Washington, George (1732-1799) Autograph Document, Mount Vernon, 15 January 1798. Single leaf of laid paper, to Augustus Woodward, inscribed by Washington on one side, signed by George Alderson, Sheriff of Kanhawa County, with notes on the verso dated 23 August 1797, witnessed by a John Reynolds; the receipt showing payment of back taxes on two tracts of land in the Ohio River Kanhawa County for the years 1791 through 1796; mounted in a double-glazed frame, with a portrait, old folds, some show through, some water stains, generally good, 8 1/2 x 8 1/4 in.
"Mount Vernon 15th February 1798. In consequence of the within order, I do hereby acknowledge to have received from George Washington, the sum of one hundred and nine dollars and 22 cents in a check on the Bank of Alexandria; which, when paid is in full discharge thereof."
Washington corresponded with his nephew Bushrod Washington (1762-1829) about these overdue taxes in several recorded letters, including two written by Bushrod on 18 December 1797 and 9 January 1798. Both Washingtons were concerned that the former President's 15,940 acres might be subject to forfeiture and "appropriation by any other person" because of unpaid back taxes.
This particular document was offered at auction by Thomas Birch's Sons Auctioneers in Philadelphia in 1891. Stan V. Henkels compiled the catalog and conducted the sale, which included documents from the collections of Washington descendants Lawrence Washington, Bushrod C. Washington, Thomas B. Washington, and J.R.C. Lewis. The document was sold as lot 98.
Provenance: The Estate of David Spinney.
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