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From George Washington to James Maury, May 1795

To James Maury

Philadelphia May 1795


Enclosed is the copy of a letter I wrote you from George Town, on Potomac, the 28th ulto; at which time & place I happened to be, as I was returning to this city.1

As soon as the Tobacco is disposed of (regarding the caution therein contained) ⟨I⟩ pray you to send me by the first American (⟨ne⟩utral) vessel, bound to Potomac, the following articles—viz.

500 Ells of best Oznabrigs

500 Do Do second quality   for negro⟨es⟩

150 Best striped blankets⟨—large⟩

150 Do Do Do ⟨sc⟩d quality Do Do

Make insurance thereon, and avoid hazarding them in any vessel whose Cargo ⟨or views⟩ may subject her to any legal interruption.2 I am—Sir Your Obedt Hble Servant

Go: Washington

ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers; LB, DLC:GW.

1GW wrote to Maury on 28 April to inform him of the pending arrival of twenty-five hogsheads of tobacco sent by Lear & Co. aboard the Alexandria. GW asked that Maury credit them to his account. “The Tobacco is of my own growth,” GW noted, “and the best evidence I can give you of my opinion of the quality of it, is, that after ⟨le⟩tting it lye five or six years in the Ware house for a price, I preferred shipping it ⟨on⟩ my ⟨own acct⟩ to the receipt of four dollars ⟨⅌ C.⟩ at the Warehouse. It was reexamined at the time of shipment, and found to ⟨be⟩ as I have been informed, in very good order.” Should the price for tobacco remain low when Maury received the shipment, “and there is a probability of its rising,” GW instructed Maury to “have it kept for this purpose; as I am in no hurry for the proceeds” (ALS [letterpress copy], NN: Washington Papers; LB, DLC:GW. The text in angle brackets is taken from the letter-book copy).

2A record of sales by Maury dated 22 Feb. 1796 shows that he had begun to sell GW’s tobacco on 29 Aug. 1795 and continued to do so through February 1796. That account and GW’s ledger entry under Maury’s name for August show the total sale of the hogsheads brought £370.8.5. Deductions for freight, charges, insurance, and Maury’s commission gave GW a net profit of £263.0.7. Maury’s shipment of items requested by GW and additional goods purchased are also listed in the ledger book (ViMtvL; Ledger C description begins General Ledger C, 1790–1799. Morristown National Historical Park, Morristown, N.J. description ends , 18–19).

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