George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Thompson, 12 January 1788

To William Thompson

Mount Vernon January 12th 1788


I have recd your letter of the 7th inst.1 When I requested my nephew to apply to you for a craft, I expected that he would have engaged your largest, which he had last winter, upon the same terms that he then employed her viz.—at £20 for the trip and allow her to be detained below for four days on his account if she exceeded that time by his desire, he was to give 20/ per day for every day she might be so detained over the four Stipulated.

My corn will be received about the place where your Vessel was last year. I shall have enough to employ your largest two trips,2 which I had rather do than engage two Crafts. If you are willing to let me have the same Vessel which Majr Washington had last winter, and upon the same terms above mentioned, I would thank you to drop me a line by the post.3 I am going from home to day and shall not return in less than 10 days. I should wish, if you agree to let me have the Vessel, that she might be ready to go down as soon as the frost and weather will permit. I am Sir, yr most Obedt Hble Sert

Go. Washington


1William Thompson, a friend of GW’s who was a merchant in Colchester, wrote GW on 7 Jan.: “Major Washington Called here Yesterday when I happened to be from home, & left a ⟨Verble⟩ Message; Informing me you Wanted Craft to goe round to Pomonkey River for about 2500 Bushells Corn, I have one Craft that will Carry 1600 & Another 900 which I coud send for it Whenever the Weather Permits, at the rate of four pence per Bushell, which is as Low a freight as I cou’d possibly take” (DLC:GW).

2In writing “your largest two trips,” instead of “ships,” the copyist evidently was in error. See note 3.

3Thompson replied on 17 Jan.: “I shoud have Answered your favor of the 12th Inst. ere this, but Expected you ware from home. I am Willing my Craft shoud goe to York River for your Corn, on the same Termes she was Chartered Last Winter to Majr Washington, which is Exactly those you have Mentioned, she is now at Norfolk, & I expect her up as soone as the Weather Permits, when she shall Imediately proceed on your Business, After having her put in Proper Order” (DLC:GW). For GW’s purchases of the corn from the John Parke Custis estate, see GW to David Stuart, 5 Nov. 1787, and note 4 of that document.

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