George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Timothy Pickering, 24 November 1799

To Timothy Pickering

Mount Vernon 24th Novr 1799

Dear Sir,

Your favour of the 5th instant came to hand in due course; and the manner in which you proposed to dispose of my letter to Mr Murray, was perfectly agreeable to me.1

Knowing nothing of the writer of the enclosed letter, and unwilling to be hasty in encouraging proposals of this sort, without some information of the characters who are engaged in the Work; I take the liberty of enquiring, through you, who Mr William W. Woodward is, and if you approve of his plan.2

In this case, be so good as to forward my letter to him—also enclosed—as directed; If not, I pray you to return it, along with his letter to me. With Doctr Witherspoon I was acquainted, & have no objection to subscribe to his works if the publication of them is by a proper hand, and on proper principles. With great esteem & regard I am—Dear Sir Your Most Obedt & very Hble Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, MHi: Pickering Papers; ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers. The ALS is docketed by Pickering, “answd Decr 3d and sent his letter to Mr Woodward.”

1Letter not found.

2William W. Woodward was a printer at no. 52 South Second Street in Philadelphia, who printed between 1794 and 1796, for Pierre Egron, the French-English journal Level of Europe. The letter to Woodward which GW enclosed, dated 24 Nov., reads: “Sir I have been favoured with your letter of the 19th Instant. Being well acquainted with Doctr Witherspoon, whilst living, and knowing to his abilities; I shall, with pleasure, as far as becoming a subscriber to his Works may contribute, promote the success of their Publication: and do authorise you accordingly, to add my name to the subscription Paper which appears to be in existence. I am Sir Your Most Hble Servant Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers). Woodward’s letter of 19 Nov. has not been found. No answer from Pickering to GW’s letter has been found. Woodward printed in 1800 and 1801 a four-volume edition of the writings of John Witherspoon.

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