George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Richard Peters, 14 April 1794

From Richard Peters

Monday 14. Apl 94

Dear Sir

Your Note lay, without my Knowledge, on my Table, ’till last Evening, or I should have sent the Agricultural Papers before this Time.1 I am much obliged & gratified by the Perusal of them. I had formed a Plan of abstracting Parts of these Papers for Observation, & Part for Publication. But there seems a Fatality attendant on my Plan, for I have met with Interruptions in every Attempt I have made to execute it. Some Parts would be very useful if published here. I must postpone my Design for the present, & live in Hopes that, one Day or other, these Papers, with those to complete Sr J.S.’s System, will be published & find their Way here.2 Much useful Knowledge will be propogated, & the whole will contain the best Body of agricultural Information founded on Fact, every yet extant. I wish you could prevail on Sr J., if the Request would not produce unnecessary Obligation, to send a few Copies of the Statistical Reports as they are published.3 They would be of infinite Importance to our agricultural Concerns, as well as in other Respects. They would assist the Efforts of those who wish to promote a Spirit of good Husbandry, by adding Knowledge to their Zeal. Much might be done in this Way under all our Disadvantages—But I fear the Dream will call off our Labourers from the Plough. I am with sincere Esteem & Respect Your obedt Servt

Richard Peters


1For the note from GW, see his letter to Peters of 12 April. The papers returned probably consisted of those that British agriculturist John Sinclair enclosed in his letters to GW of 15 June, 15 Aug., and 11 Sept. 1793.

2For Peters’ eventual observations, see his letter to GW of 16 July 1794 (DLC:GW). On Sinclair’s plan for an agricultural survey of Great Britain, see his letter to GW of 15 Aug. 1793.

3When GW wrote Sinclair on 20 July 1794 (UkLoBM: Add MS 5757), he did not ask for additional copies of any reports. For a list of the agricultural surveys and essays published by Sinclair and the British Board of Agriculture and sent to GW, including Sinclair’s Specimens of Statistical Reports (London, 1793), see Griffin, Catalogue of the Washington Collection description begins Appleton P.C. Griffin, comp. A Catalogue of the Washington Collection in the Boston Athenæum. Cambridge, Mass., 1897. description ends , 89–95, 183.

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