George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Daniel Carroll, 16 December 1793

To Daniel Carroll

Philadelphia 16th Decr 1793

Dear Sir,

I have been favored with your letter of the 9th & sample of free stone from my Quarry, sent by Mr Hoban; for which I thank you both; and should be obliged to him for information of the spot from whence it was taken. I always knew, that the River banks from my Spring house, to the Ferry formerly kept by Captn Posey,1 were almost an entire bed of free stone; but I had conceived before the late sample came to hand, that is was of a very soft nature.

As the quantity, from outward appearances, is, in a manner, inexhaustable; I should have no objection to an investigation of the Banks by skilful, & orderly people; as the public as well as myself might be benefitted by the discovery of a quarry of good stone, so near the Federal City.

Mr Greenleaf is, I presume, with you, he left this City for George Town on friday last.2 He has a plan for the disposal of lots, & building thereon; to which he expressed a wish to receive the sanction of my opinion: I told him, my wish was, that all matters of that sort should come to me through the Commissioners; and when approved by them (after the consideration which I knew would be given to any proposition which seemed to have a tendency to advance the growth of the City) would certainly not be discountenanced by me.3 A similar answer I gave to a suggestion respecting the site for the Hospital in the City; Which he seemed desirous of giving grounds out of the City in exchange for. My motive for hinting these things to you, in this manner, is that you may understand precisely what passed between us on these subjects. For some reasons which he assigned, he thought a Hospital in the bosom of the City improper & dangerous. I am inclined to that opinion, but realy, as I told him, did not recollect that it had been so intended. I remain in haste Your Obedt & Affe. Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, NNGL; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Letters Sent, 1791–1802; LB (dated 15 Dec.), DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Letters Sent, 1791–1802; LB, DLC:GW.

1In the 1760s Capt. John Posey resided at Rover’s Delight, near the Potomac River about a mile southwest of Mount Vernon, and operated a public ferry from the landing near his house across the Potomac to Maryland. In 1769 John West, Jr., sued Posey, claiming title to the six-acre strip of land between Dogue Creek and Little Hunting Creek that included the ferry. GW acquired title to the land in 1772 (see Robert Hanson Harrison to GW, 10 Jan. 1772, and n.1, and cash accounts, June 1772, and n.2, Papers, Colonial Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Colonial Series. 10 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1983–95. description ends , 9:2–4, 52–54).

2The previous Friday was 13 December.

3For the commissioners’ response to James Greenleaf’s plans, see their letter to GW, 23 December.

Index Entries