Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1759. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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1759. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
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TO ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY, MERCHANTS, LONDON.
Williamsburg, 1 May, 1759.
The inclosed is the minister’s certificate of my marriage with Mrs. Martha Custis, properly, as I am told, authenticated. You will, therefore for the future please to address all your letters, which relate to the affairs of the late Daniel Parke Custis, Esqr., to me, as by marriage I am entitled to a third part of that estate, and invested likewise with the care of the other two thirds by a decree of our General Court, which I obtained in order to strengthen the power I before had in consequence of my wife’s administration.
I have many letters of yours in my possession unanswered; but at present this serves only to advise you of the above change, and at the same time to acquaint you, that I shall continue to make you the same consignments of tobacco as usual, and will endeavor to increase it in proportion as I find myself and the estate benefited thereby.1
The scarcity of the last year’s crop, and the high prices of tobacco, consequent thereupon, would, in any other case, have induced me to sell the estate’s crop (which indeed is only 16 hhd.) in the country; but, for a present, and I hope small advantage only, I did not care to break the chain of correspondence, that has so long subsisted, and therefore have, according to your desire, given Captn. Talman, an offer of the whole.
On the other side is an invoice of some goods, which I beg of you to send me by the first ship, bound either to Potomack or Rappahannock, as I am in immediate want of them. Let them be insured, and, in case of accident, re-shipped without delay. Direct for me at Mount Vernon, Potomack River, Virginia; the former is the name of my seat, the other of the river on which t’ is situated. I am, &c.
Invoice of Sundry Goods to be Ship’d by Robt. Cary, Esq., and Company for the use of George Washington—viz:
1 Tester Bedstead 7½ feet pitch with fashionable bleu or blue and white curtains to suit a Room laid w yl Ireld. paper.—
Window curtains of the same for two windows; with either Papier Maché Cornish to them, or Cornish covered with the Cloth.
1 fine Bed Coverlid to match the Curtains. 4 Chair bottoms of the same; that is, as much covering suited to the above furniture as will go over the seats of 4 Chairs (which I have by me) in order to make the whole furniture of this Room uniformly handsome and genteel.
1. Fashionable Sett of Desert Glasses and Stands for Sweet meats Jellys &c—together with Wash Glasses and a proper Stand for these also.—
2 Setts of Chamber, or Bed Carpets—Wilton.
4. Fashionable China Branches & Stands for Candles.
2 Neat fire Screens—
50 lbs Spirma Citi Candles—
6 Carving Knives and Forks—handles of Stained Ivory and bound with Silver.
A pretty large Assortment of Grass Seeds—among which let there be a good deal of Lucerne & St. Foi, especially the former, also a good deal of English or bleu Grass Clover Seed I have.—
1 Large neat and Easy Couch for a Passage.
50 yards of best Floor Matting.—
2 pair of fashionable mixd. or Marble Cold. Silk Hose.
6 pr of finest cotton Hose.
6 pr of finest thread Hose.
6 pr of midling Hose. to cost abt 5 /
6 pr worsted Hose of yl best Sorted—2 pr of wch. to be white.
N. B. All the above Stockings to be long, and tolerably large.
1 piece of finest and most fashionable Stock Tape.
1 Suit of Cloaths of the finest Cloth & fashionable colour made by the Inclos’d measure.—
The newest and most approvd Treatise of Agriculture—besides this, send me a Small piece in Octavo—called a New System of Agriculture, or a Speedy Way to grow Rich.
Longley’s Book of Gardening.—
Gibson, upon Horses, the lattest Edition in Quarto—
Half a dozn pair of Men’s neatest shoes, and Pumps, to be made by one Didsbury, on Colo. Baylor’s Last—but a little larger than his—& to have high heels.—1
6 pr Mens riding Gloves—rather large than the middle size.
One neat Pocket Book, capable of receiving Memorandoms & Small Cash accts. to be made of Ivory, or any thing else that will admit of cleaning.—
Fine Soft Calf Skin for a pair of Boots—
Ben leathr. for Soles.
Six Bottles of Greenhows Tincture.
Order from the best House in Madeira a Pipe of the best Old Wine, and let it be securd from Pilferers.
TO RICHARD WASHINGTON.
Mount Vernon, 20 September, 1759.
Inclosd you will receive a Bill [promisd in my last of the 7th May] which please to receive and place to my credit—since mine of the above date your agreable favor of the 26th March covering Invoice of Sundries pr. the desire is come to hand as has the Goods also in good order which is more than most of the Importers by that Ship can boast great part of her cargo being damagd—thro’ the negligence tis said of the Captain.
