Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO ROBERT CARY AND COMPANY. - 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.
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.