From Thomas Marshall
Frederick County 27th of Octr 1787
I have brought with me from Kentuckey for you some of the different specias of wild rhye, a few of the Coffee nuts, Buckeye, the seeds of the Papaw-apple, a few acrons of an excellent Specias of the white oak, larger & finer timber than I ever before saw & different from any I have seen elsewhere. I have sent you also some of the natural grass seed of that country it is of a very luxurient growth and as far as I have tried it appears to be excellent for hay, but as I have only cultivated a small spot, sow’d last fall in my garden, I can as yet judge of it with no great certainty: it does not require a wet soil, but the ground it is sow’d in ought to be rich & made fine. Feby will be a good time, & sow it about as thick as Tobo seed. I have also sent you some petrefied shellfish of a specias I never saw but in that country; I came to a layer or stratum of them about 4 feet under the surface of the Earth as I was diging a seller & although many of them are seen in the branches I don’t remember to have seen any of them alive. I thought to have sent you some of the seed of the Cucumber tree but could get none as they do not grow in that part of the country where I live; nor can I hear of any such shrub as the tulip-bearing laurel.1
Mr Colston has promisd to convey to you the seeds &c., together with this letter2 which I shall only lengthen by adding that I have the honor to be with the most respectful esteem Dear General Your most obedient humble Servt
1. Before Thomas Marshall left for Kentucky in the summer of 1785, GW asked him to secure seeds of plants in that region for the botanical garden of Louis XVI at Versailles. See Marshall to GW, 12 May 1785, n.1.
2. Rawleigh Colston was Marshall’s brother-in-law.