George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Valentine, 27 May 1760

From Joseph Valentine

Yorke ⟨illegible⟩ ⟨May⟩ 27th 1760

I this day Recd a Letter ⟨illegible⟩ hand of Mr Nicholas⟨;⟩ have also Recd a Letter from him to ⟨you⟩ which I send ⟨off⟩ immediately to you by George from King Wm who I think ⟨is the⟩ safest hand I Can send it By1—I also Recd your Letter the 18th sent by melato Jack and will do my ⟨truest⟩ endeavours to get an over seer to sute you2—Ass to Colo. Johnson I Cant get one farding of money from him he appointed me ⟨severall⟩ times to go to Receive the money but he all ways faild[.]3 I went up to Colo. Bassetts the day ⟨mutilated⟩ appointed to set off to your house and from thence I was obligd up to Black Creek4 and made all the hast Back I Cud as Colo. Bassett had ⟨defferd setting⟩ of for fore or five days Longer I Expected sertainly to get the money of ⟨illegible But when⟩ I came back Colo. Johnson was gone out of town and havt see nor heard any thing of him since and wheather ⟨he had Contract⟩ the money or any part of it to Colo. Bassett ⟨unbeknown⟩ to me I cant tel ass he seemd to want to pay ⟨part but not⟩ all the money due to the Bond.

Ass ⟨Louis Smith⟩ is dead I have setteld another man their he is single man and seems to ⟨illegible⟩ on ass he Begins I am in hops ⟨if the year sutes⟩ to have a ⟨tolerable⟩ good crop their.

we have got a good ⟨deel of land⟩ to be planted and hope to get ot finished everywheare next ⟨Monday⟩.

⟨I⟩ have setteld with Mr Mossom but got no money of him, he had ass I Thought ⟨not paid old Ac[coun]t⟩ but as it was your orders ⟨sir⟩ I aloud it. have in Closd the ac[coun]t with a half Crown Bill which is the Ballance due5 and ⟨our slaves⟩ are all in tolerable good helth at this time I ⟨plais⟩ god and hope you and Mrs Washington and the Children are the same.

From Sir your very Humble servant

Joseph Valentine

ALS, ViHi: Custis Papers.

1The letter to GW from Nicholas was probably the one of 27 May from Robert Carter Nicholas and George Wythe. “George from King Wm,” called “old George” in Valentine’s letter of 28 May, is probably the George listed first among the dower slaves in King William County in Schedule A: Assignment of the Widow’s Dower, doc. III-A in Settlement of the Daniel Parke Custis Estate, 20 April 1759–5 Nov. 1761.

2GW used the dower slave Mulatto Jack as a courier. He wrote in his diary on 17 May: “Mulatto Jack returnd from King William with 3 Yoke of Oxen & lost Punch the Horse he rid” (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 1:280). Valentine must have been saying here that he had received a letter from GW either on 18 April or dated 18 April. No letter has been found.

3Col. Philip Johnson was one of the men to whom Martha Custis lent money before her marriage to GW (doc. III-B in Settlement of the Daniel Parke Custis Estate, 20 April 1759–5 Nov. 1761). GW recorded in his Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 126, that two of Johnson’s bills were returned from England under protest. See GW to Robert Cary & Co., 5 Nov. 1760, and GW to Farell & Jones, same date. John Robinson on 12 May 1762 paid GW £273.12.5 to settle Johnson’s account.

4Black Creek flows through New Kent County into the Pamunkey River a few miles upstream from the White House.

5GW records on 30 May the payment of the balance of David Mossom’s account, 2s. 6d., or one half crown (Cash Accounts, May 1760).

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