Samuel Bayard Re: Estate of George Washington Superb Content
[WASHINGTON, GEORGE] Two Autograph Letters Signed, “Sam. Bayard”, 8pp on bifold sheets, 8” x 10”, Haywood, October 14 and 18, 1834. Both letters have integral address leaves with pencil notations; edge toning; scattered foxing; intersecting folds with paper loss and separation; else, very good condition.
Samuel Bayard writes to Lawrence Washington regarding the estate of George Washington. His earlier, lengthier letter, in part, "Had I supposed it probable that you would have done us the favor of a visit this month, I should certainly have remained at home. We were obliged…by the note, you'd had the good sense to leave. It is desirable, as you stated that an early decision should be made in regard to the disposition of the real estate of the late Col. W. As a full discussion of their business I hope that we shall ultimately be of the same of opinion. Perhaps it will be advisable to state in writing, each others views, and if we cannot agree, submit the points on which we differ to the decision of judicious impartial persons.
According to the best view I have been able to take on the subject, I hold the following points to be clearly settled -
1. That by the will of the late Col. W an estate in fee simple was vested this death in his two children Mrs. S.T.W. This son W.A.W., as tenants in common.
2. That this enjoyment of the estate was postponed till after the death of his widow the late Mrs. W. to whom these estates were but during her life.
3. That these estates in fee simple - these vested in the children of Col. W. were subject to the allotment of Mrs. W. at any time during her life - which allotment being duly made turned these estates in common - into estates in severalty."
Bayard's second letter, in part, "Having for many years relinquished the practice of the law I feel great confidence in my won judgement on law questions - especially when they some in collusion with those of learned & experienced counsel. As you say the view you haven of the business now under consideration as regards the real estate of Col. W is 'sustained by the advice of Counsel - as eminent as any in Virginia'...the Court will confirm the arrangement..."
Samuel Bayard (1767-1840) was a Philadelphian of Huguenot ancestry. He was valedictorian of the Princeton College Class of 1784 at the age of seventeen. At Princeton, he studied law with William Bradford, and upon graduating, became Bradford's partner. After practicing law for seven years in Philadelphia, Bayard was appointed clerk of the United States Supreme Court. In 1794, President Washington appointed Bayard as American Commissioner of Claims to represent the United States in the British courts. For four years he appeared before the admiralty courts in London, obtaining over ten million dollars in compensation for American interests. When Bayard was forty, he returned to live in Princeton and became the first mayor of the borough. At different times he served the College as librarian, trustee, and treasurer; he was a founder and a trustee of the Seminary. The street on which he lived was named Bayard Lane in his honor.
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