George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Sir James Jay, 13 April 1780

Fishkill , April 13, 1780.

Dear Sir

I have the honor of yours of the 9th instan[t] and I do myself the pleasure to send you the medicine you desire, in a little box, which I hope you will receive with this letter: I wish I could furnish you with a greater quantity, because I am afraid you may be too sparing of the little you will receive; whereas you might perhaps derive greater benefit from it, were it to be used more frequently. This little however is all that remains of what I brought with me from Europe—I have now the principal ingredients for the composition tome & the rest may be procured: but the misfortune is that I have no place where a little apparatus may be erected for preparing it—The composition requires some assistance from Chemistry; & our house is so small, & so well inhabited, that there is not a corner left where a little brick furnace, which a Mason could build in two hours time, can be placed. A log hut for the purpose might be soon run up; but it is also out of my power to effect this. Neither bricks, boards, nor lime are to be purchased here, nor a Carpenter nor Mason to be had without great difficulty, if at all. I beg you will not infer from hence that I would rather decline the undertaking. So far from that being the case, if you shall think it worth while, & will only direct Col. Hay to furnish the work man & other requisites, I shall soon have the satisfaction of sending you such a supply that you may not only use it freely yourself, but even spare a little to a friend, if necessary, without the apprehension of future want. I am with great respect & esteem, your humble servant Sir,

James Jay.

DLC: Papers of George Washington.

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