George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Lee, Jr., 12 May 1799

From Henry Lee, Jr.

Ab. 10 a.[m.] Sunday mor[nin]g [12 May 1799]

dear Sir

I found yr letter by Mr Anderson last evening at my lodgings & took the earliest opportunity of conversing with Mr Page on its contents1 Mr Page says that on his first conversation with Mr Harrison he rated his property at five pounds pr acre, but that on a subsequent meeting he fell to 50/ pr acre, for which price he could have purchased the land.

He offered 45/ & proposed renewing the negotiation whenever he should again see Mr H.

Mr P. is of opinion that he can now obtain the land for 50/ & if you defer acting in the business when Mr H. comes down, I will thro Mr Page renew the negotiation without any recurrence to you—of the propriety of yr avoiding any bargain with Mr H. you will yrself judge: my own opinion is favorable to such avoidance2—I will wait on you in a few days & remain most respy & most affy yr ob: Svt

H. Lee


1GW’s letter has not been found.

2On 16 May William Byrd Page wrote his brother-in-law Henry Lee from Alexandria: “you desire to know of me, certainly, what Mr Harrisons Land adjoining to some of Genl Washingtons may be had for. In reply thereto I can only say that for these six Months past, I have been endeavoring to purchase it, and coud once have had it @ 50/ per Acre, but from a conversation with that Gentleman to day, he tels me I was mistaken and that 60/ was the lowest price he had ever offer’d it for, and he now says (in consequence of a late review of the Property,) he will not take less than 12 Dollars pr Acre. I presume it may be had for 12 Dollars on easy payments” (DLC:GW). Lee sent the letter to GW, who docketed it. For earlier references to the negotiations of Lee and Page with William B. Harrison on behalf of GW, see Lee to GW, 28 Feb. 1799, n.2.

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