George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Clement Biddle, 20 February 1787

From Clement Biddle

Feby 20 1787

I had engaged the Freight & was preparing to Ship the Articles you had ordered in the Sloop Dolphin Capn Steward (the first Vessel that had offered this Spring for Potowmack) when I received your favour of 11th inst., Mr Haines had Kept 50 bushels of Barley for me but could share no more1—what I send is New England Summer Barley which is much the best. I should have applied to another Brewer to make up the 100 Bushels, but Mr Haines who has taken much pains to introduce & improve the Culture of Barley in this State, informs me that the Summer barley does not answer here so well as in New England & after many trials they now generally raise the Winter Barley here—the Summer Barley comes foward too fast in this Climate & he thinks will be more apt to do it in Virginia. I have made no Engagements for the Produce of it.

I have procured some Grass seed which I think is extraordinary good & much Cheaper than it has been sold. You have also the Spinning Wheels, all of which Articles are Shipped on board the Sloop Dolphin Aaron Steward Master for alexandria & you have the Bill of Loading & Invoice inclosed—the Sloop will leave this about Sunday next, & I hope will be with you in Good time for seeding—the Captain could not deliver the Goods before he reached Alexandria as he must first enter there. I have paid Mr Seddon & Co. for the magazine for Six months. Well Cured Herrings have sold @ 22/6 or three dollars per Barrell—they ask 3/9 this Currency per Barrel freight—the freight from hence is inserted in the Bill of Loading.

Mrs Biddle begs leave to present her best respects to Mrs Washington & am &ca

C. Biddle

See sd Invoice over leaf2

ADfS, ViMtvL: Clement Biddle Letter Book.

1Biddle wrote GW on 5 Nov. 1786 about securing barley from the Philadelphia brewer Reuben Haines.

2Biddle’s invoice, as appears in his letter book and transcribed in CD-ROM:GW, shows charges of £15 for 50 bushels of seed barley, £15 for 300 lbs. of red clover seed, £2.5 for two spinning wheels, and 10 shillings paid to Thomas Seddon & Co. for the Columbian Magazine. Charges for containers, handling, and shipping, in addition to Biddle’s commission, bring the total to £36.4.6.

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