George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Henry Hollingsworth, 25 March 1798

From Henry Hollingsworth

Elkton [Md.] March 25th 1798

Dear Cettyzean

after geting throug the buisey Scean of the war and closing my Accounts which was done with some dificulty, as my worthy Friend General Green who was at the Head of the Department in which I cheefly acted [was] dead, those persons who had the Setlement of my accounts knew little of the dificultys we had in transacting buisenis at its commencment and of course made no allowance for the Hurry and confusion a part of the Buisenis was done in, I thought of further Establish our Independance by if possible as I couldnot think we ware Independand while we are beholding to Brittan or any other country for halfe we eat, drink, and ware I therefore thought it my duty to attempt at somthing in the woolen line in order if posseble to make Cloths by Macheanery as practised in England, my first attempt was circumvented by the whole Manafactery with the Macheanery being distreyed by Fire have sinc taken it up on a more Extencive plan and have a prospect of suckseeding have trowbled our mutal Friend Mr Law (who seems to be a genuin Republickan) to take a sample of our Cloth for your Inspection and could you indulge us so far as to do us the Honor of wairing an out side Garment of our Manafacturing which permitt me to assure you was spun on a Jinney whih drew forty fore thread at a draught, and the wool was prepared and Carded by watar by Macheanerey made at this place1 the Honer done will be ever acknowledged by your old Freind and most Obdt Humle Sert

H. Hollingsworth


Henry Hollingsworth (1737–1803) was a native of Elkton, Cecil County, Maryland. During the Revolution he manufactured munitions and owned a saltpeter works. A merchant and storekeeper, he organized a manufacturing company in 1794, and in 1796, in partnership with others, he built a stone woolen mill (Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, description begins Edward C. Papenfuse et al., eds. A Biographical Dictionary of the Maryland Legislature, 1635–1789. 2 vols. Baltimore, 1979–85. description ends 1:447–48).

1GW replied from Mount Vernon on 4 April: “Dr Sir, Your favour of the 25th Ulto with a piece of cloth of your own Manufacture, were presented to me a day or two ago, by Mr Law.

“For your polite attention to—and kind recollection of me in sending the latter, I pray you to accept my best thanks, and an assurance of my wearing it with pleasure. The cloth is of an exceeding good texture, & well dyed; and I am persuaded will wear well; and let me add that no one will wish you greater success in the prosecution of your plan than I shall; for it has always been my opinion that the United States will be independent in name only, until essential arts & manufacturies are so established in them, as to subserve our purposes in case of War with any of those Nations on whom we rely for our supplies—With esteem I am Sir, Yr Most Obedt Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, DLC:GW; LB, DLC:GW).

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