George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Hartshorne, 24 May 1797

From William Hartshorne

Alexandria 5th Mo. 24th 1797

Respected Friend

The deed thou enclosed to me for 15 Shares in the Potomack Company has been recorded and is now enclosed for which thy account is charged one dollar.1 I am Respectfully Thy friend

Wm Hartshorne


William Hartshorne (1742-1816), a merchant in Alexandria, had been a commissioner of the Potowmack Company and its treasurer since it was organized in 1785 under the presidency of GW. Hartshorne remained treasurer of the company until 1800.

1Early in 1796 the president of the Potowmack Company, Tobias Lear, bought twenty shares in the company, which, he said, had been “thrown into the Market” to weaken it (Lear to GW, 2 Mar. 1796). GW, who owned fifty-five shares, fifty given him by the Virginia legislature in 1785 and five that he had purchased, bought on 10 April 1796 three of Lear’s shares for $1,400, the price Lear had paid for them, and on 12 May 1797 he bought fifteen more from Lear for $450 each (Indenture with Tobias Lear, 10 April 1796, owned [1976] by Mr. Ronald von Klaussen, New York, N.Y.; Ledger C description begins General Ledger C, 1790–1799. Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 33).

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