To Patrick O’Flynn
Mount Vernon 15th April 1798
About the middle of August, the term of my present Miller will expire, and it is not probable the agreement will be renewed; first, because he wants to have his wages raised, next, because the work of the Mill will not afford it; & lastly, because though a good Miller, he is far from being an industrious man.1
The wages, & allowances I now give, and am willing to continue, are $166⅔ pr Ann: flour—Meat—fish, ⟨illegible⟩ ample; but the quantity of each to be specified to prevent disputes. A Cow to afford Milk, & wood sufficient, to be laid at his door; A house (& Garden adjoining) close by the Mill, & a Coopers shop at a convenient distance from it, all adequate to the wants of a person in that line.
Knowing that no place is more likely to furnish a good Miller than Brandywine, and that you must be acquainted with the Millers there on whose recommendation of one you could depend, I give you the trouble of receiving this letter, praying you to make the enquiry, & to inform me of the result.
You will perceive, that I have no call for a Miller until the middle of August; of course no engagement is to be entered into until you hear from me again; but it is essential I should be informed (and soon after the result of your enquiries are known) whether a good Miller, who can be recommended for his honesty sobriety & industry could be had; whether one would engage to be here by the middle of August, and on the terms before mentioned.
My Mill stands at the head of a Creek about nine miles below Alexandria, and is accessable by Boats; the Packets, therefore, which ply between that place & Philadelphia pass within view of it; & afford a ready, easy & cheap conveyance for Passengers between the two. I should prefer a married man with a small family to a single person—I hope your family are well—I am Sir Your very Hble Servant
ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW.
1. For correspondence earlier this month regarding a replacement for his miller at Mount Vernon, see GW to Clement Biddle and to Oliver Evans, both 8 April. No reply from O’Flynn has been found. Patrick O’Flynn was probably the keeper of the tavern in Wilmington where GW and his family stayed after leaving Philadelphia in March 1797 to return to Mount Vernon (see GW to Elizabeth Willing Powel, 26 Mar. 1797).