From Bartholomew Dandridge
New Kent Decr 21st 1771.
Mr James Hockaday of this County informs me that he intends to apply to you to succeed Mr Valentine in the Management of your Estate below,1 and notwithstanding my warm recommendation of Mr John Hopkins who first applied to me, I think it my duty, in Justice to Mr Hockaday; at his request, to inform you, that I have always been acquainted with him from my Infancy, & that his Character for Sobriety Integrity & Industry has been one of the best of my Acquaintance, he has been used to keeping Accounts which he is allowed to understand very well, I cannot say I am acquainted with his management of Plantation Affairs, but am convinced that a Person of his Experience & good Understanding cannot be at a loss in that, I must further beg leave to recommend him to you as a Person who I believe will suit very well the Station he applies for, & one whom I should be glad to oblige. I am Dr Sir Your affect. & obedt Servt
ALS, DLC:GW. This letter and the letters quoted in note 1 from Burwell Bassett and Julius King Burbidge were enclosed in Burwell Bassett’s first letter of 21 December.
1. James Hockaday (Hockeday) listed 300½ acres in the tax list of 1782 for New Kent County. On this day, William Armistead, Burwell Bassett, and Julius King Burbidge wrote to GW about Hockaday. William Armistead, a planter in Blisland Parish, New Kent County, wrote: “At the request of Mr James Hockaday, am to Signifye to you, my knowledge & Opinion of him; he has ever been an inhabitant of this County, beleave him to be a very Honest man, know him to be very Sober, & Well qualifyed to keep Accots & his general Charecter is that of being Very Industrous also—he seem desirous of Succeeding Mr Valentine in your imploy. if he shou’d, beleive ’twou’d give general Satisfaction to his Friends, as well as answer every purpose you wou’d expect by employing him” (DLC:GW).
The text of Burwell Bassett’s second letter of 21 Dec. is: “Just as I had finishd my Letter I was apply’d to by Mr James Hockaday who is desirous of geting into Business. all that I can say of him is that he is a very Honest industrious Man and understand Accot pretty well, But as he was never in Business and only look after a little Plantation of his own whether he is capable of undertaking the Business he now aply for I cannot tell” (DLC:GW).
Dandridge’s father-in-law, Julius King Burbidge of Pamocra, New Kent County, wrote: “Mr James Hockaday is desirous of Succeeding the late Mr Valentine in that Stewardship, & has apply’d to me to recommend him to you as a fitt Person. I believe him to be a very honest, sober diligent Man, and as far as I know well quallify’d for the Business.
“Capt. Jno. Hopkins apply’d to me some Time ago for the same Thing, and I give the same Character of Him“ (DLC:GW).