George Washington Papers

Clement Biddle to Tobias Lear, 22 November 1789

Clement Biddle to Tobias Lear

Phila Sunday November 22d 1789

After the Departure of the last post I recd your favour of 17th Instant handed me by major Jackson. I did not expect the return of the president so early or should have lodged Mr Bartram’s Answer which did not reach me til some time after I wrote to him—I waited on Mr Morris to pay him the 32 £s 12 s. 2 d. Balance due to Governeur Morris Esqr. & for the Black Sattin & Floor Matts—Mr Cottringer1 is to send me the Account which he Could not then make up but expects to do it tomorrow and I shall be Careful to Call again to discharge it. 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.

It has been a favourable year for Buck Wheat and any quantity may be had but I Cannot yet ascertain the price as little has been brought to Market but suppose about 2/ per Bus.

On Friday I was shewn Mr Merediths Note to Mrs Meredith desiring me to procure a Conveyance to Mount Vernon for some red potatoes2—two vessels were going off the same Evening for Alexa. which was too late to have the potatoes dug & brought to town but Cap. Carhart is expected shortly from Alexa. & to return immediately,3 of this or any Earlier Conveyance I shall take Care to inform Mrs Meredith & her Overseer tells me the potatoes shall be ready.

I have Called at the Stage Office a great Number of times to pay the passage of the German Gardner4 but the proprietor Mr Inskeep tells me he has no Account yet of his Passage & Baggage from the southern Stages, but expects it soon & will Call on me first—I shall thank you to remind me if any other Commands are unexecuted & you may Depend on my Strict Attention to them.


LB, PHi: Clement Biddle Letter Book, 1789–92.

1Garrett Cottringer was an associate of Robert Morris.

2The Merediths are Margaret (Peggy) Cadwalader Meredith, one of five daughters of Dr. Thomas and Hannah Lambert Cadwalader, and her husband Samuel Meredith, the treasurer of the United States, and their seven children. GW frequently visited the Merediths for dinner and tea at their home on Front Street. See, for example, Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:181, 284, 331; 5:170, 239.

3Captain William Carhart commanded the sloop Dolphin, which arrived in Philadelphia on Tuesday, 8 Dec., and sailed back to Virginia on 24 Dec. (Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser [Philadelphia], 8 Dec. and 24 Dec. 1789).

4The “German Gardner” was John Christian Ehlers. See his contract with GW, 24 June 1789, and notes. See also Lear to Biddle, 16 Sept. 1789.

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