Washington OKs a Potomac Company Bill. Document Signed. Two pages, recto and verso, 8" x 3", Alexandria, November 25, 1785; boldly endorsed on verso, and co-signed as well by two of Washington's war-time aides, Colonels "John Fitzgerald" and "George Gilpin", as co-directors. The text of the document (recto) is in the hand of, and signed by, Potomac Company project manager "James Rumsey". "Potomock Company to Jacob Roderick Jr. Oct. 14 1785. To three days hauling Coal at £1.5.0 Penns currency. I have had the above hauling done." Washington has signed on the verso beneath the notation "the within account allowed." It is hard to understand today, when the United States has for so long existed as a single nation, to imagine what Washington saw, virtually from his Mount Vernon doorstep: a country whose interior was practically impassable. It became his dearest plan to improve the Potomac River, on which his plantation was situated, as a means of travel west, so that the Ohio Valley might be opened and its settlers able to get their goods to market - in, he hoped, Alexandria. This would benefit the Potomac region and, by increasing trade and prosperity, bind the new states together in a framework of commerce and mutual interest as well. Thus he formed, with his own money, the Potomac Company, to build and operate canals, locks, and channels on the Potomac River. It was as President of that visionary undertaking that Washington endorsed the bill offered now. In very fine condition, and encased in a two-sided frame.

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    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
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