George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Archibald McClean, 4 August 1797

From Archibald McClean

Alexandria 4th August 1797


Having been appointed administrator to the estate of Mrs Kirk deceased, relict of James Kirk esqr. late of this town, I am desirous of settling the accounts as speedily as possible. Mrs Kirk, before her death, informed me that a bond had been lodged with you to satisfy a debt due you from Mr Kirk’s estate, and that there is still a balance of said bond remaining in your hand.1 As I have not met with any papers of hers from which I could procure accurate information on the subject, I request the favour of you, sir, to transmit me a particular statement of the matter. Please do it by this day week, as I expect to leave town then & shall not return for some time.2 With respect yours &c.

Archd McClean


Archibald McClean in 1798 decided to leave Alexandria and move to the West. He signed over to GW his house and lot in town in partial payment for GW’s 587–acre tract of land on the Ohio (McClean to GW, 2, 9 July 1798; GW to McClean, 4, 15 July, 6 Aug. 1798).

1For GW’s earlier dealings with the Kirks, see GW to Mrs. Kirk, 20 Feb. 1787.

2GW’s prompt response, written to McClean from Mount Vernon on 7 Aug., seems to have put an end to the matter: “Sir, I know nothing of the Bond of which you speak, in your letter of the 4th instant. If any such is in my possession unsettled (which by the bye) I do ⟨not believe⟩, it must, by frequent shiftings & removals, have got so out of place as to render it impracticable for me to find; as there is no such bond where it ought to be, if I had it. By my Books, I find the account of Mr Jas Kirk thus stated. To bale of yr acct on my Mill Book £58.7.10 1/4 Cr. Settled by the Assigmt of a Bond of [Peter] Magee’s 58.7.10 1/4[.] So far as my memory serves me, the Bond was inadequate to discharge the above bale with the interest due thereon; but as it was with difficulty I could get any thing, and this was likely to be the whole, it was taken & recd in discharge, & the Bond given up; for the name of Magee is not to be found in my Book of A/c. I am Sir Yr Hble Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers).

Index Entries