George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Clement Biddle, 23 September 1790

From Clement Biddle

Philada Septemr 23d 1790


I delivered the Letters inclosed in your’s from Baltimore and from mount Vernon of the 17th inst: to Messrs Clark on the receipt of them.1

I have desired mr Parrish to have a Hatt of the best quality agreably to your directions by the latter End of November.2

The returns of Inhabitants for the City and suburbs are nearly perfected but one district being incomplete prevents my making up an Accurate account but from those which I have received I suppose the whole number of Inhabitants in the City and suburbs will be a few above forty thousand.3

In a few days I shall be able to furnish your Excellency an exact state of the numbers.

The workmen are busily employ’d on Mr Morris’s house as well as the one he is to remove into—The bow window is begun but Mr Morris has not moved out—I understand he will in a few days and I shall immediately begin to lay in the Wood you directed.

I paid for the four horses and driver twelve days at four Dollars and for the Carriage one dollar per day is sixty dollars for which I account with Mr Lear.4 I am with the greatest respect Your Excellency’s Most obedient and very humble servant

Clement Biddle

ALS, DLC:GW; LB, PHi: Clement Biddle Letter Book.

2Hatter Isaac Parrish’s shop was located at 17 North Second Street (Philadelphia Directory, 1791, 98).

3“An Act providing for the enumeration of the Inhabitants of the United States,” which GW had signed on 1 Mar. 1790, required U.S. marshals “to cause the number of the inhabitants within their respective districts to be taken, . . . for effecting which purpose the marshals shall have power to appoint as many assistants within their respective districts as to them shall appear necessary; assigning to each assistant a certain division of his district.” As marshal for the district of Pennsylvania, Biddle was to receive $300 for completing the returns, and his assistants were to receive one dollar for every 150 persons they counted in rural areas and one dollar for every 300 persons counted in urban areas with populations greater than 5,000. Biddle’s final enumeration for the three districts of Philadelphia proper, Southwark, and the Northern Liberties was 44,096 (1 Stat., description begins Richard Peters, ed. The Public Statutes at Large of the United States of America, from the Organization of the Government in 1789, to March 3, 1845 . . .. 8 vols. Boston, 1845-67. description ends 101–2 [1 Mar. 1790]; Heads of Families [Pennsylvania], description begins Heads of Families at the First Census of the United States Taken in the Year 1790: Pennsylvania. 1908. Reprint. Baltimore, 1970. description ends 10).

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