George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Valentine, 29 July 1764

From Joseph Valentine

July 29th 1764


I Rec’d yours of the 18th1 which has Gave me a good deel of uneasiness and if I was gilty of the Crime you Lay to my Charge you have Just Cause to Blame me, but so farr from that I have had a good deel of defferance with the Overseers when they did Raily want to get sum other Sort of tobaco2 to plant, and have ordred if they had not plants of th⟨mutilated⟩ not to get plants any wheare but had Reather their ground should ly unplanted then to plant arronoco3—the Sort of tobo you saw at dite Howls ass he had the Seed from Gilliam is Rank arronoco which Gilliam Said he had from Graves I have had several disputs abought it Graves has offerd several times to swear pine Blank that gilliam never had a seed from him in his life I saw a little of that sort of tobaco in gilliams Crop4 Last year I got a little of it and planted wheare I live on purpose to make a tryal of it and to S⟨ee⟩ which was in the Rong which tobaco Sir I ⟨b⟩elieve you saw growing by my plant patch abught 300 plants and is Raily Rank arronoco and no more like graveses tobaco then Chalk is like Chees wheare gilliam got this seed from I Cant tel I am sertain he did not get it from graves the other Sort you saw at dite Howls is the Rail tru sweet sented he had the seed from me abaught two years ago ass we Change our seed from the defferant plantations to preserve it for it will alter and ware out if it is planted two long upon one plantation with out shifting[.] the tobaco you saw at the plantations in yorke is the Rail tru sort of sweat sented if their is any Sutch planted although it is narrow now accasiond by the dry weather I have seen it a good deel narrower in Colo. Custises5 life time and two thirds of it wolloon—Goddins tobo is from Seed I Sent him Last winter and is the Rail tru sort it is the Same at old Quarter6 so their is not any arronoco but what you saw at dite Howls & gilliams exepting that Little I planted on purposly to make the tryal I above menchi⟨o⟩ned I find gilliam is in the Rong and it is ⟨mutilated⟩ that hes got that Sort of tobo from sum wheare I Cant tel wheare though I am determind to distroy the sort intirely they shall plant no more of it—this Sir is the Very truth of the matter ass near ass I can Relate it I Submit the whole to your Judgment and if you think Sir my Crime is unpardenable and I am to Remove it will be the Better for me—for I am Cept in perpeatual troble and my life is misery to me for every falt falls upon me though I Can Say it with a Clear Conchisons that nobodey Cud or wod aStrove more for the advantage of the Estate I had in my Care then I have done in Every Shape—I believe sir it is unposable for any one or even you your self to be heir to have every thing done Right to your Sadisfaction and orders ass you wod have it done at those distiant Quarters.

We have ben very dry ⟨mutilated⟩ your Corn has sufferd very mutch but we have Just had a fine shour of Rane and Revived it very mutch your fellow Brunswick7 is very Bad I am Railey afraid we shall Loos him I am afraid he is poysond I have had a negro doctor to Look at him and am agoing to try what he Can do for him. have in C[l]osd you the weights of all the Crop of tobo Excepting the Eastron shore 7 hhds which I have not8 got have Sold all your Corn at King Wm Quarter to Mr Braxton9 @11/ pr Barel the money agreed to be paid in October next have no more to ad at present But Remain Sir your most abliging and Humble servent

Joseph Valentine

ALS, ViHi: Custis Papers. The letter is addressed “by post to Alexandra.”

1Letter not found.

2Valentine wrote “tobacro.”

3Oronoco was a bulky, coarse, strong-tasting tobacco with a narrow leaf which was not popular with English smokers. Sweetscented tobacco was a broad-leafed plant with a mild taste much in demand in England. The best sweetscented grew on the peninsula between the James and York rivers.

4Richard Croshor (Crowshaw, Croshire) Graves was a former overseer on the Custis and later on GW’s dower plantation, Claiborne’s. Gilliam and Epaphroditus Howle were overseers on John Parke Custis’s plantations.

5That is, Col. Daniel Parke Custis. David Godden (Godding) was an overseer on John Parke Custis’s plantations.

6The Old Quarter was one of GW’s dower plantations in York County.

7GW’s dower slave Brunswick was at the Ship Landing plantation in York County. Brunswick seems to have recovered. See Valentine to GW, 6 Aug. 1764.

8In ViHi: Custis Papers is an undated account of GW’s tobacco in Valentine’s hand, giving the weights for tobacco in King William and York counties. At the bottom of the page GW has written “7 Hhds from the Eastern Shore besides the above.” Valentine neglected, however, to send the account in this letter but sent it in his letter of 6 August. There are several other of Valentine’s tobacco accounts, both dated and undated in these papers.

9This is probably Carter Braxton of King William County.

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