Mount Vernon, 22d Feby 1797
I was duely favored with Yours of 13th And the seeds which I delivered to the Gardener—I am sincerely happy in finding You approve my various Schemes—And as to the Distillery—will make it appear at least a 50 pCt trade have bought about 100 Barlls Corn at 20/. Another 100 will do untill late in the Fall When more will come in. And the [Tailings] will do for sometime to Mix with the Corn.
Have now been in Loudon & bought 44 Hogs, Sows & Shoats 33[ ] I think 38 will do to kill this Fall. And may make 4 to 5000 lb. pork—besides the Sows, which we need to rear from I send for them this week—And pay them on the 12th March. they are 3 Dollars each. I also bought 20 Turkeys & some few Geese. & a few Pullets all kinds of Fouls are scarce & extravagantly high—the Turkeys are 5/ Geese I am not so sure what I may have or price, until Allison goes for them. And the Pullets are 1/—Such roads I never traveled on. I will put the Hogs to eat Slope at the Distillery And the Turkeys for Your Table about 10, leave in Coops at the House. And put the others & 2 Cocks to the Distillery & Geese there to feed on the Grains to rear from them. I am fixing a Girl to feed the Hogs & fowls. And my Son & one boy manages the Stills, this Weak we shall have 80 gallons at least of Whiskie, Which I will deposit in my Cellar And when the fishing Season comes there will be more demand and probably it may sell higher—I charge the Distillery 3/ a Barrel for the Wheat Tailings—I believe that is more than they are worth.
I am making a Ditch & Hedge of Locust from the bed of the [ ] run to the Mill ran along the side of the road. And placing a new Post & sail fence on the top of the Bank. there are a small ditch on each side and the hedge on the inside—a good many of the other hedges are filled say the Gaps. and the remainder Shall immediatly be filled—The rainey weather has retarded our ploughing—But is mending the Wheat some of which is looking well the fallow on Union Farm especially—There are no such thing as applying the Roller. The Land is so very soft but will do it whenever it can be with propriety. Whenever the Potatoes arrives will plant them—The time of planting of the pease being in April & May shall have seed ready. As I have spoke to some March 4 in Town to collect some. I am affraid Mr Goughs Cattle will be higher priced than I would think advisable to buy at—a Gentn informed me, He asked the Dutch for a Year old Bull—after You are once here and the road good, I may be able to find some good Cows in the upper parts of Loudon Berkeley &c among the Dutch Who have good kinds. And in Scotland I have prefered that kind of Cattle Shall refer [ ] for the Berrys untill You come here but have thot & on them coming by the ferry of Loudon and from thence to Alexria have found one Whos friend in Loudon will take care of them, When You get things to send round here please get one Bll Mollases as there has been none since I came here—And also the following things for Neal 1200 Spike nails, for Dogue run B. floor. 4 good Broad axes—6 [plb] each. 6 Strong Inch & 6 Strong 2 Inch Chissels—2 New Hand Saws 4 Rules of gd quality—a Qty files for Hand saws Cressents &ca in Plane Irons of different Sizes. Gimblets of various sizes 2 pr Strong Compasses—2 half Inch Augers 1 [ ] & 1 flatt [b etc]—And some Barrels Nails of different Kinds 20d. 10d. & [sathing] nails—This week I will fitt up some trough to feed a few Cows at my house with Slope & Hay—and get a little fresh Butter by Your return.
If any thing else is wanted, shall do my best to lay it in. The price of flour at Alexria are when paid in Cash 48/ p. Bll for Superfine—46 p. Bll for fine. & good Midlings 10/ P. Bll. Am affraid Callahan is rather to Anxious, our Midlings are very fair And tho the Superfine looks tolerable it is with me, a doubt Whether it passes the Inspection—which is now, I am told pretty thick—But if it should be so, there are only 2/ difference between Super, & fine.
He follows what Rickets & other Millers mostly do, to attempt having the great part Superfine. And in past Years there has been few faults found, as the demand was so great. Wheat is Rather looking up. the best 9/ to 9/6 And it is my Opinion the Armies. & Navys in the West Indies must soon be in want. And the price of Corn has every chance of Advancing, being with much esteem Sir Your most Obedt Humble Sert
DLC: Papers of George Washington.