To William Pearce
German Town [Pa.] 24th Novr 1793.
On my way to this place (about the last of Octr) I lodged a letter for you in the Post Office at Baltimore, which I hope got safe to your hands, although I have not heard from you since.1
I shall begin, now, to throw upon Paper such general thoughts, and directions, as may be necessary for your government when you get to Mount Vernon; and for fear of accidents, if transmitted to you thro’ any other channel, will deposit them in the hands of my Nephew, Mr Howell Lewis, who will remain (though inconvenient to me) at that place until your arrival there, that he pray put you in possession, and give you such information into matters as may be useful.
As my farms stand much in need of manure, and it is difficult to raise a sufficiency of it on them; & the Land besides requires something to loosen & ameliorate it, I mean to go largely (as you will perceive by what I shall hand to you through Mr Lewis) upon Buck Wheat as a Green manure (Plowed in, when full in blossom)—for this purpose I have requested a Gentleman of my acquaintance in the County of Loudoun, above Mount Vernon, to send to that place in time 450, or 500 bushels of this article for Seed.2 And as I do not wish to go largely upon Corn, it is necessary I should sow a good many Oats; my calculation (allowing two bushels to the acre) is about 400 bushels wanting. Not more than the half of which can I calculate I have of my own, for Seed next Spring, & therefore if you could carry round with you two hundred, or even 300 bushels to be certain; of those which are good in quality, & free from Onions, I will readily pay for them and the accustomed freight. That I may know whether to depend upon yr doing this, or not, write me word; that in case of failure with you, I may try to obtain them through some other channel. I am Your friend & Servant
ALS, ViMtvL. The cover, which is addressed to “Mr William Pearce of Hopewell near Chester Town Maryland,” is stamped “FREE.”