George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Captain John Barry, 6 April 1778

From Captain John Barry

Middletown [Del.] April 6th 1778

Dr General

Inclosed is a bill of sundry Articles purchased at the Sales here for your Excellency which tho’ laid in high, hope will please you; I shou’d have compleated the whole of your Excellency’s Memn. had it been in my Power.1 Major Burnet, purchased all the Knives & forks to be equally divided between your Excellency & General Green; You will please to send the Marshall the Amot of the Inclosed bill by the same hand that brings the Money for the Articles purchased by Major Burnet. I have the honor to be your Excellency’s most humble & Obt servt

John Barry


1GW’s memorandum has not been identified. The sale evidently involved goods taken from the captured vessels Alert, Mermaid, and Kitty (see Barry to GW, 20 Mar.). An account of “His Excelly Generl Washington Dr Capt Jno. Barry Bot at Sale at Middletown” lists the items purchased:

To 6 loafs of Sugar 42 lbs. at 25/6 pr lb. £53.11
To 4 Canisters of Hyson Tea a £10/15 43.—  
To 1 Dozn White Kid Gloves a /18 10.6 
To 12 lbs. best hair Powder a /18 pr lb. 10.6 
To 6 yds best White Ribbon /13 3.18

totaling £121.1, Barry having evidently miscalculated the cost of the gloves and hair powder. GW wrote on the account, “Deduct £10.6. for Kid Gloves & £3.18 for Ribbon—remains £106.17—eql to 356 Dollars,” and on 5 June, Barry signed a receipt for “the above Accots in full” (DLC:GW; see also copy, lacking GW’s note, at CtNhHi).

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