George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Robert Cary & Company, 1–6 August 1761

To Robert Cary & Company

Mount Vernon August 1st[–6] 1761


When I wrote to you on the 14th Ulto neither your Letters nor my Goods by Captn Johnston were come to hand. now both are receivd; and I must beg leave to point out some mistakes which I have discoverd in them. and first in regard to the Accounts which you sent. In these there are several Errors which need rectifying as you will perceive by perusing the Inclosd Accounts1—Copied from my Books, but taken in a manner altogether from your own writings—for it is to be observd here, that the Estate is debited for some Articles which ought to be placd to me, and for some others which shoud go to Account of Master Custis—You will likewise perceive that both the Estate and I, are chargd with the Goods sent by Captn Yates amounting to £151.5.102 and that I have given you credit for a Draft in favr of Wm Clifton for Thirty pounds imagining it was paid as the Bill passd my hands sometime before that of Brents did3—these sevl Alterations being made the Ballances will stand

against G. Washington £1871. 8.8
against Jno. P. Custis 144. 0.6
against M. P. Custis 54. 7.2
and—in favour of the Estate 2038. 8.4
so that the Balle due you upon the whole will be only £  31. 8.0

After you have made these necessary alterations the Accts may remain as stated till it be known in what manner the Estate Balle will be disposd of, and this I fancy will be determined at our next General Court in October4—having some hopes of getting a finish put to these matters at that time—however you shall be timely advisd whenever any of these alterations happen.

I have now to inform you of a very great mistake which you have committed in sending me 2 dozn whip saws, when I only wanted, and wrote for two; what I shall do with the abundant overplus I really know not as I apprehend it will be a difficult matter to dispose of such a quantity in this part of the Country. and here while I am mentioning this Affair, another thing occurs which must not escape unnoticed—and that is, A Case bought of Phil Bell at the price of 17 Guineas—Surely, here must be as great a mistake, or as great an Imposition as ever was offerd by a Tradesman. The Case is a plain one, and such as I coud get made in this Country (where work of all kinds is very dear) of the same stuff, and equally as neat for less than four Guineas—is it possible then that 16 Galln Bottles with ground Stoppers can cost 13 Guineas? I think I might safely answer No. I woud have sent it back immediately, but being convinced that there must be some mistake in the Case I have postpond that resolution till you can make a proper enquiry into it, and advice me thereon.5

Please to order me a Pipe of good old Madeira from that Island, let it be well securd, and direct it to be sent by some Vessell bound to this River (Potomack)6—Your Corrispondants in Liverpool, I must beg leave to say, are a little negligent of your Orders and I am the Sufferer by it—for I have never receivd any Salt from thence notwithstanding my repeated application’s for these two years past.7 I am Gentn Yr Most Obedt Hble Servtt

Go: Washington

Augt 6

Postscript to the above Letter. Since writing the above, I have found occasion to draw a Bill upon you to the amt of £259 Sterg, payable at Sixty days sight to Messrs Chs Graham, Wm Fitzhugh, & Benja. Fendall—It being the Considn Money of Sundry Slaves wch I bought of those Gentn Yesterday8—I hope the Bill will meet with due Acceptance & I am as before—Gentn Yr &ca

G. Washington

ALB, DLC:GW. GW noted at the end of his copy of the letter, “Sent by the Sarah—Captn [Norrisson] Coverdale. Copy pr the Phœnix—Captn [William] McGachin.”

1The accounts (DLC:GW) with Robert Cary & Co. as compiled by GW and enclosed in this letter were:

“. . . Estate of D[aniel] P[arke] Custis Esqr. Decd:

