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    George Washington Letter Signed as President. Four integral pages, written on first page only, 8" x 10", "Mount Vernon," April 4, 1791, to Edward Carrington in care of Edmund Randolph, Governor of Virginia.

    In full: "Sir, I shall be at Richmond on the 11th instant where I desire to have the pleasure of meeting you, on that day, to take measures for arranging the inspectorates of the deficit of Virginia, of which you have been appointed supervisor. To ensure certainty to the transmission of this letter, it is enclosed to Governor [Beverley] Randolph, who is requested to forward it by express, if no direct conveyance offers immediately. I am, sir, your most obedient servant, G. Washington."

    One of Washington's early presidential decisions was to visit every part of the United States during the course of his administration. As early as May 1789, he expressed the desire to see the new nation "in order to become better acquainted with their principal characters and internal circumstances, as well as to be more accessible to numbers of well-informed persons, who might give him useful information and advice on political subjects." He added that the purpose of his trip was "to acquire knowledge of the face of the country, the growth and agriculture thereof." Toward this purpose, President Washington notified Edward Carrington of Richmond Virginia, whom Washington appointed as the first U.S. Marshal for that state in 1789, that he would soon be in town and hoped to meet with him to review the state's books. Sent in the care of Randolph, the letter is accompanied by the original transmittal slip engrossed in another hand but bearing a third person signature by Washington, "President / U S".

    The southern counterpart to his tour of New England in 1789, Washington completed his expedition of the southern states during the spring and summer of 1791, traveling almost 2,000 miles through Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. While he traveled, the heads of the executive departments regularly reported to him from Philadelphia regarding various important issues, including preparations for a major military expedition against hostile Indians at the northwestern frontier, a boundary dispute with the British on Lake Champlain, the negotiation of American loans in Amsterdam, and other affairs of state.

    Of his southern tour, Washington would later write: "In a tour which I made last spring through the Southern states I confirmed by observation the accounts which we had all along received of the happy effects of the general government upon our agriculture, commerce, and industry... Thus it appears that the United States are making great progress toward national happiness, and if it is not attained here in as high a degree as human nature will admit of its going, I think we may then conclude that political happiness is unattainable." Following Washington's return to the capital in early July, he was deeply engrossed in planning the new federal district, settling a dispute between Pennsylvania and Virginia over an extradition case, filling a seat on the Supreme Court, as well as naming a postmaster general, a national auditor, and comptroller.

    This letter bears witness to the important journey made by the first president of the country to gain a first-hand assessment of the state of the union. Letter is lightly age toned throughout and bears President Washington's bold, oversized signature. In very fine condition. A magnificent addition to any presidential collection!

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2008
    17th-18th Friday-Saturday
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