George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Daniel Jenifer, Jr., 7 June 1797

To Daniel Jenifer, Jr.

Mount Vernon 7th [June] 179⟨7⟩

Dear Sir.

A person of the name of Perry called upon me yesterday concerning the exchange mentioned in the enclosed letter, and seemed very desirous of effecting it.1

I told him that whatever Mr Craik had done, or should do respecting it, I would abide by; or as his return from Congress must be uncertain as to time, if you were acquainted with the circumstances of this case (which indeed is more than I am) and would take the trouble of acting the part of a mutual friend between us, seeing that the equivalent proposed by him was just, I was equally disposed to leave the matter to your decision; and I now take the liberty of repeating it to you, according to the promise I made him, being willing to oblige Mr Perry if it can be done without injury to myself.

I thought too, that as you would probably have occasion to see Mr Dunnington (concerning the rents he owes me)2 who must be well acquainted with the lands and all the circumstances relative to the proposed exchange that the two things might be accomplished at the same time, and therefore I had less reluctance in making this request. With esteem & regard I am Dear Sir Your Obedient & Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW. The letter is docketed by GW:“7th May 1797 should be 7th June.”

Dr. Daniel Jenifer, Jr. (1756–1809), was the son of Daniel Jenifer (d. 1795) and nephew of Daniel of St. Thomas Jenifer (1723–1790), all of Charles County, Maryland.

1The enclosed letter has not been found. For references to a Mr. Benjamin Perry, perhaps the same man, see Thomas Peter to GW, 14, 16 May 1798.

2In 1785 GW received from Daniel Jenifer Adams, in payment of a debt, 552½ acres of land in Charles County, Maryland. See GW to Adams, 20 July 1772, 8 Mar. 1775, Adams to GW, 4 Feb. 1775, and notes to these documents. On 15 Jan. 1797 GW wrote from Philadelphia to George Dunnington, a tenant on this Charles County land: “Sir, I have waited (perhaps with more forebearance than I ought) to see, if without an application on my part, you would come forward with the Rents you owe me.

“As you have not done this, and no intimation of your intention to do it; and as it is not unfair to conclude from hence, that you mean to postpone the payment of them until the price of Tobo is at a low ebb, & then to discharge the whole in that article, or at the price it bears in the Market; a practice not to be justified under any circumstances, much less in yours, who pay a Rent quite inadequate to the use of the land. I am constrained, tho’ reluctantly, to inform you, that if you do not pay all that is due to me up to the commencement of the present year to Doctr Jenifer of Port Tobacco (who will receive the same, & give a discharge therefor on my behalf) I shall take the most efficatious, & summary method, allowed by the Laws of Maryland, to obtain justice. I wd fain avoid this appeal, but If I am obliged to resort to it, remember that it is brought upon you by your own default. I am Sir Your Hble Servant Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW; LB DLC:GW). In Ledger C description begins Manuscript Ledger in Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 38, in GW’s account with Dunnington, there is this entry for 1 Mar. 1798: “To the amount of Rent for my Land in Charles County Maryland from 1789 to 1796 both years included @ 2000 lbs. Tobo Pr Year, which, with Interest, amounts to £325.14.1 [$868.54] Maryld Currency, as Pr Statement; for which I have your Bond.”

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