George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Roberts, 23 December 1786

From William Roberts

Norwick-Mills December 23d—1786


This is to Inform Your Excellency that There has Been Two Millers at My house at Colo. John Pleasents Mills Four Mile Crick Seking Imploy.1 tha Told me tha Came thru Alaxandria And had Some Talk with Mr Thorn Conserning your Mills & Miller Mr Thorns Answer Was that you had Told Him Youd Better a Givven Me a Hundred & 2o£ A Year then the Man you have 6o£.2—if this Report be True I Shold be Glad to Know the Sertainty of it by a Letter Sent to the Stage offis in Richmond As I Liv but 12 Miles From Richmond on James River 4 mile Crick if this Report Shold be Groundless Am Sorry To Giv you the Troble of Reding Purhaps What Mite be Desogreeable to you.

However if youd Git a Nother Pare of Burrs And Giv Me My old Lay & Preveleges I woud Drive them On in the Best Maner tha Cold Porsabbly be Drove the Winter Season Which Woud Inable you to Keep up My Wages—And Not Feel it—this year I have but 8o£ My Year will be up the 10th of April next the Company Wants Me to Ingage to Lern thare Printeses the Besoness & To Imploy Me a Term of years at 100£ per year & to pay me what Shold be thought Resoneble for Instructing tham in the Besonesss.

I Shold be Vary Happy to Come in to your Imploy Again if it Was Agreable. And am Well Asured youd have No Reson to Complain As My Wife And I have Got to Living in Peic & Quietness Which I hoop May Continue To the Eand of Our Days. From Sir your Most Obedt And Humble Servt

W:M. Roberts


1GW’s old miller William Roberts was working at Norwich Mills on Four Mile Creek about a mile from the James River in lower Henrico County. John Pleasants and Thomas Pleasants, Jr., offered the complex of mills for rent or lease in the Virginia Gazette and Weekly Advertiser (Richmond) as early as 19 April 1787.

2Mr. Thorn may be Michael Thorn, a merchant in Alexandria.

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