George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Bryan Fairfax, 19 July 1783

Towlston July the 19th 1783.

Dear Sir,

I have received Your Excellency’s Favor of the 15th of June. When I wrote my last Letter we had not then received any certain Accounts of the conclusion of the Peace, tho’ we did a few days afterwards by hearing of the Arrival of the french Cutter at Philadelphia.

Some months ago there was a Hint given me of an Intention of building a Mill on Difficult, but whether I was told that there would be an Application to me with regard to it I am uncertain, as I took but little Notice of it, and Your Excellency’s Land on the other side did not come into my Mind. I have not yet been able to learn from what enquiry I have had made that any Application has or will be made to the Court about it.

When it was mentioned to me I think that I was inclined to believe that it could not be done without my concurrence neither yet am I persuaded that it can: and most surely if it depends on me while I have it in mind nothing shall be done to Yr Prejudice. The Man who lives at the Bridge has a Lease from me for the Land on the South Side of the Road; and since he settled it I let him have also what lies on the North Side to be added to his Lot, for which I signed a piece of writing, which he also signed and which I have in my Possession. Now I should think he wd not think that he had any legal Title when I had the writing, which is only a memorandum of my consent to it & his acknowledgement of the Rent he wd pay. I mean to abide by the writing yet I don’t think he is entitled from it to build a Mill there—I suppose that the lower side of the Road is the only proper place. When I said if it depended on me it should not be done, I meant consistently with what the Man may have reason to expect from me. I don’t think he can expect any ample Lease from me whereby he could have a Right to apply for the condemnation of any opposite Land; for it is only such a Memorandum as I have made with regard to others who have desired Leave to occupy Land adjoining to their Lots. I remain with great Esteem & Respect Dr Sir, Yr Excellency’s most obliged & affect. hble Servt

Bryan Fairfax.

During the war I made no Apology for the Paper I was sometimes forced to write on; but now I must say I am without any better; and I thot You would excuse it. The same Messenger I send for Paper might carry this Letter.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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