George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Melancton Smith, 27 October 1784

From Melancton Smith

New York Octr 27th 1784


I have the honor of inclosing you a Copy of an Invoice of plate &c, shipped from London by order of Daniel Parker Esqr. Mr Parker before he left Philadelphia authorized me to receive them, and forward them to you. They arrived here the Latter part of Summer, since which no oppurtunity has offered to Ship them to you. A Friend of mine now Ships a number of Goods to go to Alexandria by way of Philadephia and by this way I have sent the Case, and wish it safe to hand. Inclosed is an Accot of the Freight & other charges paid on the Case—The amount of the cost and charges Mr Parker requested you will send to me. As I am to make remittances to Messrs Joy & Hopkins for them. If it would be convenient to send it in a good Bill of Exchange upon London, it would best suit me.1

Mr Henry Wyckoff and myself have entered into business in this place under the firm of Smith & Wyckoff, & should you have any business to transact here in the mercantile line we should be happy to execute it with fidelity & dispatch. I am with the highest respect Your Obed. Sert

Malancton Smith

ALS, DLC:GW. The letter is addressed to GW at “Mount Vernon near Alexandria Virginia ⟨per⟩ Brigantine Greenwich with a Box.” For the additional notation on the cover, see GW to Smith, 20 Dec. 1784, n.1.

Melancton Smith (1744–1798), who is remembered mostly for his fight against the ratification of the federal Constitution in New York, had recently moved from Dutchess County, where he had been a successful merchant, into New York City. In the city, he thrived as a lawyer as well as a merchant.

1For GW’s dealings with Daniel Parker regarding the silver articles listed in the invoice that Smith sent GW, see Daniel Parker to GW, 21 June 1784, and the note in that document. See also GW to Melancton Smith, 20 Dec. 1784. The enclosed invoice showed a charge by the English firm of Joy & Hopkins of £56.18.4 sterling for the silver and for their handling of it and also Smith’s own charges of £3.15.7, New York currency, for freight and storage. The pieces of silverware included:

1 large plain beaded plated Gallon Tea Urn 7. 7.0
1 ditto   Coffee Pot to match 2.14. 
2 beaded chaised Tea Pots 5.16. 
2 Ea. sugr & cream pails with Ladles & Glasses 4.15. 
4 plain beaded Waiters 8.    
engraving the above with crests & Arms 1.16.4
a large inlaid Tea Board best kind 3.10. 
a Tea Caddy to match do 3.    
a Mahogony Plate Chest best wood lined with green Cloth & Clumped with Brass 16.10. 
Case .12. 
£54.  .4

A transcript of the invoice is in CD-ROM:GW. At GW’s request of 20 Dec, Smith provided a copy of GW’s account with the new firm of Smith & Wyckoff.

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