Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO LUND WASHINGTON. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. VII (1778-1779)
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TO LUND WASHINGTON. 1 - 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 LUND WASHINGTON.1
White Plains, 15 August, 1778.
Your Letter of the 29th Ulto. Inclosing a line from Captn. Marshall to you came to my hands yesterday.—I have no reason to doubt the truth of your observation, that this Gentleman’s Land & others equally well situated, & under like circumstances, will sell very high. The depreciation of our money—the high prices of every article of produce, & the redundancy of circulating paper will, I am persuaded have an effect upon the price of land, nor is it to be wondered at when a Barrl. of Corn which used to sell for 10/, will now fetch 40—when a Barl. of Porke that formerly could be had for £3, sells for £15, & so with respect to other articles which serves to enable the man who has been fortunate enough to succeed in raising these things to pay accordingly; but, unfortunately for me, this is not my case, as my Estate in Virginia is scarce able to support itself whilst it is not possible for it to derive any benefit from my labors here.
I have premised these things to shew my inability, not my unwillingness to purchase the Lands in my own Neck at (almost) any price—& this I am yet very desirous of doing if it could be accomplished by any means in my power, in ye way of Barter for other Land—for Negroes (of whom I every day long more & more to get clear of,) or in short—for any thing else (except Breeding Mares and Stock of other kinds) which I have in my possession; but for money I cannot, I want the means.—Marshall’s Land alone, at the rate he talks of would amount to (if my memory of the quantity he holds, is right) upwards of £3,000—a sum I have little chance, if I had much inclination, to pay; & therefore would not engage it, as I am resolved not to incumber myself with Debt.
Marshall is not a necessitous man, is only induced to offer his Land for sale, in expectation of a high price—& knowing perhaps but for wch. my wish to become possessed of the Land in what Neck, will practise every deception in his power to work me (or you in my behalf) up to his price, or he will not sell,—this should be well looked into and guarded against.—If as you think & as I believe, there is little chance of getting more—(at any rate) than the reversion of French’s Land, I have no objection to the Land on which Morris lives going in exchange for Marshall’s, or its being sold for the purpose of paying for it, but remember, it will not do to contract at a high price for the one, before you can be assured of an adequate sum for the other—without this, by means of the arts which may be practised, you may give much and receive little, which is neither my Inclination nor intention to do.—If Negroes could be given in exchange for this Land of Marshall’s, or sold at a proportionable price, I should prefer it to the sale of Morris’s Land as I still have some latent hope that French’s Lands may be had of D.—for it.—but either I wd. part with.—
Having so fully expressed my Sentiments concerning this matter, I shall only add a word or two respecting Barry’s Land.—The same motives which induce a purchase in the one case prevail in the other, and how ever unwilling I may be to part with that small tract I hold on difficult Run (containing by Deed, if I recollect right 275 acres, but by measurement upwards of 300), on acct. of the valuable Mill Seat, Meadow Grds. &cc., yet I will do it for the sake of the other; but if the matter is not managed with some degree of address you will not be able to effect an exchange without giving instead of receiving, Boot. For this Land also I had rather give Negroes—if Negroes would do, for to be plain I wish to get quit of Negroes.
I find by a Letter from Mr. Jones that he has bought the Phaeton which you sold Mr. Geo. Lewis and given him £300 for it—I mention this, with no other view than to remind you of the necessity of getting the money for wch. you sold it, of Lewis, (if you have not already done it)—He, probably, will propose to settle the matter with me, but this, for a reason I could mention, I desire may be avoided.
In your Letter of the 29th you say you do not suppose I would choose to cut down my best Land, & build Tobo. Houses, but what am I to do—or how am I to live.—I cannot support myself if I make nothing—& it is evident from yr. acct. that I cannot raise wheat if this crop is likely to share the fate of the three last. I should have less reluctance to clearing my richest Lands (for I think the Swamps are these and would afterwards do for meadow) than building Houses.
I should not incline to sell the Land I had of Adams unless it should be for a price proportioned to what I must give for others. I could wish you to press my tenants to be punctual in the payment of their Rents; right & justice with respect to myself requires it, & no injury, on the contrary a real service to themselves, as the man who finds it difficult to pay one rent will find it infinitely more so to pay two, & his distresses multiply as the rents increase. I am, &c.
[1 ]“Rough draft of part of the letter.”—Washington’s endorsement.