George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Alexander White, 1 February 1798

From Alexander White

Woodville 1st Feb: 1798

Dear Sir,

On my arrival at this place on Tuesday se’night I found the letter with which you honoured me in answer to mine from Washington.1 On this day week I was followed by a Messenger from the City with a copy of a letter from the President to the Comrs approving of our laying a State of the Federal Buildings before Congress, Which he observes will render his responsibility and that of the Comrs less formidable The stage goes but once a week from Winchester to Philada I was therefore reduced to the alternative of going last monday or waiting till next I was constrained reluctantly to adopt the latter.2 I hope there will be no further delay, and flatter myself that no evil will arise from that which has taken place, as Congress will have sufficient time to deliberate, and if foreign Politics are to have an effect, the final determination of this business would be postponed at whatever time it might be introduced, till the result of those should be known. I shall advise you of my prospects, and the progress of the business after my arrival at Philada. Mrs White unites in Complts to yourself Mrs Washington and Miss Custis—I am with Sentiments of the highest respect Dear Sir Your most Obt Serv.

Alexr White


1Presumably White was referring to GW’s letter of 11 Jan. written in response to White’s letter of 8 January.

2See White to GW, 8 Jan., n.2. The other two commissioners for the Federal City, Gustavus Scott and William Thornton, wrote President John Adams on 30 Jan.: “We had the honor of your Letter of the 16th Instant on the 23d and on that day proceeded to the appointment of Mr White, to attend at Philadelphia, to give the necessary information to Congress—He being then at his Estate distant eighty or ninety miles we dispatched an Express to him with the papers necessary to be taken up to Philadelphia, on the next day; but are sorry to find by the Return of the Express that Mr White cannot conveniently set out until next Monday” (D.C. Commissioners Records description begins Commissioners of the District of Columbia Records, 1796–1816. Library of Congress. description ends ).

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