George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Allyn Prior, 1 November 1799

To Allyn Prior

Mount Vernon Novr 1st 1799


Your letter of the 30th Ulto came to my hands yesterday afternoon.1

As I propose, next Spring to have my lands on the Ohio critically examined by a Person in whose integrity ⟨and⟩ judgment I can confide, I am indifferent with respect to the sale of any of them, at this time, especially of that tract on Mill Creek which I conceive must be particularly fine, or possessing some valuable properties, from the number of applications which have been made to me of it.2

If, however, it is disposed of before such examination is made, the terms will be, twelve dollars pr Acre. One third down; the other two thirds by annual Instalments, with Interest; and a Mortgage on the premises for the security of payment. I am Sir, Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers.

Allyn Prior “by Col. Daniel Boone’s delay, was appointed” contractor, or commissary, for those Virginia militia companies which were sent to the mouth of the Great Kanawha in 1793 to protect that part of the frontier. Prior was a resident of Kanawha County and a successful merchant (Calendar of Virginia State Papers, description begins William P. Palmer et al., eds. Calendar of Virginia State Papers and Other Manuscripts. 11 vols. Richmond, 1875–93. description ends 6:255, 279–80).

1Letter not found.

2The person whom GW intended to send to examine his lands on the Ohio River was probably his farm manager, James Anderson. As early as 1797 Anderson had expressed an interest in renting some of GW’s western lands, and in December 1799 GW wrote Anderson that he was expecting him “to visit my Lands in the Western Country (at my expence), so soon as the weather becomes temperate and settled in the Spring” (GW to Anderson, 25 Nov. 1797 and 10 Dec. 1799). After Tobias Lear returned from Harpers Ferry on 4 Nov. and reported that Thomas Parker was planning to take a trip “to the Western Country,” GW wrote Parker on 16 Nov. describing the lands that he owned on the Ohio and Great Kanawha rivers and requesting Parker to inquire about the condition of these holdings and their possible value.

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