George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Wakelin Welch & Son, 6 May 1791

From Wakelin Welch & Son

London 6th May 1791

Inclosed we trouble your Excellency with copy of our last of 5th March which we forwarded by the New York Packet since then nothing has transpired from Mr Morris from which we may suppose he is still in France.1

Mr Young about ten days ago sent us a case containing a Bag of Seeds, Books & some Yarn manufactured from your own Fleece of Wool which he sends ⟨mutilated⟩ a curiosity. This last article being prohibited he was ⟨mutilated⟩y anxious about its going & therefore requested our particular attention We have luckily succeeded & hope it will come safe2 The Bill of Lading for its being on board the Peter Capt. Brooks is inclosed3 The charges of its coming from Bury & putting on board the Ship 16/6 which we have placed to your Excellency’s account. We Remain Your Excellency’s Much Hond Servts4

Wake’ Welch & Son

LS, DLC:GW. The address cover bears the notation “per the Peter Capt. Brooks Q: D: C,” as well as the postmark “N. YORK July. 12 [1791] Free

1For background to GW’s transactions with the London mercantile firm of Wakelin Welch & Son, see Wakelin Welch & Son to GW, 29 Nov. 1790 and note 2, 5 Mar. 1791, and GW to Gouverneur Morris, 17 Dec. 1790 and note 2. See also note 4.

2For English agricultural journalist Arthur Young’s parcel of succory seeds, yarn samples, and volumes of his Annals of Agriculture, which GW received at the beginning of August 1791, see Young to GW, 25 Jan. 1791 and notes 1 and 2, and GW to Young, 15 Aug. 1791.

3The enclosed bill of lading has not been found. GW’s entry of 6 May 1791 in his account with Wakelin Welch & Son reads: “By Sundy Charges Shipping a case for N. Yk 0.16.6” (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 302).

4No further communications between GW and Wakelin Welch & Son have been found, and GW wrote to Young on 15 Aug. 1791 that he had closed his correspondence with the firm. According to his ledger GW balanced his account with Wakelin Welch & Son on 7 June 1791, “By Mr G. Morris pd him on my Acct 42.9.6” (ibid.). On 8 June 1791 Morris wrote to GW from London enclosing “an Account settled Yesterday with Wakelyn Welch and Son who as you will see have paid me £42.9.6 Sterling. I shall announce this to Messieurs William Constable and Company from whose Letters I am led to suppose that they beleive the Amount received here to have been more considerable or else that the Sum I first received from Messrs Welch & Son was on Account of the Articles shipped from hence for you whereas it was the Amount of what I had sent long before from france. Mr Welch offered to pay me £60 but I preferred receiving the Ballance only because you seem desirous to close with him and I think it will be best. . .” (DLC:GW). Constable wrote Tobias Lear on 25 Aug. that he had that day received a letter from Morris informing him of that news. Constable requested Lear “to have this matter adjusted” (NN: Constable-Pierrepont Papers) and on 31 Aug. acknowledged Lear’s response of 29 Aug. (not found) covering M. Lewis & Co.’s draft upon Strachan & McKenzie of London for £17.10.6 sterling, “which when paid will be in full for the Balance of the President’s account. I regret that through Mr G. Morris’s Management you have had so much Trouble in this affair” (DLC:GW).

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