Front Page Titles (by Subject) 1764. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
1764. - 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).
About Liberty Fund:
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
TO ROBERT CARY & CO.
Since my last of the first of May I have received the goods by Boyes; likewise the nails per Watson, with letters, accounts of Sales, accounts current, &c., which accompanied them. As also another letter of the 28th of March by Capt. Hooper.
It might possibly answer very little purpose were I to enter into a minute detail of the reasons that have caused me to fall so much in arrears to you. And therefore I shall not trouble you fully with the particulars at this time, but content myself with observing in as few words as the nature of the subject will admit of, that, in whatsoever light it may appear to you, it is not less evidently certain that mischances, rather than misconduct, hath been the causes of it. For it was a misfortune that seasons and chance should prevent my making even tolerable crops in this part of the Country for three years successively; and it was a misfortune likewise, when they were made, that I should get little or nothing for them. It may also be looked upon as unlucky at least, that the debts which I thought I had collected and actually did remit to you, should be paid in bills void of credit; and as things have turned out, (and you have such occasion for your money,) it is unlucky, likewise, that I made some purchases of land & slaves in this Country, since it obliged me to apply more of the current money (which was due to the Estate here,) towards the payment thereof than I expected, and of consequence more of the sterling ballance in your hands to the credit of Master Custis, in order to assign him his full dividend of the personal Estate; not conceiving in the least degree that I should have occasion for more of it than would remain after such application was made. Because had these bills been answered, had my crops proved good, and sold well, the Ballance, I think, could never have been against me. However, to be as short as possible, to remove the seeming apprehension (expressed in yours of the 13th of February,) of your suffering in point of interest for the Money you then discovered you stood in advance for me, I wrote you on the first of May following, that I had no sort of objections to allowing interest from thence forward, and desired you would charge it accordingly untill the debt was paid; not desiring that you, or any body else, should suffer in the most trivial instances on my account. And I shall now in consequence of your other letter of the 28th of March, beg leave to inform you in terms equally sincere and direct, that it is not in my power. I should add in a manner convenient and agreable to myself, to make remittances faster than my crops (and perhaps some few occasional sums which may fall in my way,) will furnish me with the means: but if, notwithstanding, you cannot be content with this mode of payments, you have only to advise me of it and I shall hit upon a method (tho’ I would choose to avoid it,) that will at once discharge the debt, and effectually remove me from all further mention of it. For I must confess, I did not expect that a correspondent so steady, and constant as I have proved and was willing to have continued to your house while the advantages were in any degree reciprocal, would be reminded in the instant it was discovered how necessary it was for him to be expeditious in his payments. Reason and prudence naturally dictate to every man of common sense the thing that is right; and you might have rested assured, that so fast as I could make remittances without distressing myself too much, my inclinations would have prompted me to it: because, in the first place, it is but an irksome thing to a free mind to be any ways hampered in debt; and in the next place I think I have discovered no intentions since I have found how the Ballance was likely to turn, of increasing that debt (unless it should appear in the amount of my invoices last year, which greatly indeed exceeded my expectations, but will be ballenced I hope by the contracted one of this year): but on the Contrary all the Willingness I could, under the accidents that have happened, of decreasing it to the utmost of my power. But I have already run into much greater prolixity on this head than I promised, or intended. Your answer will determine my measures, and upon this issue it must rest. * * *1
[1 ]“I should be obliged to you for sending me one of the Rotheran (or patent plows). If the construction of them are not thoroughly understood in Liverpool, you would do me a singular favor in getting it from a place of that name in Yorkshire (where I suppose they were first invented and now are made) for none but the true sort will answer the end of my sending for it and I had rather be at the expence of the carriage from thence than not to have the right kind or be disappointed. You will please to order it to be made exceeding light, as our lands are not so stiff as yours, nor our Horses so strong.”—To Crosbies & Trafford, 6 March, 1765.