|dear Sir,||Philadelphia 14 Dec. 1796|
Immediately upon the receipt of your letter of the 2d instant, I sent a transcript of so much of it as related to Maria, and the daughter of Colo. Ball, to Mr Van Vleck; with a request that he would answer the queries which were propounded therein, under a cover to me. Enclosed is his answer, and of course you will inform Colo. Ball thereof.
As I know that many unsuccessful applications had been made for admission into the young Ladies School at Bethleham about the time I wrote to Mr Van Vleck, the reception of Marie & her Cousin must be considered as a particular favour, and Colo. Ball should make a point of it to be exact in complying with the requisitions that are enumerated in the Directors Letter.
A treatise, on the improvement of Canal Navigation, came to my hand by Doctr Edwards as a present from the Author, a few days ago. As I shall have no time to look into it while I remain in this City. I make a deposit of it with you, until I return to Mount Vernon. According to Doctr Edwards account, Fultons system is putting Lock Navigation out of vogue. I have not read a page in the Book—but if the Potomack company can extract any thing useful from it I shall feel happy in having sent it to you. We are all well, except having bad colds, and joi[n] in best wishes for yourself & family. I am Your affectionate
P.S. Pray procure me 200 weight of good butter against our arrival at Mount Vernon which in all likelihood will be by the middle of March.
DLC: Papers of George Washington.