George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Newton, Jr., 11 January 1773

From Thomas Newton, Jr.

Norfolk Janr. 11. 1773.

Superfine flour. from 15/6 to 16/8 & the Cask 1/8

Common Do15/Do  Do

Biscuit Stuff 9/ to 10/Do  Do

Herrings12/6—15/  few at market

Indian Corn11/6—12/6 per Barrell


Above is the prices current here at this time, if you incline to ship any thing this way I will endeavor to get the highest price going at the time I receive them. you must note that if we sell for ready money dollars pass at six shillings & what we contract for payable at the Courts in Williamsburg is received at the weight if in silver or gold. we have no encouraging markets Just now either from the Eastward or West Indies but hope the adventurer’s will not lose.1 I am Yr Most Hble Servt

Thomas Newton Jr


Thomas Newton, Jr., with whom GW continued to have business dealings after the war, was a merchant in Norfolk and a political leader who represented Norfolk County in the House of Burgesses from 1766, in the Revolutionary conventions of 1775 and 1776, and in the state legislature from 1776 to 1805.

1GW began producing flour on a large scale in the 1770s, and on 21 Dec. 1772 he recorded with the county court the mark “G: WASHINGTON” to be branded on his flour (Fairfax County Order Books [1772–74], 158, ViFfCh). He built a new mill in 1770 and hired a miller from Pennsylvania named William Roberts. For his mill GW raised wheat himself and bought it from his neighbors. In 1763 he made an agreement with Carlyle & Adam to consign his flour to their company in Alexandria, although he continued to sell it locally. The “adventurer’s” to whom Newton is referring are probably ship captain Samuel Brodie and Daniel Jenifer Adams to whom GW had entrusted a large shipment of flour and herring to be sold by Adams in the West Indies (see GW to Daniel Jenifer Adams, 20 July 1772, n.1). When asking about current prices in Norfolk for flour and fish, GW may have conveyed to Newton some of his misgivings about Adams’s mission (see GW to Daniel Jenifer Adams and to Robert McMickan, both 12 Jan. 1773). In any case GW promptly responded to Newton’s offer to act as his agent in Norfolk by sending him before the end of January 80 barrels of herring and 250 barrels of flour for consignment (GW to Newton, 23, 27 Jan.). Newton continued to act as GW’s Norfolk agent until the war and again afterwards (see Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 85, and the extensive correspondence between the two men).

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