George Washington Papers

To George Washington from George Deneale, 18 April 1798

From George Deneale

Alexandria 18 April 1798

Dr Sir,

I have lately recd a letter from a friend of mine in Whitehaven, Mr John Dixon, in which he say’s there was formerly a suit brought by Bryan Lord Fairfax & Genl Washington against Thompson Mason, as Trustees on behalf of Mrs Savage under which he has a claim of £50 and requests me to make some Inquiry, and advise him what has been done in the business. I have therefore taken the liberty of asking you what proceedings have been had, and that you will be so obliging as to inform me how I can Obtain the Information requested1—I have Inclosed the Deeds agreeable to Mr Lewis’s direction.2 I am respectfully Yr Very Hie Servt

G. Deneale


George Deneale (1766–1818) of Fairfax County was an active Mason in Alexandria, clerk of the town’s common council, and an officer in the county militia.

1GW responded from Mount Vernon 22 April: ”Sir, In answer to the enquiry contained in your letter of the 18th instant, respecting the issue of the Suit which had been brought against Thomson Mason, I am sorry to inform you that I can say nothing which would be explicit, or satisfactory.

“It is near 20 years since I had any agency in the concerns of the deceased Mrs [Margaret] Savage. My public occupations, and long absences from this State, threw the whole of that business on the Revd Mr [Bryan] Fairfax; from whom alone you will be able to get the information Mr [John] Dixon has asked. And very unsatisfactory I fear it will prove, as Doctr [William] Savage while living, & his followers since, have had recourse to all the chicane & subterfuge which could be practiced, to wrong the above Lady & defraud her creditors; of whom I am one, for money lent her. I am Sir Your Humble Servt Go: Washington.

“P.S. It is possible Colo. [Charles] Simms can give you some information respecting this business as I believe he was employed as an Attorney to prosecute in behalf of the trustees” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW; LB DLC:GW). For a summary of the suit by GW and Bryan Fairfax against William Savage and Thomson Mason, see GW to Margaret Savage, 20 Sept. 1772, n.3.

2For what is probably being referred to here, see GW to Robert Lewis, 11 Feb., and note 2 of that document.

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