George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Edmund Randolph, 9 January 1795

From Edmund Randolph

Philadelphia January 9. 1795.

E. Randolph has the honor of sending to the President the Virginia Act concerning the shares, in page 12. of the session of October 1785. There does not appear to be the smallest obstacle from the words of the act, to the giving of the Potowmac shares to the fœderal City.1 The President will therefore be pleased to say at the foot of the letter to the governor of Virginia, what he intends to do with the James River Shares; and the letter can then be completed.2


1Randolph was referring to “An Act to amend the Act intituled ‘An Act for vesting in George Washington, Esq: a certain interest in the Companies established for opening and extending the navigation of James and Potowmack rivers’” in Acts Passed at a General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Begun and held at the Public Buildings in the City of Richmond, on Monday the Seventeenth Day of October, in the Year of our Lord, One Thousand Seven Hundred and Eighty-five (Richmond, [1786]), 12–13 (see also Va. Statutes description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends [Hening], 12:42–44). The act “appropriated” fifty shares in the Potomac Company and 100 shares in the James River Company “to such objects of a public nature, in such manner, and under such distributions, as the said George Washington, Esq; by deed during his life, or by his last will and testament, shall direct and appoint.”

2GW’s letter to Virginia governor Robert Brooke about the disposition of the shares in the James River and Potomac companies is dated 16 March.

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