George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Gustavus Scott, 16 June 1797

From Gustavus Scott

Washington. 16th June 1797.

dr Sir.

I had the honor of your favor by Mr Lear, & shoud have answerd it by the next Mail but Mr Smith’s answer did not get to my hands in time.1

Messrs Reed & Ford shew no serious design of procuring the Stock they owe, & ought long since to have transferrd: or else they wou’d not have restricted their agent to a price at which it is utterly impossible to procure it. I have written Mr Smith a second Letter in which I have suggested to him a mode by which he will procure the Stock; he has not yet answerd my Letter. I expect however that in the Course of a few days he will be able to procure the shares & if so, the Certificates of them shall be forwarded to you by the next Mail.2

Knowing your Desire to improve the breed of black Cattle in the antient Dominion, I took the Liberty of mentioning to my worthy friend the late Collo. Lloyd that a young bull of the breed of Mr Bakewell woud I thought be valuable at Mount Vernon. & that I wished he woud forward one for that Purpose to Baltimore or Annapolis. I had seen & much admired the Collos. Bull and two Cows soon after their Arrival; & which were said to be among the best Bakewell had ever raised. From these Cows and Bull several have been raised & one of that number I understood Collo. Lloyd was to send. He dying soon after, I mentioned the subject to young Mr Lloyd his only son who at once engaged to fullfill the Intentions of his father. Mr Lloyd frequently sends his Boats to Baltimore with Wheat: & if you will be pleased to write to Genl Swann, Collo. Ramsey or any other of your friends to have the young Bakewell duly attended to on his Arrival I will write to Young Mr Lloyd to forward him to the Care of such Gentleman as are pleased to direct.3 I am with sentiments of perfect Respect Dr Sir Yr mo. obt servt

Gusts Scott


1GW’s letter is dated 12 June.

2See GW to Henry Lee, 2 April, n.1. For Smith’s letter, see Scott to GW, 22 June, n.2.

3Edward Lloyd of Wye House in Talbot County, Md., and of Annapolis died 8 July 1796. His heir, young Edward Lloyd (1779–1834), was later to become governor of Maryland and a U.S. senator from the state. The Lloyds raised sheep and cattle on some of their extensive landholdings, including that on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In response to Scott’s suggestions with regard to GW’s securing a bull calf from Lloyd, GW expressed some hesitation about accepting a Bakewell bull from Lloyd without knowing Lloyd’s terms. After Scott made it clear that the Lloyds intended the calf as a gift, GW wrote Nathaniel Ramsay (1741–1817), a Baltimore lawyer and Maryland planter, and a brother of the historian David Ramsay of South Carolina, asking Ramsay to receive for him the animal when Lloyd should send it over from the Eastern Shore to Baltimore (GW to Scott, 19, 24 June; Scott to GW, 22, 25 June). The five-month-old calf was not brought to Baltimore until 6 August. When he learned of the animal’s arrival, GW decided to send his farm manager’s son, John Anderson, with a cart to fetch it and also to secure a ram with two ewes from Harry Dorsey Gough. Gough, explaining that his sheep had become diseased, instead presented GW with “a Bull Calf of my improved Breed” so that GW acquired two bull calves at the same time (Gough to GW, 17 Aug.; see Scott to GW, 19 July, GW to Nathaniel Ramsay, 11, 13 Aug., and GW to Gough, 13, 23 August).

Robert Bakewell (1725–1795) of Leicestershire, England, greatly improved the breeding of English sheep and cattle and was a pioneer in research of improved methods of feeding and housing livestock. He developed the Dishley, or new Leicestershire long-horned cattle, which produced more and better cuts of meat. The breed is no longer in existence.

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