Front Page Titles (by Subject) 8: TO GEORGE WILLIAM FAIRFAX - George Washington: A Collection
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
8: TO GEORGE WILLIAM FAIRFAX - George Washington, George Washington: A Collection 
George Washington: A Collection, compiled and edited by W.B. Allen (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1988).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The copyright to this edition, in both print and electronic forms, is held by Liberty Fund, Inc.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
TO GEORGE WILLIAM FAIRFAX
Williamsburg, June 10, 1774
In my way to this place I met with your Letter of the 10th. of Jany. at Dumfries. In consequence of which I immediately wrote to Mr. Willis (having an opportunity so to do) desiring him to go to Belvoir, and after examining and considering every thing maturely, to give me his opinion of the Rent which ought to be set upon your Interest there (collectively or seperately) that I might, by knowing the opinion of others, be enabled, as I intended to advertise the Renting of it as soon as I came to this place, to give answers to any application’s which should be made; what follows is his answer as I wrote both to Berkeley and Belvr. as he was expected at the latter place.
See his Letter from the Beginning.
Whether Mr. Willis is under, or over the Notch, time only can determine. I wish he may not have exceeded it, although I apprehend you will be disappointed at his estimate for you will please to consider, that, there are very few People who are of ability to pay a Rent equivalent to the Interest of the Money which such buildings may have cost, who are not either already provided with a Seat, or would choose to buy one, in order to Improove it; chance indeed, may throw a Person peculiarly circumstanc’d in the way, by which means a good Rent may be had, but this is to be viewed in the light of a lucky hit not as a matter of expectation; for the generalty of Renters would [ ] House than if the Land was totally divested of It; and as to your Fishery at the Racoon Branch, I think you will be disappointed there likewise as there is no Landing on this side the River that Rents for more than one half of what you expect for that, and that on the other side opposite to you (equally good they say) to be had at £15 Maryld. Curry. however Sir every notice that can, shall be given of their disposal and nothing in my power, wanting to put them of to the best advantage in the manner desir’d. I have already advertizd the Publick of this matter, also of the Sale of your Furniture, as you may see by the Inclosd Gazette, which I send, as it contains some acct. of our American transactions respecting the oppressive and arbitrary Act of Parliament for stopping up the Port and commerce of Boston; The Advertisements are in Mr. Rinds Gazette also; and the one relative to Renting shall be put into the Papers of Maryland and Pensylvania whilst the other is already printed in hand Bills, and shall be distributed in the several Counties and Parts round about us, that notice thereof may be as general as possible; the other parts of your Letter relative to the removal of your Negro’s stock &ca. shall be complied with and you may rely upon it that your Intention of not returning to Virginia shall never transpire from me though give me leave to add by way of caution to you that a belief of this sort generally prevails and hath done so for sometime whether from Peoples conjectures, or anything you may have dropt I know not. I have never heard the most distant Insinuation of Lord Dunmore’s wanting Belvoir nor am I inclined to think he does as he talks much of a Place he has purchased near the Warm Springs. In Short I do not know of any Person at present that is Inclind that way. I shall look for your Bonds when I return, and do with them as directed. Your Book of Accts. I found in your Escruitore, and never heard of a Balances drawn or Settlement thereof made by Messrs. Adam & Campbell but will now endeavour to do this myself.
