Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO JOHN PARKE CUSTIS. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO JOHN PARKE CUSTIS. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. VII (1778-1779).
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TO JOHN PARKE CUSTIS.
Valley Forge, 26 May, 1778.
Your Letter of the 11th Inst. with a Deed to Mr. Henry came safe by Mr. Lund Washington—In lieu of the latter, I have executed a Deed to you, conveying all the right title and Interest which I, or any person claiming by, from, or under me can have to the Land.—More than this cannot be expected, as I purchased the Land at your own desire; by the advice of your friends; and without intending, or receiving, the smallest benefit therefrom, after having the title fully investigated by Mr. Wythe. For me therefore to give a general warrantee of the Land to Mr. Henry, thereby subjecting my Estate for the value of it, is what I cannot entertain a thought of, altho I believe there is not the smallest doubt of the goodness of the Title.—Mr. Henry will, I presume, require a general warrantee; it is for this purpose therefore I made the Deed to you, & Black will be responsible to you; as to myself, as I only acted the part of a friend & Trustee in the business, I do not mean to be further engaged in the matter than to convey the legal right which is in me. If you had got a Deed drawn for the other Land (in King William) the whole might have been executed at the same time, and the sooner you do it the better—let it be drawn by the one now sent.—I have got the most likely evidences I could, but unless there has been some alteration in our Laws, if it is proved in Court any time within two years it will do, as I am out of the State at present.
The reasons which you assign for selling your Lotts in Williamsburg & James City, and your Lands in Hanovr. & New Kent (where Tr[Editor: gap in text] lives) may be good if you can get an adequate price for them and the money is immediately vested in the funds, or laid out in other lands; but if this is not done be assured, it will melt like snow before a hot sun, and you will be able to give as little acct. of the going of it; to which I may add, as I did upon a former occasion, that Lands are permanent—rising fast in value—and will be very dear when our Independancy is established, and the Importance of America better known.—To these, one observation more, may not be unworthy of attention, which is, that in proportion to the brightness of our prospects, and the heaviness of our taxes, the rage for getting quit of, and realizing paper money must cease, and Men & measures will resume a more reasonable tone again; which, if it has already taken place, shews that your scheme will, in part, prove abortive.—With respect to your purchase of Mr. Robt. Alexander’s Land, I can only say that the price you have offered for it is a very great one but as you want it to live at—as it answers your’s & Nelly’s views—and is a pleasant seat & capable of improvement I do not think the price ought to be a capital object with you, but I am pretty sure that you and Alexander will never agree; for he is so much afraid of cheating himself that if you were to offer him five thousand pounds more than he ever expected to get for his Land the dread of injuring himself or hope of getting more, would cause him first to hesitate & then refuse; which leads me to think that the increasing of your offer, if you were disposed to do so would answer no valuable end, nor bring you one whit nearer the mark.
The Public papers will convey all the news of this Quarter to you except that Genl. Howe has actually sailed for England, & that the Enemy in Philia. appear to be upon the point of evacuating the City for New York.1 This has made such a change in the Language & visages of the Tories of that place, that they are scarce known to be ye same Men. A few great offenders excepted, the disaffected are now endeavoring to make peace with the Country, to which they have been advised by the Enemy. At the same time it is left optional with them to follow the Army.
I am, &c.
[1 ]“I do not yet find, that any troops have gone on board. They give out, that they mean to attack this army before they go off, but I rather think, if they move at all by land, it will be across Jersey. Under this uncertainty, I cannot alter my position, until they change theirs; I hold the army ready to move at the shortest notice towards the North River, should circumstances require it. In the mean time, I would have you make yourself as respectable as possible, by stopping all the recruits, and calling in as many militia as you can feed.”—Washington to Major-General Gates, 25 May, 1778.