George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joshua Gayle, 8 December 1793

From Joshua Gayle

Virginia Decer 8th 1793

Honerabl. Sir,

Your Excellency has a Tract of Land laying in Gloucester County on North River, I have heard You have a mind to Sell it, if so, be please’d to let me no Your lowest price in Cash or Credit and the Terms of Credit, as I would wish to purchase if the Terms can be made Agreeable,1 the Land is at present in a bad Sitiuaten Distuate of Houses fenceses & all in Wildderness, which point I will referr you to Colol John Page, being Acquinted with the same.2 I am sir, Your Excency Mos. Obet Hbe Sert

Joshua Gayle

ALS, DLC:GW. Joshua Gayle resided in Mathews County, Va., which was formerly Kingston Parish, Gloucester County.

1Gayle was referring to the tract of about four hundred acres on Back River (a branch of North River) that GW acquired from John Dandridge in 1789 (see Dandridge to GW, 27 Oct. 1788, and source note). GW apparently did not receive Gayle’s letter until early February 1794. He responded in a letter to Gayle of 13 Feb. 1794: “My lowest price for the Land I hold on the North river, in Gloucester County, in Virginia, is One thousand pounds, estimating dollars at six shillings. about this sum the land actually stands me in at this moment, & I shall advance the price in proportion, at least to the interest of the above sum, at any time hereafter.

“If credit is required, it may be obtained for two, three, or four years—paying Interest on the purchase money” (LB, DLC:GW).

GW did not sell the property at this time.

2GW did inquire of John Page about Gayle’s financial status. After investigating, Page reported a favorable opinion about Gayle’s honesty and ability to pay (Page to GW, 30 March 1794, DLC:GW).

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