George Washington sent this letter to the prominent attorney Benjamin Waller of Williamsburg. The contents relate to Washington's negotiation for purchase of the Clifton lands. William Clifton, who lived just across Little Hunting Creek from Mount Vernon, had financial difficulties and proposed to sell land to Washington. After they agreed Washington would pay £1,150 sterling for 1,806 acres, Clifton received a higher offer from Thomson Mason and accepted. Washington describes the circumstances "…this promise Mr. Clifton gave me in the strongest manner without evasion…so firmly bound did I think myself and so little suspect any deception on the other side."

For other documents on this topic see A-680.1, A-680.2 and A-680.4.

This letter is published in W. W. Abbot, ed., THE PAPERS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON: COLONIAL SERIES, vol. 6 (Charlottesville: University Press of Virginia, 1988), 407-411.


ADfS (Autograph Draft [Df] Signed) One page with text on recto and verso, and integral letter cover on verso, bottom right corner. The page has been silked and the silking is slightly larger than the document and 5/8 inch of the silking at the left edge has been folded under against the verso of the document. Watermark, center of sheet. Similar to Gravell, Foreign Watermarks 290, 294, and 302. As a result of silking, the watermark is difficult to make out.


April 2, 1760




Ink, laid paper


Overall (silking): 11 7/8 in. x 7 3/8 in. (30.16 cm x 18.73 cm)
Other (image): 11 7/8 in. x 7 1/4 in. (30.16 cm x 18.42 cm)

Credit Line

Purchase, 1953


Verso, bottom right corner, written vertically, in brown ink:
To / Ben. Waller Esq. / 2d Ap 1760


Verso, end of text: I am Sir Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt / Go. Washington

Object Number


Colors (Beta)

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