DescriptionSlavery: George Washington Receipt Signed "G: Washington" approving payment of "expenses after runaways [slaves]". One page, 6.5" x 3.5", [Mount Vernon], October 18, 1787. The receipt, "No. 74", reads, "Thomas Boylan amt. Expenses after runaways loss[?] paid April 17, 1787. Pass'd this 18th Oct. 1787." Beneath Washington's signature are the signatures of John Fitzgerald and George Gilfrin.
On the verso is a receipt issued by the Potomac River Company reading, "The Potomack Company to Thomas Boylan D.C. April 10th, 1787. To expences [sic], attending the bringing of Comr. McCarthy & Hugh Taylor from the Town of Alexandria to the Great Falls. £0.10.0." The receipt is signed by Boylan and is endorsed, "I know this to be Just. [Signed] James Smith." Further endorsed, "Rec.'d the above ten Shillings for T. Boylan. [Signed] Richardson Stuart." Boylan was an overseer for the Potomac River Company, a private internal improvement enterprise created in 1785 to improve the navigability of the Potomac River. George Washington, who cared deeply for the river that ran below Mount Vernon, was the company's president. Richardson Stuart served in some kind of managerial position for the company at Great Falls. The runaways had likely been working for the company under Stuart at Great Falls. It is known that at one point, fifty slaves were hired to dredge part of the river. Uneven toning near, though not affecting, Washington's signature.
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