Thomas Jefferson Papers

To Thomas Jefferson from John Harmanson, 20 January 1781

From John Harmanson

Northampton, 20 Jan. 1781. In accordance with instructions, two vessels loaded with corn were sent off to Head of Elk, but off Tangier Island were taken by a 10-gun privateer. One was sent to New York, but was forced ashore by a hard northwest wind-most of corn recovered in fair condition. Other vessel, robbed of sails, was ordered to follow privateer into harbor. It fell so far behind that, at night, it escaped; but having only a mainsail and a broken boom, was forced by wind to run ashore on the bay side and was bilged. Damaged corn was saved, except for 100 bu., and was sold at public sale “for about 6. or 7 pound per barrel.” About 7,000 bu. corn and as much oats still on hand, and instructions are requested concerning disposal. Salt would have been sent if fleet had stayed out three more days, but will be sent in “a fine New Vessel” if the fleet goes out. There are 700 or 800 bu. of salt. Orders were expected earlier.

RC (Vi); 4 p.; addressed, in part: “per Favour of Mr. Williams”; endorsed; printed in CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , i, 450–1.

John Harmanson was commissioner of the provision law for Northampton co. (CVSP description begins Calendar of Virginia State Papers … Preserved in the Capitol at Richmond description ends , ii, 239).

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