George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Washington, 31 March 1799

To William Washington

Mount Vernon Mar: 31st 1799.

My dear Sir,

By a letter which I have just received from General Pinckney, I find you may be shortly expected in this State, on your way to Princeton. It is unnecessary I hope for me to say, that whether you come alone or bring Mrs Washington with you, that we shall be very happy to see you at this place.

In the Military line I fear you will find but little duty to detain you long in this State⟨,⟩ for strange as it may seem, it is not less true that not a Military Commission has issued yet that has come to my knowledge, nor a single order for Recruiting. The cause of these delays is, to me, incomprehensable.1

When Major Pinckney was here (on his return from Congress) he mentioned the great desire the Gentlemen of So. Carolina had of getting into the breed of Mules. I did not, I believe, in such direct terms as for him to understand, intimate that I would sell two or three young Jacks, descended from Royal Gift, which would be of sufficient age to cover next Season, on⟨e of⟩ them indeed might have done so this Spring ⟨with⟩out injury. At the time the Major was ⟨here⟩ I thought I could have parted with three, ⟨but⟩ one of my Jacks that now Covers, by a ⟨mutilated⟩ of which I fear he will never recover, ⟨makes⟩ it necessary for me to retain one of the 3, to ⟨sup⟩ply his place; especially as I lost two (⟨mutilated⟩valuable ones) last y⟨ear mutilated⟩nary manner: one of them, Compound, ⟨mutilated⟩ money scarcely would have induced me to pa⟨rt with⟩.

Enclosed, is a description of the ⟨mutilated⟩ I would sell, their breed, and price; that if Major Pinckney, yourself, or any other of your acquaintance to the Southward, is in ⟨mutilated⟩of such, you may know where, & on what t⟨erms⟩ you can be supplied. It is presumed they ⟨are not far⟩ short of their gr⟨owth⟩ and that they ⟨are⟩ of the most valuable breed in this country ⟨none⟩ can deny.2

Mrs Washington unites with me ⟨in⟩ best wishes for you and your Lady—and I am—My dear Sir Your friend & affecte Serv⟨ant⟩

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.

2The enclosed description, dated 31 Mar. 1799, in GW’s hand, reads: “Two young Jacks, full brothers, out of an Imported Jenny from Surinam; got by Compound, who was got by Royal Gift (an Imported Jack from Spain) on an Imported Jenney from Malta (full fourteen hands high) & a most valuable Jack.

“These Jacks have never been to Mares. The oldest of them was four last July. Measures three feet eleven inches before, and four feet behind. The other was three years old last August, and measures three feet eight Inches before & three feet ten inches behind.

“They are boney and strong; and it is presumed will grow considerably yet.

“The price of the oldest, is $750 and of the youngest $650. Compound their Sire was remarkable for getting fine Mules.

“Three, four or more Jennies may be had—all from those which I have Imported, & got by Compound, or the Knight of Malta.

Go: Washington.”

GW also sent a copy of this description to Thomas Pinckney. See GW to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney, 31 March (first letter). For another description of the jackasses, see GW to John Tayloe, 23 Jan. 1799.

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