George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Robert Lewis, 7 May 1794

From Robert Lewis

The Exchange [Fauquier County, Va.] May 7th 1794.

Hond Uncle,

Your letter of the 16th of March, I have already acknowledged the receipt of,1 and shou’d have given you ere this the information you request with regard to the number of your tenants—the amount of the Rents, and particularly the arrearages which may be due; had I not been so frequently disappointed by the High Sheriff of this County in the payment of all monies which has come into his hands belonging to you. Inclosed you will receive an exact list of your tenants—the amount of their yearly rents—and all arrearages which has accrued since I have had the management of your affairs.2

Mr Prescoat has not paid me for the season of his Mare to your Jack, nor for the pasturage; but promises it shall be done in a short time. according to your directions, I have distributed generally, copies of the advertisement which you sent me concerning your Jacks & Traveller.3

I will thank you to instruct me what had best be done with your lotts in the town’s of Winchester & Bath and whether it would be agreeable to you, provided, I make an exchange with one of your tenants in Berkley County; by giving him your lott of 140 acres of Land on the potomac for 200 acres of Land in Berkley well improved; and which would bring you in an annual rent of thirty-five or forty pounds per ann[um]. The lott I allude to in Berkley, is held at present by John Dimmett who has three lives in it. It lays at the mouth of Bullskin.4 If you were disposed & could part with the money which you receive for rents—It would be no bad plan to realize the whole amount in purchasing out the life Leases in Berkley County & other places, as the rents which could be had at this time, would more than reimburse you for the purchase money by receiving three, or at most four rents.

I am fearfull I shall loose the Land (which you were so good as to give me) lying in Stafford;5 as I can find no entry in the Registers office nor any papers which can give me the smallest insight where the proper title has been derived from. If you could inform me who were the original grantees, its probable I might still do something in the business to my advantage. Mrs Lewis joins me in love to you & my Aunt. I remain your Obliged Nephew

Robt Lewis

P.S. The replevy bonds for the last year does not become due before the last of this Month when I will make out a Rental for the year.

ALS, ViMtvL.

1This acknowledgment has not been found.

2The enclosed list has not been identified. Lewis had been acting as GW’s rental agent since late 1791 (see GW to Lewis, 15 Oct. 1791, and notes). During that time, the post of sheriff for Fauquier County was filled by Thomas Keith (d. 1805) and later Aylett Buckner (1745-1811).

3For GW’s inquiries about the debt of Prescoat (Prescott), see his letters to William Pearce of 2 March and to Lewis of 16 March. For the advertisement, see Bartholomew Dandridge, Jr., to Angell & Sullivan and Samuel Hanson, 26 Feb. 1794, n.1.

4GW’s two lots at Bath (Warm Springs) were purchased for him by Fielding Lewis in 1777. His two lots at Winchester, a half-acre lot in the town (no. 77) and a roughly six-acre lot on the commons (no. 16), and his lot of 240 (not 140) acres on the Potomac River between the Great and Little Cacapon rivers, in the part of Frederick County that became Hampshire County, Va. (later W.Va.), were obtained as grants in 1753. All remained in Washington’s possession until his death (GW to Samuel Washington, 27 Oct. 1777, Papers, Revolutionary War Series, 12:35-37; Land Grant, from Thomas, Lord Fairfax, 20 Oct. 1750, source note, 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 , 1:47–48; Schedule of Property, 9 July 1799, Papers, Retirement Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Retirement Series. 4 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1998–99. description ends , 4:512-27).

John Dimmitt (c.1740-1812) moved to Berkeley, now Jefferson, County, W.Va., in 1786 and rented GW’s lot 3 at the Head of Bullskin, which had been leased for three lives to Abraham (Abram) Swanger (Swango) in 1769 (Lists of Tenants, 18 Sept. 1785, and n.3 to that document, Papers, Confederation Series description begins W. W. Abbot et al., eds. The Papers of George Washington, Confederation Series. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1992–97. description ends , 3:256-65).

5For GW’s gift to Lewis of land near the Accokeek ironworks in Stafford County, Va., see GW to Lewis, 29 April 1793.

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