Richmond Dec. 16. 1784

Dear Sir

            Yesterday I received your letter inclosing a Petition relative to the possessions of the Principio Company which are in this State.1 I am Sorry that it has come too late to be presented to the assembly. If I had come sooner, I fear, that a Rule of our house, which required notice to be advertised previous to the presenting of any petition, which regards local matters or private rights; would have prevented it’s reception. All that I now can do is to move for leave to bring in a Bill to the effect of the Petition: tho’ I anticipate a denial. A Bill is now under consideration which, if passed, will prevent the further operation of the Laws of Escheat and Forfeiture. Perhaps this Bill may have the effect of restoring to the P. Company it’s possessions in this state if they have not been sold already. And then you would be enabled to make a position without applying to the Assembly. However, Sir, I will do every thing in my power to serve you on the occasion.

I am with great esteem

Your obt humbl Sert,

Rich. Bland Lee

W. A. Washington, Esq.


William Augn Washington Esq.

Of Westmoreland now at

Mount Vernon



Source: The Archives of the Robert E. Lee Memorial Foundation, Papers of the Lee Family, Box 6, M2009.067

Uploaded by Caitlin Connelly, 2016 June 9

1. The Principio Company owned several furnace sites that were involved in producing pig iron for sale in England. Among the sites was the Accokeek or Potomac Ironworks, built on land belonging to George Washington’s father, Augustine Washington, near Fredericksburg, Virginia.