Augt 6 To Sundrys pr Captn [Richard] Yates for the use of
G: Washington—but chargd to the above Estate
£ 151. 5.10
Do 22d To Balle pr Acct Currt renderd of this date 835.18. 4
Septr To 6 Mo. Dividend on £1650 Bankstock due this
37. 2. 6
Mar. To Ditto on Ditto—due this Lady day 37. 2. 6
Augt To £600 loss on the Cary 577.17. 2
Septr To Intt on Bankstock due this Micha[elma]s 37. 2. 6
1761 To proceeds of 15 hhds Tobo pr the Fair American 267.15.  
Mar. To Intt on Bankstock due this Lady day 37. 2. 6
Do 31st To proceeds of 15 hhds T. pr the Russia Mercht 177.  .  
£2158. 6. 4
Novr 22 By fees at the Bank for Services done there .10. 6
Feby 14 By Premio on £648 Insd on 54 hhds in the Cary 71.10.  
Mar. 4 By Goods from Scotland 13. 7.  
June 19 By premo on £180 Insd on 15 hhds by [John] Boyce 29. 9. 6
Augt 6 By Impost & Cocket on the 50 hhds lost in the Cary 5. 1.  
Augt 1st By Balle due the Estate 2038. 8. 4
£2158. 6. 4
Virginia August 1st 1761.
E. Excepted pr
    Go: Washington
. . . Geo. Washington:
Apl To 3 pr Ct return of premio on £150 Insd in Yates 4.10.  
Do. To Henry Churchills Draft on Bosworth & Griffeth for 32. 3. 3
Novr To Phil Johnson’s Ditto on Concannon & Jordan 102.  .  
Augt 1st To Balle due R. Cary Esqr. & Co. 1871. 8. 8
£2010. 1.11
By Sundry Goods pr Captn Yates 151. 5.10
By my draft in favr of Jno. Addison 364.19.  
20. 1760 By Ditto Wm Digges 304.15. 3
Ditto By Goods pr the Charming Polly 353.15. 9
By Ditto sent Mrs [Frances] Dandridge pr Hoopr 13.16. 3
Augt 20 By my Draft in favr of Wm Clifton 30.  .  
By Hill Lamar and Hill for a Pipe of Madeira 29. 3.  
Sepr 24 By my Draft in favr of Geo. Brent 200.  .  
By Henry Churchills Bill—returnd under Protest 32. 3. 3
By Charges of noting the Protest . 5. 9
Apl 1761 By Goods pr Captn [Judson] Coolage—Mrs [George William] Fairfax’s orders 79. 1.  
June By Ditto pr the Argo 31.15. 1
By Ditto pr the Molly—Jno. Johnston 316.16.  
July By Phil Johnson Excha: returnd Protested 102.  .  
By Charges of protesting . 5. 9
£2010. 1.11
May To 18 hhds Tobo pr the Bland—[Hugh] Wylie
June To 12 ditto pr the Sarah—Coverdale
July To 30 ditto pr the Argo—Boyce
Augt 1st By the Contra Balle £1871. 8. 8
Virginia August 1st 1761.
E. Excepted pr
    Go: Washington
. . . Jno Parke Custis:
June By Sundrys pr the Charming Polly 23.19. 7
1761 By 2 Seins pr the Letitia—Meredith 28. 5. 4
June By Goods for his Plantns on Y[or]k Rivr 72. 3. 1
July By Ditto pr the Molly—Jno. Johnstn 19.12. 6
£144. 0. 6
July To 40 hhds Tobo Shipd you in the Argo
Augt 1st By Amount of the above Acct £144. 0. 6
. . . Miss Martha Parke Custis:
June By Sundrys pr the Charmg Polly 30. 6.  
July By Ditto pr the Molly—Johnston   24. 1. 2
£ 54. 7. 2”

2These are goods that GW ordered from Cary on 6 Aug. 1759.

3For the bills that GW drew in favor of George Brent and William Clifton when he purchased land from them on Clifton’s Neck, see GW to Cary, 10 Aug. 1760, n.16.

5See Cary’s invoice, 31 Mar. 1761, published above.

7For the salt sent by the Liverpool merchant, John Backhouse, see GW to Cary, 20 June 1762, n.3.

8Charles Grahame (Graham; c.1721–1779), a Scottish merchant acting as the principal agent of the London merchant James Russell, lived in Lower Marlboro, Calvert County, Maryland. Washington’s friend William Fitzhugh (1721–1798) was a planter in Calvert County, Maryland. Benjamin Fendall (d. 1764) lived in Charles County, Md., where he served as clerk from 1752 to 1756.

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