George Washington Papers

From George Washington to James Gildart, 12 June 1759

To James Gildart

Virginia 12th June 1759


Doubtless before this you have heard of my Marriage with Mrs Martha Custis; but the Inclosd is the Ministers certificate of that Marriage and will serve to evince it. be pleasd therefore for the future to address all your Letters which relate to the Estate of the late Danl P. Custis Esqr. to me, as I am, besides my property therein invested by a Decree of Our Genl Court wt. the care of the rest.1

Before me now lye your favrs of the 13th of June 1758 and 21st Feby followg Inclosing an Invoice of Sundrys which have been all deliverd except the Crate of Stone Ware, and this I dont know as yet who to look to for; in yr former you Speak of Accts of Sales being sent for 16 Hhds Tobo Shipd you by the Gildart Captn Mulloy and five others by the Hare but whether you forgot to Inclose them, or they have been misplacd since their arrival I cant take upon me to determine but certain it is, that neither of them are to be found[.] I must therefore desire you will transmit me Copies of them by the first Vessell and at the sametime send me the Accts Currt, this you have in several Letters promisd to do but none has ever yet appeard—I want them every half yearly since Colo. Custis’s death that by comparing them with his Books I may render Satisfactory Accts to Our Genl Court of my Wifes Administration and I hope for the future you will be punctual in observing it.2

I cant imagine how it happens that the last Tobo Shipd you shd be of a worse quality than formerly—the Overseers all Affirm to me that the Tobo was of the same kind & quality here—however I am perswaded you have before this made the most of it and we must therefore be satisfied3—The exceeding Short Crop last year in genl & the little made by this Estate in perticular puts it out of my power to Consign you any Tobo this Summer, but the promising appearance that the pres[en]t Crop assumes may enable me to do it next if your Sales will Justifie me in it[.] I apprehend an occasion of writing to you as formerly [for] Goods for the Estates use & I shall take an oppertunity of doing so accordingly sometime this Summer4 at present I have only to add that I am Sir, Yr Most Obedt Hble Servt

Go: Washington

LB, in GW’s hand, DLC:GW.

James Gildart was an important merchant in Liverpool engaged in the tobacco trade.

2James Gildart’s letter to Martha Custis of 13 June 1758 has not been found, but copies of the accounts of sales on 20 May 1758 of sixteen hogsheads of tobacco shipped to Liverpool in the Gildart, John Mulloy, master, and five hogsheads shipped in the Hare, Daniel Darcy, master, are in the Custis Papers, ViHi. The sale of the sixteen hogsheads netted £144.6, and the sale of the five netted £32.13.1. Gildart’s letter to Martha Custis of 21 Feb. 1759 is also in the Custis Papers. On 24 Aug. 1759 Gildart sold at Liverpool sixteen hogsheads of tobacco belonging to Daniel Parke Custis’s estate for a net profit to the estate of £185.2.5. The account current that Gildart prepared on 30 Aug. 1759 shows a total of £587.2.1 in the Daniel Parke Custis account for the period from January 1756 to 30 Aug. 1759, with a balance of £23.9.11¾ due from the Custis estate (ViHi: Custis Papers).

3Gildart’s letter of 21 Feb. 1759 speaks of the decline in the quality of the tobacco sent from the last crop. See note 2.

4GW in fact shipped Gildart one hogshead of the Custis tobacco on 25 July 1759. See GW to James Gildart, 3 April 1761. GW from time to time sent tobacco from the Custis plantations to James Gildart until the 1770s. For this year’s shipment of the Custis tobacco, see GW to Robert Cary & Co., 2 July 1759.

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