James Madison Papers

John O. Lay to James Madison, 20 May 1825

Richmond 20th May 1825

Dear Sir

I have the pleasure to enclose you Sales of 8 Hhds. Tobacco & also a Receipt for the nett proceeds amounting to $787.56, which is deposited in the Farmers Bank of Va subject to your order

The Sales were made each Hhd. separately as requested by Mr. Eddins Neither the prices or quality equal my anticipations but the sales in proportion to the quality were certainly equal, and said by some good judges to be superior, to any other crop sold at the Ware House this season—My wish was to have obtained $10.- round for which I offered it privately—

The whole was very dry (more so than was necessary) and sweet but I would suggest to Mr. Eddins the advantage you would derive from assorting it differently say to make at least three grades, the first to be only of the best of the crop without intermixing any of the inferior, in this way one third or one half the crop would reach the highest prices and the difference in the inferior would result in a better average—The uncommon dry order of your Tobacco made it weigh light—it would bear putting in higher order but care should be taken not to go upon the other extreme—It is impossible for even the most experienced Tobacco makers at all times to understand what will suit our market—for which reason I take the liberty of making such remarks as I suppose may be beneficial to the manager—In the present state of this market the best qualities are most sought after even at a disproportionate price—Yours Very Resply.

Jno. O. Lay

RC and enclosures (DLC). Docketed by JM. Enclosures are a deposit receipt containing some figures by JM and a price list.

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