th 1793.

Dear Sir,

I received your favor of the 3d instant a few days ago.

If there be any specific agreement, in writing, between Mr Whiting and the occupant of my Lot in Alexandria, I must abide by it, however erroneous the measure; provided it shall appear that the tenant has, or is in a way & condition to comply with his part of the contract. If no such written agreement can be exhibited, I shall not think myself under obligation to suffer the present family to remain longer in possession; for I well remember the conversation you allude to, in your presence; and I recollect also, to have been told by my deceased Nephew, Majr Washington, that this, or some other occupant of the house, a little before, or after that conversation, had engaged to inclose the Garden with a good Post & Rail or Plant fence, and to repair the Houses completely. If these are not done the most h⟨e⟩ can expect, is to be permitted to go off quietly.1

Under this explanation of my ideas, respecting the business, I shall leave it to you, my dear Sir, to act for m⟨e⟩ as you w⟨oul⟩d for yourself, & I shall feel myself very much obliged by it.2

I am pleased to find by your statement of matters, that the concer⟨ns⟩ of the Potomac are in so prosperous a way—its funds so respectable—an[d] that we may shortly look to reimbursements by the Tolls. From the Shenondoah will the great harvest come. interest & policy therefore point mos⟨t⟩ strongly to exertions in that quarter.3 with sincere esteem & regard I am always Your Affectionate

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is from the letter-book copy.

1On the questionable lease of GW’s townhouse in Alexandria, Va., to the Jackson family, see Fitzgerald to GW, 3 Aug., and note 2. On the death of George Augustine Washington, GW’s nephew and former estate manager, see GW to Frances Bassett Washington, 24 Feb. 1793, and note 1.

2For Fitzgerald’s problems in removing the Jackson family from GW’s townhouse, see his letter to GW of 11 Oct. 1793.

3On Fitzgerald’s statement and GW’s long-term interest in the Potowmack Company, see Fitzgerald to GW, 3 Aug., and note 3. Because the Shenandoah River flows into the Potomac at present-day Harpers Ferry, W.Va., GW anticipated that farm products from the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia would be shipped eastward through the Potomac Canal.

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