My Brother is safe arrivd but little benefitted in point of Health by his Trip to England. The longing desire, which for many years I have had of visiting the great Matrapolis of that Kingdom is not in the least abated by his prejudices, because I think the small share of Health he enjoyed while there must have given a sensible check to any pleasures he might figure to himself, and woud render any place Irksome—but I am now tied by the Leg and must set Inclination aside.
The Scale of Fortune in America is turnd greatly in our favor, and success is become the boon Companion of our Fortunate Generals. Twoud be folly in me to attempt particularizing their Actions since you receive accts. in a channel so much more direct than from hence. I am now I believe fixd at this seat with an agreable Consort for Life. And hope to find more happiness in retirement than I ever experienced amidst a wide and bustling World—I thank you heartily for your affectionate wishes—why wont you give me an occasion of Congratulating you in the same manner? None woud do it with more cordiality and true sincerity than, Dear Sir, &c.
TO ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY.
Mount Vernon, 20 September, 1759.
This will make the fourth letter I have written to you since my marriage with Mrs. Martha Custis. The two first served to cover invoices of such goods as I wanted, and to advise you at the same time of the change in her affairs, and how necessary it would be to address, for the future, all your letters, which relate to the estate of the deceased Colonel Custis, to me. The last tended only to order insurance on fifteen hogsheads of tobacco, sent by the Fair American.
I shall now endeavor to take notice of such parts of your letters, as require answering, and then advise what is needful to be done as matters are circumstanced at present. In regard to the former, there remains no great deal to be said, unless you will permit me to condemn your premature sales of the estate’s tobacco by Whelden, in which I should have thought a little delay would have appeared absolutely advisable for another reason, besides that mentioned by you, of an additional duty taking place; and that was the great demand for tobacco, and rising price in the country, of which you could not be unadvised from your correspondents in Virginia. However, I dare say you did for the best, and we must therefore be satisfied. And in this place, as an individual, give me leave to offer you my thanks for the opposition you made to this duty. Had all your brethren in the trade merited our acknowledgments in the same manner, this duty, probably, might never have been laid.
I remark the pains you take to show the impropriety of paying the duty of the estate’s tobacco. When money is wanting, it cannot be expected; but, when a sum lies in your hands, it should certainly be applied that way, as far as it will go. I likewise observe the difficulties you have met with in settling for the interest of the bank stock; but I hope that is now over, unless any part or the whole should require transferring (when a division of the estate is made), and then timely notice will be given; but, till this happens, it may be received and placed to the estate’s credit in the usual manner.
From this time it will be requisite, that you should raise three accounts; one for me, another for the estate, and a third for Miss Patty Custis; or, if you think it more eligible (and I believe it will be), make me debtor on my own account for John Parke Custis, and for Miss Martha Parke Custis, as each will have their part of the estate assigned them this fall, and the whole will remain under my management, whose particular care it shall be to distinguish always, either by letter or invoice, from whom tobaccos are shipped, and for whose use goods are imported, in order to prevent any mistakes arising. The estate’s credit now in your hands may be applied towards answering the whole drafts, that have been and shall be made this year; and it must appear very plain from my former letters, as well as from what is here said, how necessary it is to send regular accounts current, that, by comparing them with the books here, satisfactory settlements may, from time to time, be made to our General Court.
The tobacco per the Fair American will make its appearance, I apprehend, in a very irregular manner. Captain Talman first engaged it to be sent by the Cary, then by the Randolph; and, being disappointed in both, I had to seek for a conveyance myself, and by mere good luck got it on board Captain Thompson, but not till I had first been at the trouble and expense of carting it across from York to James River for his craft to take it in. The vessel being upon the point of sailing at that time, a gentleman at Norfolk, where she lay, promised to receive the bills of lading, and send them by different opportunities under cover to you; but, losing my memorandum, he wrote to me a month afterwards for fresh directions, which I suppose did not reach him till some time after the vessel had sailed. I shall endeavor to put what tobacco I can on board the Cary, as I understand she is to wait for the new crop. It will be needless, I am persuaded, to bespeak your best care in the sales of it; as you must be sensible the present high price of tobacco gives us room to expect extraordinary returns for this year’s produce so early shipped.
