George Washington Papers

To George Washington from the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, 23 March 1794

From the Commissioners for the District of Columbia

City of Washington 23d March 1794


We inclose you a Certificate of your Purchase of Lots, and payment of the price, which by a late Act transfers the Title without the formality of Deeds—This is a Duplicate, the Original is lodged in the Office of the recording Clerk, to be entered by him, and will be returned to our Office.1

We were not unmindful of your intention of becoming a Purchaser of a Situation in the other end of the City—we enquired for the Spot you had fixed on, but could get no certain information of it, else it would have been mentioned in the exceptions from Greenleaf’s Choice; it was mentioned to him, and we have not only his promise, but his wish that we may dispose of the Ground you may chuse, let it be more or less—if you can rely on Mr Blodget’s description, it Shall be finished on Mr Greenleaf’s coming down, otherwise it may be kept open till we have the pleasure of seeing you here: at all Events, the Quarter of the Square No. 21 on the N.E. Corner, will not be disposed of, though we Suspect as it affords a north front and an East front only, Mr Blodget may be mistaken.2

The Season is already fine enough to resume the Survey of the City. we had an Idea to employ some Gentleman of Service and talents, and Mr Revardi had made so favorable an Impression on us, that we mentioned him to you for your Consideration—we do not wonder in your Situation, you should not always retain on your mind every minute Thing—one Mr Vermanet is here, he is said to have been an Engineer in the Time of the War—We have a letter from Mr Revardi which refers to some Conversation with Mr Blodget, and offers his Services;3 but unwilling to enter into engagements with any body, without your approbation, or enter on the work with a common Surveyor only we shall decline coming to any decission; ’till our next meeting about the 12th of April; when we Should with pleasure receive a line from you on this Subject.4 We are Sir very respectfully Your obed. hble Servts

Th. Johnson

Dd Stuart

Danl Carroll

LS, DLC:GW; LB, DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Letters Sent, 1791–1802. Johnson wrote the closing line on the receiver’s copy.

1The enclosed certificate of 18 Sept. 1793 was for GW’s purchase of four lots in square 667, which lay south of the Capitol and along the Eastern Branch.

2On GW’s intention to purchase lots in square 21, west of the President’s House, see GW to D.C. Commissioners, 14 March and 11 April, and D.C. Commissioners to GW, 23 April, and n.2. On the offer of James Greenleaf and Robert Morris to purchase 6,000 lots in the District of Columbia, see D.C. Commissioners to GW, 23 Dec. 1793, and n.1 to that document. Samuel Blodget, Jr., was the former superintendent of the District of Columbia.

3For an earlier mention of John Jacob Ulrich Rivardi by the commissioners, see their letter to GW of 28 January. Neither Rivardi nor John Vermonnet was employed by the commissioners. Rivardi was hired by the War Department as an engineer in charge of building fortifications at the ports at Baltimore, Md., and Norfolk, Va., and Vermonnet was similarly employed at Annapolis, Md., and Alexandria, Va. (ASP, Military Affairs description begins Walter Lowrie et al., eds. American State Papers. Documents, Legislative and Executive, of the Congress of the United States. 38 vols. Washington, D.C., Gales and Seaton, 1832–61. description ends , 1:87–95). For Rivardi’s letter to the D.C. Commissioners of 10 March, see DNA: RG 42, Records of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, Letters Received, 1791–1802.

4For GW’s reply, see his letter to the D.C. Commissioners of 11 April.

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