Jul 30, 2020 - Sale 2543

Sale 2543 - Lot 56

Price Realized: $ 4,000
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
FORWARDING "SENTIMENTS OF MAJ'R L'ENFANT," DESIGNER OF THE NATION'S CAPITAL WASHINGTON, GEORGE. Autograph Manuscript, unsigned, 9 lines, likely an endorsement on a now absent communication: "Submitted to the / President of the / U States for consid'n / by Mr. Jacob Welsh / Supposed to be the / Sentiments of Maj / L'Enfant / and to have origina / ted with him." Written below Washington's lines, in unknown hand: "rec'd by the Com[missione]rs 14th March 1792." 3/4 page, 4 1/4x2 3/4 inches; ink identification written in unknown hand at lower edge recto, faint scattered foxing, remnants of prior mounting at corners verso. Np, circa 14 March 1792

Additional Details

In 1791, Pierre Charles L'Enfant had been selected by George Washington to design the new Federal City that would become Washington, D.C., but L'Enfant repeatedly refused to comply with the instructions of the Commissioners for the District of Columbia, whom Washington appointed the same year to oversee the project. After a number of attempts to diplomatically resolve the differences between the Commissioners and L'Enfant, Washington dismissed L'Enfant in late February of 1792.
Beginning in November of 1791, Washington had been corresponding with Jacob Welsh (1755-1822), a superintendent of a group of builders intending to work on the new city. The present manuscript likely served as an endorsement on a communication to one of Washington's Commissioners accompanied by a letter from Welsh.