George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Eager Howard, 10 April 1797

From John Eager Howard

Belvidere, near Baltimore 10th April 1797


Since my return home Mr Gough has been generally in the Country at his farm which prevented my making enquiries of him respecting his cattle, until a few days ago. He at present has but one to dispose of that he would recommend to you—a young bull about nine months old, which he says will weigh at eighteen months, a thousand weight—I presume he means alive. But I am apprehensive you will think the price, two hundred dollars, too much.1

Some of our farmers have greatly improved their breed of cattle by purchasing bull calves of him, and we have young farmers who are eager to purchase, many of them before they have the means of taking proper care of them, however there is such a demand for his cattle that he can always get his price for them.

In the course of the summer he will have a number of calves, the best of which at five or six months old, sell at about a hundred dollars.

I shall have great pleasure in rendering any service in this or any other way,2 and with my best wishes for your health I have the Honor to be, with the highest respect Yr Obedt Servt

John E. Howard


John Eager Howard (1752–1827), who as lieutenant colonel in the 2d Maryland Regiment distinguished himself for his heroism during the Revolutionary War, at this time was a member of the U.S. Senate from Maryland. Owner of a great deal of property, Howard lived at his house Belvedere with his wife Peggy Chew Howard (1760–1824), daughter of Benjamin Chew of Pennsylvania.

1Harry Dorsey Gough (Goff; c.1745–1808) was a merchant in Baltimore living at Perry Hall in Baltimore County. Presumably GW talked to Senator Howard about cattle before both left Philadelphia.

2GW responded on 30 April from Mount Vernon and agreed that Gough’s young bull was too expensive.

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