Thursday, August 6, 2020

George Washington to William Drayton, November 20, 1786

Mount Vernon, November 20, 1786.

Sir: I wish it was in my power to give you a more favorable accot. than the following, of your Servant Jack.

After absenting himself from you at Dumfries (as I believe my nephew has already informed you) he came here and remained quietly 'till the 12th.; when being informed by some gentlemen from Baltimore that a Packet from that place was on the point of sailing for Charleston, I sent him under the care of a very trusty Overseer to be shipped from that place, requesting a friend of mine in the Town to engage a passage and to provide everything for him on Ship board, that was necessary. When they arrived at Baltimore, unfortunately, the vessel was hove down. It became necessary therefore to commit him to Goal for security; but before this could be effected, he took advantage of a favorable moment and made his escape. Diligent, but ineffectual, search was instantly made, and it is supposed his object is Philadelpa.

The Gentleman to whose care I sent him has promised every endeavor in his power to apprehend him, but it is not easy to do this where there are numbers who had rather facilitate an escape than apprehend a run-away. I hope your journey was not much incommoded by this untoward step of your waiter.

With sentiments of great esteem etc.
[George Washington.]

SOURCE: John C. Fitzpatrick, Editor, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799, Vol. 29: September 1, 1786—June 19, 1788, p. 78-9

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