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George Washington to Lund Washington, November 26, 1775

November 26, 1775.

What follows is part of a Letter wrote to Mr. Lund Washington the 26th. day of November 1775. A Copy is taken to remind me of my engagements and the exact purport of them. These paragraphs follow an earnest request to employ good part of my force in cleaning up Swamps, H. Hole Ditching, Hedging, &c.

"I well know where the difficulty of accomplishing these things will lie. Overseers are already engaged (upon shares) to look after my business. Remote advantages to me, however manifest and beneficial, are nothing to them; and to engage standing Wages, when I do not know that anything I have, or can raise, will command Cash, is attended with hazard; for which reason I hardly know what more to say than to discover my wishes. The same reason, although it may in appearance have the same tendency in respect to you, shall not be the same in its operation. For I will engage for the Year coming, and the year following, that if these troubles, and my absence continues, that your Wages shall be standing and certain, at the highest amount that any one Year's Crop has produced to you yet. I do not offer this as any temptation to induce you to go on more chearfully in prosecuting these schemes of mine. I should do injustice to you, were I not to acknowledge that your conduct has ever appeared to me, above every thing sordid; but I offer it in consideration of the great charge you have upon your hands, and my entire dependance upon your fidelity and industry."

"It is the greatest, indeed it is the only comfortable reflexion I enjoy on this score, to think that my business is in the hands of a person in whose integrity I have not a doubt, and on whose care I can rely. Was it not for this, I should feel very unhappy on Account of the situation of my affairs; but I am persuaded you will do for me as you would for yourself, and more than this I cannot expect."

"Let the Hospitality of the House, with respect to the poor, be kept up; Let no one go hungry away. If any of these kind of People should be in want of Corn, supply their necessities, provided it does not encourage them in idleness; and I have no objection to your giving my Money in Charity, to the Amount of forty or fifty Pounds a Year, when you think it well bestowed stowed. What I mean, by having no objection, is, that it is my desire that it should be done. You are to consider that neither myself or Wife are now in the way to do these good Offices. In all other respects, I recommend it to you, and have no doubts, of your observing the greatest Oeconomy and frugality; as I suppose you know that I do not get a farthing for my services here more than my Expenses; It becomes necessary, therefore, for me to be saving at home."