George Washington Papers
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Tobias Lear to George Meade, 1 January 1793

Tobias Lear to George Meade

[Philadelphia] January 1st 1793.

Dear Sir,

The President wishes to get from Ireland about 30 lb. or 40 lb. of the seed of the French Furze, which he is told may be had in Cork. The person who procures it must be careful not to get the seed of the Irish Furze which is vastly inferior to the French.

Your politness in offering to have the above mentiond seed imported for the President will apologize for the trouble of this—The price of the seed the President understands is about 1/ sterling per pound & he had directed me to send the money therefor which you will find enclosed (one ten dollar bill).1 With great respect & esteem I am Dear Sir, Your most Obet st

T. Lear

ADfS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters; LB, DLC:GW.

George Meade (1741–1808), a prominent Catholic merchant of Philadelphia, served as a member of the city’s common council from 1789 to 1791 and as chairman of the local prison board in 1792. Meade was among the founders of the Society of the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick in the early 1770s and the Hibernian Society in 1792. Long prosperous in the shipping trade, Meade invested heavily in undeveloped land during the 1790s. The failure of these investments during the mid–1790s brought him to the brink of insolvency. Despite his best efforts to recover his losses, Meade fell into bankruptcy in 1801.

1For Anthony Whitting’s purchase of French furze for hedging at Mount Vernon, see GW to Whitting, 18 Nov. 1792. For the Mansion House farm overseer James Butler’s advocacy of the merits of French furze, see GW to Whitting, 23 Dec. 1792, and 20 Jan. 1793.

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