WASHINGTON, GEORGE, President. Autograph letter signed ("G:Washington") to Richard Sprigg, Mount Vernon, 28 September 1787.
1 page, 4to, 230 x 190 mm. (9 x 7½ in.), integral address leaf, silked, slightly browned, seal hole in integral address leaf repaired from verso, dark blue morocco gilt silk-lined protective case. [With:] SPRIGG, RICHARD. Autograph document signed, Mount Vernon, 8 September 1787, 1 page, oblong, 100 x 202 mm. (4 x 8 in.), boldly headed "Richard Sprigg Esq. to Genl. Washington," a statement of charges for the breeding and pasturage for two jennies (female jackasses) for a nine-week period.
THE FUTURE PRESIDENT BREEDS JACKASSES AND DEER FOR MOUNT VERNON
Washington arranges to lend out two jackasses, one presented to him by the King of Spain, for breeeding: "I have this moment been favoured with your letter without date from Prince George County, and have ordered the Jennies to be delivered to Mr. Dove, hoping both will prove with foal. Royal Gift never fails, the other is a young hand, but I hope will be equally sure. I am glad to hear that the Jenny you sent to R.G. last year has produced a Jack, and that you have been so successful in your importation of Deer. My Country Does have brought Fawns, and I have a buck and doe of those given me by Mr. Ogle; yet, if you sh[oul]d be successful, I would thank you for a pair (male and female) of yours. My best respects if you please to Mrs. Sprigg; and thanks for your kind congratulations on my safe return home, after a long absence from it..." Fitzpatrick, 29:281.
Washington had corresponded with Thomas Jefferson and the Marquis de Lafayette in hopes of obtaining a jackass from Spain; the King of Spain, learning of his interest, had two fine males ("Jacks") sent to Washington as a gift (see Fitzpatrick 28:160-161 and 208-209). Only one survived the trip, but Washington was able to procure a female "Jenny" to breed the "Royal Gift." Washington regularly lent his jackass to neighboring farmers to stud their jennies.