George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Carlyle, 2 December 1756

From John Carlyle

Alexandria Decr 2d 1756

Dr Sir

I was favd with yours of the 30th Ulto, & Observe Your directions Abt Your orders for London & may depend they shall be Executed with the Greatest Exactness1—Capt. Thompson is here & has Agreed to take half the Tobacco to Yr Namesake, he has Gott the Tobacco that is here & as fast as more Comes it shall be shipd—I am Afraid We Cannot gett You Good Crop Tobacco under 14/ ⅌ Ct but will gett You the Quantity mentiond & Such as Shall be known to be Good on the best Terms We Can.2

What You Mention relating My Accompts Your not Examining them here, Need be no hinderence & Anything Wrong may be rectifyd, as to the Letter you mention it Was Wrote before I went to Williamsburg,3 & I then had Not seen the Govr he tells me I must keep in my own hands to pay my Self for I Shall gett No more from the NoWard for My pay & Storage, Sr John St Clairs Account With Me is Not Above the Sum You Mention4 & at that time I Woud Givun Up All for the Ballance of My Account, but now I am Not Willing to doe So As My Pay as Store keeper is Near £100 More & think With justice I Shou’d make the most of them; & you must be Clear from any reflection When the Comitte Will See the Vallueation & In My Letter the Oates was Not Thought of, tho’ they Inc⟨luded⟩ Sr John St Clairs Account, & If the Officers themselves are to pay It I Must Apply to them I have receipts for every Bushell that was Deliverd, & If you Please to Lay the Account before the Comitte I must be Satisfyd with their Determination.5

As to the List of Tools &c. I have made Enquire & find I Can Gett the Greatest Part here & Shall go to Annapolis for the remainder I am at a Loss as to the Quantity & Sorts of Cartridge Paper but Will Send up Sum of both sorts for the Preasent, the Season of the Year Is too far Advanced to depend on Sending to Philadelphia—the Passadge may be Nearly Stoped by the time I Can gett their & back & dare Say I Can Gett all the Most Materiall Artickles to Come up by the return of the Wagons Next Week.

I dare say you may depend on back loads for Your Wagon as the Rice, rum & wine, the Nailes You formerly Order’d, the Tools & the Cloathes dayly Expected will be many Loads for Severall Wagons.6

I Can gett 400 Blanketts of the right Sort of Capt. Capethon7 & More ⅌haps If Necessary, but as the Country has a large Quantity Coming In & they are dayly Expected Cannot You wait Yett a little Longer.

The People In Winchester have reason to be In Fears & ⅌haps More of this Collony may have the Same reason, Occationd by that, fatall order8 of the G——r & C——ll, Cannot a party of Millitia In Frederick be Gott to gether In The Town ⟨till⟩ by a Proper Application to the Governor they might be releaved from other County’s Militia.

My Compts To Capt. Mercer Mr Kirkpatrick &c. & am Dr Sir Yr obliged humble Servant

John Carlyle

P.S. the Inclosed is a Copy of A Letter Mr McCarty Lodged in My hand as A Voucher for Me to Deliver him Provisions for his recruitts as I wou’d Not do it without & I Send you this Copy for Yr Satisfaction You may burn it after perussall he has only 5 Yett come In.9



1GW wrote his letter of 30 Nov., which is missing, a day or two after leaving Carlyle at Alexandria. GW wrote to the London merchant Richard Washington on 15 April 1757 placing an order for goods from him for the first time since 6 Dec. 1755. GW explained that he had asked John Carlyle and Fielding Lewis to order from Richard Washington “things I am in want of” at Mount Vernon during his absence on the frontier. For evidence that Carlyle did so, see GW to Richard Washington, 15 April 1757, Invoice from Richard Washington, 20 Aug. 1757, and GW to Richard Washington, 10 Sept. 1757.

2Twenty-two hogsheads of GW’s tobacco were shipped in the spring of early 1757, but only four of these went to his “Namesake” Richard Washington in London, while the other eighteen went to Anthony Bacon also in London. Fourteen of the hogsheads were transported in Capt. John Thompson’s 130–ton Integrity and eight in Capt. Younger’s Endeavour. On 11 Mar. 1757 Captain Thompson’s Integrity cleared the North Potomac Naval Office for London with 278 hogsheads of tobacco, but GW records in his General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends (p.16) that his tobacco aboard the Integrity was “lost.” For further shipments of GW’s tobacco in 1757, see GW to Anthony Bacon & Company, and to Richard Washington, both 10 Sept. 1757.

3What letter Carlyle was referring to is not known.

4Carlyle was one of the commissaries supplying the Virginia forces during Braddock’s campaign, and John St. Clair (Sinclair; d. 1767) was Braddock’s quartermaster for the campaign.

5The committee for supervising military expenditures was named in the “Act for raising the Sum of Twenty-five Thousand Pounds” (7 Hening description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends 9–20) passed in the March 1756 session of the Virginia Assembly.

6“Your Wagon” is probably the one that GW kept at his Bullskin quarter. It was used not only to transport provisions and supplies belonging to GW to and from Alexandria but also to bring back military supplies for the Virginia Regiment.

7Capt. John Copithorne was master of the Nugent Only engaged in the tobacco trade between Alexandria and Bristol, England. For GW’s connections with Copithorne, see Carlyle to GW, 12 Jan. 1756, n.4.

8On 16 Nov. Dinwiddie ordered GW to send from Winchester to Fort Cumberland 100 soldiers, more than were, in fact, in town.

9The letter from Denis McCarty has not been found. For an account of what McCarty was up to, see GW to Dinwiddie, 4 Dec. 1756.

Index Entries