Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO ROBERT CARY & CO., LONDON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO ROBERT CARY & CO., LONDON. - 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 & CO., LONDON.
Mount Vernon, 10 August, 1760.
Gentln. * * *
Inclosed you are presented with the Memorandum for receiving the interest of the Bank-stock signd as directed.—The Estate not yet being so amply settled as it ought, an entire division has not been made, which leaves many matters upon a instable footing, and among the rest the money in your hands, which has not yet been assigned to individuals; altho’ I believe it will chiefly, if not all, fall into my part, since it best suits my purposes to have money that can be commanded, than money at interest. However till matters come to a more conclusive settlement, you may let the accounts stand as you have stated them, charging each party with their own drafts and orders, and letting the credits remain in favor of the Estate as a common stock, till further direction.
The tobacco shipped per the Fair American, Cary, and Russia Merchant, may be applied the same way; but the present (growing) crop will be shipped on my own and Mr. Parke Custis’s particular accounts (each having our Plantations allotted us,) and must be applied to our several credits as you will be directed. So must all ye remittances hereafter to be made.
The insurance on the tobacco per Talman was high, I think higher than expected.—And here, Gentlemen, I cannot forbear ushering in a complaint of the exorbitant prices of my goods this year all of which are come to hand (except those packages put on board Hooper):—For many years I have imported goods from London as well as other ports of Britain, and can truly say I never had such a penny worth before. It would be a needless task to enumerate every article that I have cause to except against. Let it suffice to say that Woolens, Linnens, Nails &c., are mean in quality, but not in price, for in this they excel indeed, far above any I have ever had.—It has always been a custom with me when I make out my invoices to estimate the charge of them. This I do for my own satisfaction, to know whether I am too fast or not, and I seldom vary much from the real prices, doing it from old notes and credits; but the amount of your invoice exceeds my calculations above 25 per cent, and many articles not sent that were wrote for.1
I must once again beg the favor of you never to send me any goods but in a Potomack Ship, and for this purpose let me recommend Captn John Johnson in an annual ship of Mr. Russell’s to this River. Johnson is a person I am acquainted with, know him to be very careful, and he comes past my door in his ship. I am certain therefore of always having my goods landed in good time and order, which never yet has happened when they come into another river. This year the Charming Polly went into Rappa-hannock and my goods by her, received at different times and in bad order—the porter entirely drank out. There came no invoice of Mrs. Dandridge’s goods to me. I suppose it was forgot to be inclosed.
* * * * * *
As I shall write to you again by the fleet, I shall decline giving any directions about the busts, till then.1 Some time ago there was a prospect of making a large crop of tobacco this Summer, but a series of wet weather for near a month, with little or no intermission, has caused general complaints among the planters, and now it is feard that the crops will be very short, the tobacco in many places being under water and drowned, and in others suffering much by the spot, which is always a consequence of such rains.1
My Steward on York River writes me that he has received the goods ordered from Glasgow—Inclosed I address you the copy of a letter wrote from Williamsburg, in April last. And in a letter of the 20th June, I advertised you of two drafts I had made upon you: the one in favor of Mr Jno. Addison for £364 19s. 0d.; and the other of Mr William Digges for £304 15s. 3d. These payments were in part for a valuable purchase I had just made of abt. 2000 acres of land adjoining this seat. There are more payments yet to make and possibly I may have occasion to draw upon you for a further sum; tho’ not more, I am well persuaded, than you have effects to answer. Yet if at any time a prospect of advantage should lead me beyond this a little, I hope their will be no danger of my bills returning. I mention this rather for a matter of information (in case of such an Event) than as a thing I ever expect to happen; for my own aversion to running in debt will always secure me against a step of this nature, unless a manifest advantage is likely to be the result of it.
Since writing the foregoing I have added to my landed purchase, and shall have occasion in a few days to draw upon you to the amount of about £250, payable to Mr Robt. Trent, save a Bill of about £40 which will be passd in favor of Mr Clifton. I am &c.
[1 ]“Let me beseech you Gentlemen to give the necessary directions for purchasing of them upon the best terms. It is needless for me to particularise the sorts, quality, or taste I would choose to have them in, unless it is observed. And you may believe me when I tell you that, instead of getting things good and fashionable in their several kinds, we often have articles sent us that could only have been used by our forefathers in the days of yore. ’Tis a custom, I have some reason to believe with many shopkeepers, and tradesmen in London, when they know Goods are bespoke for exportation, to palm sometimes old, and sometimes very slight and indifferent goods upon us, taking care at the same time to advance 10, 15 or perhaps 20 per cent. upon them—My packages per The Polly, Captain Hooper, are not yet come to hand, and the Lord only knows when they will without more trouble than they are worth—as to the Busts a future day will determine my choice of them if any are wrote for.
[1 ]In the invoice of goods sent to Messrs. Cary & Company in September, 1759, Washington ordered eight busts, giving the following directions and measurements: “4. One of Alexander the Great; another of Julius Cæsar; another of Charles 12, Sweden, and a fourth of the King of Prussia. N. B. These are not to exceed 15 inches in height nor 10 in width, for broken pediments. 2 other busts of Prince Eugene and the Duke of Marlborough, somewhat smaller. 2 wild beasts, not to exceed 12 inches in height nor 18 in length. Sundry small ornaments for chimney piece.” [Page 138, ante] In the following March a vessel brought over the invoice, and, as a matter of no little interest, I copy the entry made relating to these busts and ornaments:
“These is the best ornaments I could possibly make for the chimney piece. And of all the wild beasts as coud be made, there is none better than the Lyons. The manner of placing them on ye chimney piece should be thus:
“There is no Busts of Alexander ye Great, (none at all of Charles 12th of Sweden,) Julius Cæsar, King of Prussia, Prince Eugene, nor Duke of Marl-borough, of the size desired; and to make models woud be very expensive — at least 4 guineas each. But I can make Busts exactly to the size wrote for (15 inches) and very good ones, at the rate of 16/ each of: Homer, Virgil, Horace, Cicero, Plato, Aristotle, Seneca, Galens, Vestall, Virgin Faustina, Chaucer, Spencer, Johnson, Shakespear, Beaumont, Fletcher, Milton, Prior, Pope, Congreve, Swift, Addison, Dryden, Locke, Newton.” William Cheere was the London art dealer, of whom the busts were ordered.
[1 ]“I am very sorry for the account (given in the latter [letter] of the Deliverance being lost. All the tobacco I had on board her was J. C., and I dare say would have disgraced no market whatever. But accidents of this nature are common, and ought not to be repined at.