« ForrigeFortsett »
third ten miles up the same. I have been informed that they will readily command more than they are estimated at.
q. For the description of those tracts in detail, see general Spotswood's letters filed with the other papers relating to them. Besides the general good quality of the land, there is a valuable bank of iron ore thereon, which, when the settlement be. comes more populous (and settlers are moving that way very fast) will be found very valuable, as the Rough creek, a branch of Green river, affords ample water for furnaces and forges.
CITY OF WASHINGTON.
7. The two lots near the capitol, in square 634, cost me 963 dollars only ; but in this price I was favored, on condition that I should build two brick houses three stories high each: without this reduction the selling prices of these lots would have cost me about 1,350 dollars. These lots, with the buildings on them when completed, will stand me in 15,000 dollars at least.
s. Lots Nos. 5, 12, 13 and 14, on the eastern branch, are ad. vantageously situated on the water ; and although many lots much less convenient have sold a great deal higher, I will rate these at 12 cents the
t. For this lot, though unimproved, I have refused 3,500 dollars. It has since been laid off into proper sized lots for building on, three or four of which are let on ground-rent for ever, at three dollars a foot on the street; and this price is asked for both fronts on Pitt and-Prince-street.
4. As neither the lot in the town or common have any improvements on them, it is not easy to fix a price ; but as both are well situated, it is presumed the price annexed to them in the schedule is a reasonable valuation.
8. Tre tots in Bath (two adjoining) cost me to the best of my recollection between 50 and 60 pounds, 20 years ago ; and the buildings thereon 1501. more. Whether property there has increased or decreased in its value, and in what condition the houses are, I am ignorant but suppose they are not valued too bigh.
STOCK. These are the sums which are actually funded, and though no more in the aggregate than 7,566 dollars, stand me in at least ten thousand pounds, Virginia money ; being the amount of bonded and other debts due to me, and discharged during the war, when money had depreciated in that rate
and was so settled by public authority.
x. The value annexed to these shares is what they actually cost me, and is the price affixed by law; and although the present selling price is under par, my advice to the legatees (for whose benefit they are intended, especially those who can afford to lie out of the money) is, that each should take and hold one-there being a moral certainty of a great and increasing profit arising from them in the course of a few
y. It is supposed that the shares in the James river company must also be productive : but of this I can give no decided opi. nion, for want of more accurate information.
Z. THESE are the nominal prices of the shares in the banks of Alexandria and Columbia ; the selling prices vary according to circumstances; but as the stock usually divides from eight to ten per cent. per annum, they must be worth the former, at least, so long as the banks are conceived to be secure, although circumstances may sometimes make them below it.
The value of the live stock depends more upon the quality than quantity of the different species of it; and this again upon the demand and judgment, or fancy of purchasers.
GEORGE WASHINGTON. MOUNT VERNON, July 9, 1799.
ANONYMOUS LETTERS, &c.
[In order to shew the situation of the army at the me tbe cele.
brated anonymous letters were promulgated, we think it expedient to precede them with tbe following interesting address.]
TO THE UNITED STATES IN CONGRESS AS
THE ADDRESS AND PETITION OF THE OFFICERS OF THE ARMY
OF THE UNITED STATES,
in behalf of ourselves and our brethren the soldiers, beg leave, with all proper deference and respect, freely to state to congress, the supreme power of the United States, the great distress under which we labor.
At this period of the war it is with peculiar pain we find ourselves constrained to address your august body, on matters of a pecuniary nature. We have struggled with our difficul. ties year after
year, under the hopes that each would be the last; but we have been disappointed. We find our embarrassments thicken so fast, and have become so complex, that many of us are unable to go further. In this exigence we apply to congress for relief, as our head and sovereign,
To prove that our hardships are exceedingly disproportionate to those of any other citizens of America, let a recurrence be be had to the paymaster's accounts, for four years past. If to this it should be objected, that the respective states have made settlements and given securities for the pay due, for part of that time, let the present value of those nominal obligations be as, certained by the monied men, and they will be found to be worth little indeed ; and yet, trifling as they are, many have been under the sad necessity of parting with them, to prevent their families from actually starving.
We complain that shadows have been offered to us, while the substance has been gleaned by others. Our situation compels us to search for the cause of our extreme poverty. The citizens niurmur at the greatness of their taxes, and are astonished that no part reaches the army. The numerous demands, which are between the first collectors and the soldiers, swallow up the whole. Our distresses are now brought to a point. We have borne all that men can bear-our property is expended our private resources are at an end—and our friends are wearied out and disgusted with our incessant applications. We therefore most seriously and earnestly beg, that a supply of money may be forwarded to the army, as soon as possible. The uneasiness of the soldiers, for want of pay, is great and dangerous; any further experiment on their patience, may have fatal effects. The promised subsistence or ration of provisions, consisted of certain articles specified in kind and quality. This ration, without regard, that we can conceive, to the health of the troops, has been frequently altered, as necessity or niency suggested,-generally losing by the change some part of its substance. On an average, not more than seven or eighttenths have been issued ; the retained parts were, for a short time, paid for; but the business became troublesome to those who were to execute it. For this, or some other reasons, all regard to the dues, as they respected the soldiers, has been discontinued (now and then a trifling gratuity excepted.) As these dues respected the officers, they were compensated during one year
part of another, by an extra ration; as to the retained rations, the account for several years remains unsettled; there is a large balance due upon it, and a considerable sum for that of forage.
The clothing was another part of the soldier's hire. The arrearages on that score, for the year 1777, were paid off in continental money, when the dollar was worth about four pence ; the arrearages for the following years, are unliquidated, and we apprehend scarcely thought of, but by the army. Whenever there has been a real want of means, and defect in system, or neglect in execution, in the departments of the army, we have invariably been the sufferers, by hunger and nakedness, and by
languishing in an hospital. We beg leave to urge an immediate adjustment of all dues; that, as great a part as possible, be paid, and the remainder put on such a footing as will restore cheerfulness to the army, receive confidence in the justice and generosity of its constituents, and contribute to the very desirable effect of re-establishing public credit. We are grieved to find, that our brethren, who retired from service on half pay, under the resolution of congress in 1780, are not only destitute of any effectual provision, but are become the objects of obloquy. Their condition has a very discouraging aspect on us, who must sooner or later retire, and from every consideration of justice, gratitude and policy, demands attention and redress. We regard the act of congress respecting half pay, as an honorable and just recompence for several years hard service, in which the health and fortunes of the officers have been worn down and exhausted. We see with chagrin the odious point of view, in which the citizens of too many of the states endeavor to place the men entitled to it. · We hope, for the honor of human nature, that there are none so hardened in the sin of ingratitude, as to deny the justice of the reward. We have Teason to believe, that the objection generally is against the mode only. To prevent therefore any altercations and distinctions, which may tend to injure that harmony which we ardently desire may reign throughout the community, we are wil. ling to commute the half pay pledged, for full pay, for a certain number of years, or for a sum in gross, as shall be agreed to by the committee sent with this address. And in this we pray, that the disabled officers and soldiers, with the widows and orphans of those, who have expended, or may expend, their lives in the service of their country, may be fully comprehended. We also beg, that some mode may be pointed out for the eventual payment of those soldiers, who are the subjects of the resolution of congress of the 15th May, 1778. To the representation now made, the army have not a doubt that congress will
pay all that attention, which the serious nature of it requires. It would be criminal in the officers to conceal the general dissatisfaction which prevails, and is gaining ground in the army, from the pressure of evils and injuries, which, in the course of seven long years, have made their condition, in many