Thursday, October 11, 2012

David Burnes' written letter to President George Washington - Goose Creek 26 Feb 1791

Goose Creek 26 Feb 1791
To President Washington,

I presume to address you with great deference on a subject in which I think my own character and reputation and interest involved. Reports have been circulated here that some designing speculative men have been making you offers for the property which I among others gave up to you on certain conditions stipulated in a paper which we all signed giving you the power to make any advantage therefrom towards erecting the Federal City and I am the more induced to believe that speculation is in view from an offer which I have lately had for a further part of my property on the specious pretext that it will be necessary to give it up to complete your designs should you fix on the ground we have already offered you for the purposes aforesaid. To convince you that I do not withhold that farther part of my property from your application of it to the uses designed I am willing if it is your desire to add a further quantity of my land not exceeding 79 acres at any price not under 15 pounds per acre that you may please to nominate or I will agree to take every third lot of the said for the percent (?) of ground.

David Burnes 

Photo Credit: Barb Price - Genealogist - 8th cousin to Sarah Burnes Heiner
Research credit goes to Barb Price and her incredible discoveries.

Note From Barb Price:

This letter to the President was amongst the papers in the Van Ness-Phillips Collection.   I was not aware of this Collection until I stumbled upon an article written by Bob Arnebeck, he was in the midst of writing a book about the building of the Federal City and he had come across them.   The Collection totals 93 boxes, of which I was only able to search through the first 3, that took me 3 days!   I will have to go back to NY and search through the rest, eh?

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