I am possessed of several plantations on this river (Potomac) and the fine lands of Shenandoah, and should be glad if you would ingenuously tell me what prices I might expect you to render for tobaccos made thereon, of the same seed of that of the estate’s, and managed in every respect in the same manner as the best tobaccos on James and York Rivers are. I ask this question purely for my own private information, and my shipping of these crops will be governed in a great measure by the answer you may give. Therefore you will excuse me, I hope, if I again desire the favor of you to take some pains to inform yourselves exactly; because, should the prices differ from those of the estate, I might possibly think myself deceived, and be disgusted of course.
Please to send the goods contained in the enclosed invoices, and charge them as there directed. I flatter myself, that particular care will be taken in choosing them, the want of which gives some tradesmen an opportunity of imposing upon us most vilely. The coarse goods for the estate’s use are ordered from Liverpool this year; all but the plaid hose, and these I beg you will cause to be sent from Glasgow in the usual manner and number, directed to the care of Mr. Joseph Valentine, or person managing the estate’s business at York River. I am, Gentlemen, &c.
INVOICE OF SUNDRIES TO BE SENT BY ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY FOR THE USE OF GEORGE WASHINGTON.
INVOICE OF SUNDRIES TO BE SHIPPED BY ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY, FOR THE USE OF MASTER JOHN AND MISS PATTY CUSTIS, EACH TO BE CHARGED TO THEIR OWN ACCOUNTS, BUT BOTH CONSIGNED TO GEORGE WASHINGTON, POTOMAC RIVER.
TO ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY.
30 November, 1759.
By the George and NA Captns. Richardson and Miks who saild with the Fleet in September last I sent Invoices of such Goods as were wanting for myself Estate &ctr, but knowing that the Latter unfortunately foundered at Sea soon after her Departure from Virginia and that the former may probably have sufferd by that storm or some other accident, by which means my letters &ctr. woud miscarry I take this opportunity by way of Bristol of addressing Copies of them and over & above ye things there wrote for to desire the favor of you to send me a neat Grait [for coal or small Faggots] in the newest taste and of a size to fit a chimney abt. 3 feet wide and two Deep and a fender suited to Ditto—Steel I believe are most usd at present—also send me a New Market Great Coat with a loose hood to it, made of Bleu Drab or broad cloth with straps before according to the present taste—let it be made of such Cloth as will turn a good shower of Rain and made long and fit in other respects for a man full 6 feet high & proportionably made—possibly ye measure sent for my other cloths may be a good direction in those—Please to add also to the things orderd for Mrs Dandridge 12 yds of Silver cold. Armozeen or Ducape & cause it to be packd up with ye Rest of her things chargd with yrs. &c.
Five Days ago I dropt a Letter at Williamsburg, to take the first conveyance to you, desiring Insurance on 50 Hhds Tobo pr. ye Cary since then I have got 4 more Inspected & all on Float ready to deliver at the ship’s side. You will therefore Insure that quantity and dispose of them in the best manner for our Interest. If Captn. Talman uses that Despatch in Loading of his vessel which I am sure he now has in his power to do, this Tobo. wl come to a very good Market I hope.
It is almost as much trouble and expence getting Goods from any of the Rivers round to Potomack as the Original charges of shipping them amounts to, unless they are committed to the charge of very careful Captains who has an Interest in forwarding. I shoud be glad therefore if you would take the oppertunity of some ship to that River of sending my Goods for the Future.
Your favor of the 6th. Augt. I have had the pleasure of receiving, and acknowledge myself particularly obligd to you for yr polite congratulations on my Marriage, as I likewise am for yr Dispatch of my Goods. I am Gentn.
[1 ]“I shall keep the estate under the same direction as formerly, neither altering the managers, kind of tobacco, or the manner of treating it, unless you advise otherwise for our interest; and, while I continue to pursue this method, I hope you will be able to render such sales, as will not only justify the present consignments to you, but encourage my enlarging them; for I shall be candid in telling you, that duty to the charge with which I am entrusted, as well as self-interest, will incline me to abide by those, who give the greatest proof of their abilities in selling my own and the estate’s tobacco, and purchasing our goods, which I can no otherwise judge of, than by the accounts that will be rendered. And here permit me to ask, if it would be advisable to change the marks of any of the tobacco, or had I best ship it all under the usual marks? If so, my part may be known by some small distinction, such as you can best advise.
[1 ]“The first Shoes which I desird might be made by you for me on Colo. Baylors Last are come in, and fit me tolerably well except that some of them are [if any thing] rather too Short—as I imagine you will now be able to suit my foot exactly—I beg you will for the future observe the following Directions in Making the Shoes.
—Washington toDidsbury, 30th Nov. 1759.