George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Wilhelm Louis Wernecke, 24 July 1796

To his Excelence General Washington, President of the United States

at Mrs Hickingbottom No. 116. North front Street Philadelphia July 24th 1796


I take the Liberty to Address your Excelence Concerning the affair that I waited on your Excelence four weeks ago with Mr Graff as my Nominated Gaurdian, and Mr Erdman as Interpreter, at which time your Excelence was pleased to promise Asistance in geting the Estate of my Uncle Col. Wernecke, deceased in Posession according to your Excelence Direction, I waited on Mr Nottnagle in order that he might Assist me, but during your Excelence absence Mr Nottnagle turned his Back on me and even left the Sity, it is said he is gone to Long-Island for his Health, I am at present in A very poor Situation, I have neither Money nor friends, Mr Graff holds the Writings Still, I cannot get them, He lives high upon my Property in German Town, while I am in want of Bread And have been Obliged to serve A Farmer on the Ridge road for Subsistance, I should be very happy if I could have an Oppertunity once more of Speaking to your Excelence, as I am of Opinion, that Mr Graff & Mr Nottnagle are United in keeping me out of my right, I have here Inclosed the Copy of A Letter from Ebenezer Stott, to Mr Nottnagle as A clearer Explanation of the Affairs, upon which I Ernest Intreat your Excelence advice how to proceed in the Affair, Which shall be greatfully Acknowledged by Your Excelence most Humble servant

Wilhelm Louis Wernecke

DLC: Papers of George Washington.



Petersburg July 11th 1796.


I duly Received your favour of the Eleventh November last & the 2nd Instant, and I am hurt at the Idea you will Entertain of my Seeming Inattention to the Subject of them, The fact is that I have ever Since Receipt of your first Letter, applyed Unceasenly to Mr Mark, by letter as well as Verbaly for A Settlement, of the Affairs of the late Col. Wernecke, he has repeatedly promised to furnish it, but has to this time failed to Comply. I am now perfectly Perswaded that he never will render any Account, or give up any part of the Effects untill Compelled by due Course of Law, and I think the sooner you Adopt that Measure the better—He says there are Considerable Claims against the Estate, and that after paying them there will be little left to the Heirs, How far this is true I cannot pretend to Say—but it is Certainly adviseable to have the Matter Investigated and taken out of Mr Marks hands as soon as possible—If it is put into the hands of A Lawyer he will probally give up the papers and Effects without the Necessity of bringing A Suit—and if A Suit should at last be Necessary it will not be attended with much Expence. If he has misapplyed any of the Effects I am apprehensive no redress will be Obtain’d as he is much pinch’d in his Circumstances to support himself & family merely by his wages as A Clerk to A house in this place, If you and Col. Wernecke’s friends do Approve of putting the Claim into the hands of A Lawyer either for an Amicable Adjustment or to Institute A suit if Necessary, you will please to forward to me the Necessary Vouchers & power of Attorney when they shall Immediately be put into the hands of A respectable Attorney, and Untill you hear from him or me it may perhaps be Unnecessary for the friends of Col. Wernecke now in Your City to Incur the Expence of A Journey hither. I am very Respectfully Gentlemen Your most Obedient S[erv.]

Ebenezer Stott

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