George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Capel & Osgood Hanbury, 20 September 1765

To Capel & Osgood Hanbury

Mt Vernn 20th Septr 1765


By the Fauquier Captn Nicks you will receive 12 Hhds of Master Custis’s Tobacco which please to sell to the best advantage and carry the nett proceeds to the credit of his account—I dare say there can be no exception taken to this Tobacco & therefore I shall hope for more pleasing Sales than were receivd for the two last Parcels I shipd you in his behalf which indeed were low and discouraging.1

According to the usual & annual Custom, I expected to have recd copies of his & the Estates Accts currt with you before now, but have been disappointed two years running—your next Letters I hope will furnish me with these, as it is a satisfaction to receive & compare them with my own once a year.2 Sundry of your favours lying before me, I perceive in one of them you ask if D. P. Custis’s Estate was to be debited for the 14 Hhds Tobo pr the Joseph, & J. P. Custis credited for the proceeds—My Letter of the 26th of April 1763 did fully direct in this matter—but as you may have forgot the contts I there mentioned that D. P. Custis’s Estate was to have credit for the 20 Hhds pr the Deliverance because it was Shipd before any Division of the said Estate took place, but that Mastr J. P. Custis was chargeable with the Insurance and other Costs of the 14 Hhds pr the Joseph, & entitled to the Proceeds (this Tobo being made after that event happend & upon his own Estate) and that you were thence forward to open an acct with the young Gentleman—beginning with that very Tobo—the property being his.3

The Parliament by the Bounty given for American Hemp & Flax seem desirous of encouraging the growth of them in the Plan[tatio]ns but as they are Articles altogether new to us & I believe not much of our Lands well adapted for them, and as the proper kind of Packages, Freight, & accustomd charges, are little known here I shoud be much obligd to you for advising me of the gene[ra]l prices one might expect in your Port for good Hemp, & flax (rough & undressd) Watered, & prepard as directed by the Act wt. an estimate of the freight & all other Incident Charges pr Tonn that I may form some Idea of the profits resulting from the growth4—you will please to excuse this trouble—I am Gentn—Yr Most Obt h. Servt

Go: Washington

ALB, DLC:GW. GW noted that the letter was “Sent pr Captn Johnston,” who cleared outward from the South Potomac in the Munificence on 27 Sept. 1765.

1GW sent twelve hogsheads of John Parke Custis’s tobacco to the Hanburys in both 1762 and 1763. See GW to Hanbury, 11 Sept. 1762 and 26 April 1763.

2Hanbury wrote on 10 July 1764 of a letter “⅌ Capt. [Robert] Necks with Accot Curt.” The letter has not been found. There is an account current in ViHi: Custis Papers dated December 1763 and another dated 31 Jan. 1766 that includes entries for 13 Feb. and 30 May 1764.

3For references to the loss of the Deliverance in 1759 and the Joseph in 1760, see especially GW to Hanbury, 25, 30 Nov. 1759, 3 April 1761, 28 May 1762, and Hanbury to GW, 4 April 1760, 20 Mar., 1 Oct. 1761, 29 July 1762, and 28 Mar. 1763.

4“An Act for granting a Bounty upon the Importation of Hemp, and rough and undressed Flax, from his Majesty’s Colonies in America,” which was enacted in 1763, took effect on 24 June 1764 (Statutes at Large description begins Owen Ruffhead et al., eds. The Statutes at Large . . .. 14 vols. London, 1786–1800. description ends , 9:185–87).

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