Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO MATTHEW CAMPBELL. 1 - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
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TO MATTHEW CAMPBELL. 1 - 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 MATTHEW CAMPBELL.1
Mt. Vernon, 2 August, 1772.
In reply to your letter of the 4th I think it a piece of justice due to you to acknowledge that I was not lead to inquire into the price of the goods I had purchased of you already, and might hereafter take from anything that passed between us at the time I offered to discontinue my own importations (upon condition I could get my goods at nearly what they would cost to import them myself). I very well remember that nothing conclusive passed between you and me on that occasion, as a proof of which I made out my own invoice and sent it home by Captain Jordan as usual. Consequently you were not restrained on that account from charging me what you pleased. My inquiry arose from an opinion that I was dealing with you upon better terms than common, and this opinion was founded upon what Mr. Adam told me of his scheme. When I came, therefore, to see an article advanced a good deal higher than I expected I own to you that I was alarmed and thought it high time to know upon what footing I was purchasing. If after this acknowledgment, which I thought it incumbent on me to make, in order that you might be released even from the apprehension of an engagement, you still think proper to let me have the goods I may find occasion to buy in the country at 25 per cent sterling advance upon the genuine cost, dischargeable at the current exchange, I will confine my whole country dealings to your store, and will endeavor to throw the wages which I pay to hirelings into your hands also; provided, you will let me know upon what certain reasonable advance they can have their goods (upon the strength of my credit). For unless they can deal with you upon better terms than with others, I should not think myself justifiable in attempting to influence their choice, and this knowledge I must come at in order that I may convince them (if satisfied myself) of the propriety of the measure.
You may believe me sincere when I assure you that no man wishes to see your company prosper in trade more than I do, and self interest apart, I have always thought the way to do this was to import largely and sell low provided you could get a ready vend and quick payments for your goods. But do not deceive yourself by the ready despatch you have hitherto met with; for though I do not pretend to dispute your selling at a low advance in general, (having had no opportunity at all of judging) yet give me leave to add that the progress you have hitherto met with, is by no means an evident proof of it. The mind of man is fond of novelty; curiosity led many to your store, and inclination when there tempted them to be doing. To this they were excited by an opinion which most people had imbibed of your large importation, and intended scheme of trade. But, my good sir, this is but the work of a day, and like the evening of it, will sink into obscurity, unless by a steady adherence to your plan you convince the judgment as well as satisfy the curiosity of your customers. You see that I have used a freedom which friendship only can excuse me for. If I did not wish well to your undertaking, I should not take the liberty of troubling you with my sentiments, which however different from your own, or wrong in your principles, are truely genuine.
[1 ]A merchant in Alexandria.