George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Carlyle, 1 September 1758

From John Carlyle

Alexandria Sept. 1t 1758

Dr Sir

I Wrote you about Eight days Ago to the Care of Lut. Smith Also Two days Ago Another Letter Inclosing You Severall from Mr Pattinson, Knight & Jno. Alton Wch Suppose You have recd & to which desire to be referr’d.1 Yours of the 27 Augt Is Now before Me & In answer I have not recd one Letter for You or Myself Since the Last I Sent You Six weeks Ago from Mr Rd Washington[.]2 When I doe Shall Send them forward Immediatly[.] I owed Mr Washington Abt Sixteen pds & I recd from Mr Meldrum Abt ⟨illegible⟩enty five Which With Yr Money I remitted him In one bill of 93£ by Two Ships of this Fleet[.]3 I Shall by Sum Oppertunity Write to Mr Lewis If the Goods Comes Up their to Immediatly Send them Over to Caves Warehouse & to Acquaint Me therewith & I Will Send for them, We have Very little Intercourse With York they may Lay their Twelve Months before an Oppertunity May offer of Your Getting them If A Vessell is Not directed to Call for them on purpose[.]4 had they been Landed At Either Hampton or Norfolk We have Oppertunity’s Weekly—We have Occation to Send our Schooner down to Norfolk Soon & If I donot have Sum Acct Abt them before Will direct the Captain to Call for them.5

I Answerd Mr Simons Letter & Sent it Open to You In my Letter Abt Ten days Ago.6

We doubt not Long before this you have Rejoyced On the News of Cape Brittoon7 being In our hands & With So Small A Loss The Good Effects from it may be to keep the French at home to Gaurd their own Country & Inable Genl Abercumby to make Another & more Successfull Attempt & If you cou’d once gett out We are Still In hopes the Ohio Will fall an Easey Pray to You (Which God Grant).

I am Extream Sorry for our Loss in Capt. Bullen he was the Indian I had the greatest Opinion of for his Truth to English Nation.

On Your return from Rays Town or When it Suits Your Time the favour of A Letter Shall be Gratefully Esteemed—Mrs Carlyle Mr Dalton & All Yr Friends here Joyn in Good Wishes & Am Dr Sir Yr Very Affectionet Hble Servant

John Carlyle

P.S. I have made free to put A Letter Under Yr Cover for Mr Ramsay, Which Please Send him If he’s Not at Ft Cumberland by A specill Messinger the Expence of Which he’l readily pay—Yrs &c.


It is Extream Wett Weather & Burriss In his Shirt I recolected I had the Suit of Cloaths that was At Williamsburg I therefor Lett him have them to Carrey Up & Deliver to You.8


1Presumably Carlyle’s letter of 22 Aug. was the one written “about Eight days Ago.” His letter of “Two days Ago” has not been found. John Patterson’s letter enclosed in Carlyle’s (missing) letter of 30 Aug. may have been that of 13 Aug., and the one enclosed from Humphrey Knight may have been his of 24 August. No letter from John Alton written in 1758 has been found.

2GW’s letter of 27 Aug. has not been found. The letter from the London merchant Richard Washington, which has not been found either, was enclosed in Carlyle’s letter of 14 July.

3The Rev. William Meldrum was at this time rector of Frederick Parish, Frederick County. On 22 July GW sent by James Craik £75 to John Carlyle in Winchester for him “to purchase a Bill of Exch[ange]” (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 11, 52). The illegible word may be “twenty.”

4Mr. Lewis was probably GW’s brother-in-law Fielding Lewis in Fredericksburg. Caves warehouse was located on the Potomac River near the mouth of Potomac Creek in Stafford County. The goods at Yorktown that Carlyle is referring to are those that GW first ordered from Richard Washington in London on 15 April 1757 and reordered on 10 Sept. 1757. They included items for remodeling and refurbishing the house at Mount Vernon such as hardware for windows and doors, glass panes for windows, wallpaper, ceiling ornaments, and a chimneypiece. Richard Washington’s invoice listing what he shipped to GW is dated 10 Nov. 1757. The shipment aboard the Peggy and Elizabeth, John Whiting master, arrived at Yorktown in Virginia on 13 Mar. 1758. The goods still had not been brought up to Alexandria or Mount Vernon when George William Fairfax wrote GW on 15 Sept. shortly before he left Belvoir for Hampton.

5Yorktown is up the York River from Chesapeake Bay whereas both Hampton and Norfolk are on the bay at Hampton Roads.

7That is, Louisburg on Cape Breton Island.

8Thomas Burris was the messenger who brought to Carlyle GW’s letter of 27 Aug. from Fort Cumberland. See George William Fairfax to GW, 1 Sept., n.5.

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