[Inclosd you have a Copy of the Acct. I settled before I left home with Mr. Craven Peyton; as also of my Acct. with you in which you will perceive a charge for your Pew in the New Church at Pohick which is now conveyed to you by the Vestry and upon Record. The Balce. of this Acct. to with £ is now Exchangd for Bills and remit viz]
Dissolution of the Virginia House of BurgessesOur Assembly met at this place the 4th. Ulto. according to Proragation, and was dissolved the 26th. for entering into a resolve of which the Inclosd is a Copy, and which the Govr. thought reflected too much upon his Majesty, and the British Parliament to pass over unnoticed;* was as sudden as unexpected for there were other resolves of a much more spirited nature ready to be offerd to the House wch. would have been unanimously adopted respecting the Boston Port Bill as it is calld but were withheld till the Important business of the Country could be gone through. As the case stands the assembly sat In 22 day’s for nothing, not a Bill being [ ] from the rising of the Court to the day of the Dissolution and came either to advise, or [ ] the Measure. The day after this Event the Members convend themselves at the Raleigh Tavern and enterd into the Inclosd Association which being followed two days after by an Express from Boston accompanied by the Sentiments of some Meetings in our Sister Colonies to the Northwd. the proceedings mentiond in the Inclos’d Papers were had thereupon and a general meeting requested of all the late Representatives in this City on the first of August when it is hopd, and expected that some vigorous [and effectual] measures will be effectually adopted to obtain that justice which is denied to our Petitions and Remonstrances [and Prayers]; in short the Ministry may rely on it that Americans will never be tax’d without their own consent,Cause of Boston that the cause of Boston, the despotick Measures in respect to it I mean, now is and ever will be considered as the cause of America (not that we approve their conduct in destroyg. the Tea) and that we shall not suffer ourselves to be sacrificed by piece meals though god only knows what is to become of us, threat’ned as we are with so many hoverg. evils as hang over us at present; having a cruel and blood thirsty Enemy upon our Backs, the Indians, between whom and our Frontier Inhabitants many Skirmishes have happnd, and with whom a general War is inevitable whilst those from whom we have a right to seek protection are endeavouring by every piece of Art and despotism to fix the Shackles of Slavery upon us. This Disolution which it is said and believd, will not be followed by an Election till Instructions are receivd from the Ministry has left us without the means of Defence except under the old Militia Invasion Laws which are by no means adequate to the exigency’s of the Country, for from the best accts. we have been able to get, there is a confederacy of the Western,Indian confederacy and Southern Indian’s formd against us and our Settlements over the Alligany Mountains indeed in Hampshire, Augusta &ca. are in the utmost Consternation and distress; in short since the first Settlemt. of this Colony the Minds of People in it never were more disturbd, or our Situation so critical as at present; arising as I have said before from an Invasion of our Rights and Priviledges by the Mother Country; and our lives and properties by the Savages whilst Cruel Frost succeeded by as cruel a drought contributed not a little to our unhappy Situation, tho it is now thought the Injury done to wheat by the frost is not so great as was at first apprehended; the present opinion being that take the Country through half crops will be made; to these may be added and a matter of no small moment they are that a total stop is now put to our Courts of Justice (for want of a Fee Bill, which expird the 12th. of April last) and the want of Circulating Cash amongst Us;Circulating cash for shameful it is that the meeting of Merchants which ought to have been at this place the 25th. of April, never happend till Eight about 10 [days] ago, and I believe will break up in a manner very dissatisfactory to every one if not injurious to their Characters.
I have lately been applied to by Mr. Robt. Rutherford to join (as your Attorney) in the Conveyance of the Bloomery Tract and Works; but as I never had any particular Instructions from you on this head, and know nothing of the Situation and Circumstances of the matter I have told them that I must receive directions from you on the Subject before I do anything in it and I desired him therefore to relate the case as it stands which is Inclos’d in his own Words. He is urgent to have this business executed and seems to signify that you cannot expect any part of the money till you have jond in the Conveyance. June 15th. My Patience is entirely exhausted in waiting till the business as they call it is done, or in other words till the exchange is fix’d. I have therefore left your Money with Colo. Fieldg. Lewis to dispose of for a Bill of £200 Sterg. which I suppose will be near the amt. of the Currt. Money in my hands as there are Advertisements, hand Bills, Bonds &ca. to pay for preparatory to the Sale of your Furniture and am now hurrying home, in order, if we have any wheat to Harvest that I may be present at it.
Mrs. Fairfax’s Friends in this place and at Hampton are all well (I suppose she has long ago heard of the death of her Brothers Second Son) my best wishes attend her and you and I am, etc.
[*]The Virginia House of Burgesses, the colonial legislative assembly, was dissolved by the Royal Governor, Lord Dunmore, for the next to last time when it passed a resolution naming June 1 as a day of fasting and prayer. After the dissolution the Burgesses gathered at the Raleigh Tavern and resolved to urge a congress of all the colonies and a Virginia Convention to provide for Virginia’s participation in that congress. The First Continental Congress convened in Philadelphia in the autumn of 1774.