From Burwell Bassett
Eltham 21 Decr 1771
Your favour of the 15 Inst. I receive in Wmsburg yesterday,1 As to the Candidates for Vallentine Place Graves you know as much of as I do & Hill I know nothing of But what I heard Mr Claiborne say,2 There has a great many people apply’d to me to r[e]commend them, But as I new nothing of them but by the recommendation they brought with them from Gentlemen I advise them to apply to you that you was well acquainted with The Gentlemen that recommended them & that I could say nothing more to them But as I find none of these has been with you I will just mention a few of them Mr Joseph Eggleston of James City recommended by Mr Ralph Wormly Se[nio]r & Mr John Cooke Booth of James City recommended by Mr John Shermer & Mr Nicholas;3 Mr Pendleton informd me that Colo. B. Moore & himself had recommended his Brother John Pendleton, I will inquire perticularly into James Hill character & give you the best information I can get, I went to the Plantation where Vallentine Died & found that he had put his Corn in the Open Tobo Houses & that it laid at the mercy of every person that was rogue Enough to take the advantage of it, I sent for the Overseer from the Marsh Quarter & order him to have the houses mended up & Locks put on the doors, which he informd me to day was done I also made him take a perticular account of all the Negroes & Stocks of all sorts that are at the plantations about Wmsburg & bring it to me, which I intended to inclos’d to you but find it will make my letter two large so shall keep them till I have the pleasure of seeing you,4 If there is any thing that I can do for you before you fix on a manager please to command me.
The Assembly is to meet the six of February as you will see by the Papers when we hope to have the pleasure of yours & Mrs Washingtons Company I do assure you nothing would give me so much pleasure as to be able to come to M. Vernon, But I am so unwell that I must defer that pleasure till the Spring of the year when I hope I shall be able to come without endangering my health, Mrs Bassett and the little ones are pretty well and join me in Love & best Wishes to the family at M. Vernon. I am Dr Sir Yr Most Affect. & Obt Servt
1. Letter not found.
3. No letters regarding a replacement for Joseph Valentine have been found from Ralph Wormeley of Rosegill, Middlesex County, John Shermer (died c.1775) of Broadneck plantation in James City County, or Robert Carter Nicholas (1728–1780) of Williamsburg. A Joseph Eggleston was on the James City County vestry in 1769. John Cooke Booth (died c.1773) lived on a 700-acre plantation on the Chickahominy River. Bassett enclosed these letters recommending James Hockaday for the position, as well as his own letter and ones from Bartholomew Dandridge and Julius King Burbidge (see Bartholomew Dandridge to GW, 21 Dec., and notes).