George Washington Papers

Tobias Lear to Clement Biddle, 28 September 1789

Tobias Lear to Clement Biddle

New York, September 28th, 1789.

Dear Sir,

Your much esteemed favors of the 16th1 & 25th2 instts are before me. The President’s acct contained in the former is right. Mrs Washington will thank you to get for her and send on here, 15 Yards of Padusoy of the enclosed Pattern.3

The President wishes to procure a considerable quantity of Clover seed; I will, therefore, thank you to inform me at what price a quantity can be had with you—and the shortest time in which it can be delivered with certainty. I shall make similar inquiries here, and shall finally procure it at the place where it can be had at the lowest price, and del[ivere]d in the shortest time. The time is an essential consideration with the President—he suffered greatly last year by not receiving his Clover seed from this place so early as he should have had it by agreement; and he is now determined to get it in the fall at all events.4

I congratulate you, my Dear Sir, on your appointment to the Office of Marshal for the District of Pennsylvania. You will, in due time, have official information of it.5 I am, Dr Sir, with great esteem, Your most Obedt Servt

Tobias Lear.

ALS, PHi: Washington-Biddle Correspondence; ADfS, ViMtvL; LB, DLC:GW.

2Letter not found.

3Lear had written Biddle on 21 Sept.: “Mrs Washington is desirous of having a gown of Padusoy, Ducape or Tabby as near the color of the enclosed patterns as can be had—and will thank you to send her patterns from Philadelphia with the prices” (PHi: Washington-Biddle Correspondence). Biddle sent the silk on 30 Sept. (Lear to Biddle, 2 Oct. 1789).

4Biddle replied on 5 Oct.: “I have been among the Dealers in Clover seed, but they say are not yet sufficiently informed of the Crop to determine the quantity and price which they can furnish in Certain time to ship this fall but will inform me in about a fortnight” (PHi: Clement Biddle Letter Book, 1789–92). Lear informed Biddle on 17 Nov. that “the Clover seed which I mentioned in a former letter has been procured here @ 10d. per lb.” Biddle responded: “I am Glad that you have procured the red Cloverseed as after diligent Enquiry of the Dealers in Town and persons who raise it in the Country I find none Can be depended on before the Close of the Winter & a very little which Comes out has sold at 60/ per Bushel which is much higher than you mention” (Biddle to Lear, 22 Nov. 1789).

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