George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Newton, Jr., 7 July 1788

To Thomas Newton, Jr.

Mount Vernon July 7th 1788


I am in want of a quantity of good eighteen Inch shingles and am informed that they will come better & cheaper from Norfolk than from the Eastern shore. Be so good, therefore, as to advise me by the first Post after you shall have received this letter if I can be supplied with 100,000 from the former. In what time—and at what price; delivered at my landing distinguishing between what is called bald, and green Cyprus. As my work will soon call for these Shingles I repeat my wish for early advice on this subject—That there may be a clear understanding—the length, breadth, and thickness under which the Shingles shall not be should be specified—among them I shall want about 3000 of Twenty one Inches long.1 I am Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Sert

Go. Washington

P.S. It runs through my mind, that I have heard of Shingles being had from No. Carolina on good terms.


1Thomas Newton, Jr., the merchant in Norfolk with whom GW had frequent dealings, wrote GW on 14 and 19 July, sending him samples of shingles. Neither of Newton’s letters has been found, but GW wrote Newton on 1 Aug. explaining that he needed the shingles for the roof of the barn that he was building and asking him to send 25,000 36–inch shingles or 100,000 18–inch shingles. On 10 Oct. GW acknowledged the receipt of Newton’s letters of 8 Aug. and 23 Sept., which also have not been found, and the arrival of nearly 36,000 shingles. On 17 Dec. he wrote Newton indicating that he had received from him more than 64,000 additional shingles. See also GW to John Brent, 17 Dec. 1788.

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