From Richard Croshor Graves
york County Desemr the 24
According to your Desire I have sent Will up With an Inventeary From Every oversers own hand1 I Aplloy’d to the treasurear and the assembley is prorogud tell the sixt Day of February Next,2 As to the Hogs they ant half fatt Great part of them has ben put up sence the Death of Mr Vallentine as to the store I Did not want worning in Being Carefull I have Neaver had the kee Nor Bean in the store mr Vallentine was In his proper sences to the Last and knew as I lived a Great Distance from him two far to take the Care of any keys so as he Left them in the Care of mr stanhope Vaughn who is alowed to be a very honest man and one of his Executors3 as to the Book you shall find it safe as he Left it and I will Doe for the Best in Every thing but Dont Care to Concearnd in any accompts while you Come Down as all may be settled I will have the papers and accompt placed Ready for you4 and if the Hogs is Fatt before you send a man I will Doe for the Best according to your Desire the Wider has Now mov’d of5 and no6 one at the place which is very Dangrous with the store and other things I much Expected to have Dun your Business had I known as you wanted a Recommendation I Could have sent you as good as could be by Evey Gente man as new me the Sooner you send a man the Better as the hands wants placing and sum of the overseers suffers for them7 know more But Remain your most obed. & very hbe ser.
Richd Croshor Graves
1. Will is probably GW’s body servant Will Lee. In the Custis Papers at the Virginia Historical Society there are a number of inventories of slaves and stock at various plantations taken after Joseph Valentine’s death. Some or all of the following inventories may have been sent to GW at this time: Stanhope Vaughan’s accounts of slaves and stock at the Great House, at the Mill quarter (given Vaughan by Henry Street), and at “the Quarter over the Mill called new quarter,” all dated 20 Dec.; Richard Street’s “Inventary of the Negroes and Stock at Old Quarter,” dated 20 Dec.; William Vaughan’s list of slaves and stock at Brick House, dated 22 Dec.; Stanhope Vaughan’s inventories of slaves and stock “under my cear” at Jackson’s, and at Mill quarter that Henry Street “give me,” and at the Great House, all dated 24 Dec.; and Henry Gilbert, Jr.’s inventory of slaves and stock at Rockahock, and Samuel Trower’s inventory of the slaves and stock at Harlow’s, both undated. Some of these inventories may have been sent to GW by Burwell Bassett (see Bassett to GW, 25 Dec.). Also in the Custis Papers, but possibly done at another time, is an undated, unsigned inventory of furnishings and other appurtenances, “In the house at Town.” An undated, unsigned “Memorandum of the Estate of Colo. Custis Decest in York County” and “King William County” seems to have been done much earlier, at some time after Daniel Parke Custis’s death; it has additions in what looks to be GW’s earlier hand. An undated “Inventory taken by T. Bishop of the Goods &ca In the Stores &ca N. Kent,” docketed in what may be GW’s earlier hand, is also in the Custis Papers. See also the enclosure in Joseph Davenport to GW, 23 December. There are also two inventories, one of slaves and the other of stock, drawn up by GW from the inventories sent to him by the overseers. See List of Slaves Belonging to George Washington and John Parke Custis, December 1771 and notes.
2. GW may have been trying to collect the £11.7 due him largely for travel and attendance at the 1771 session of the House of Burgesses (Ledger A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 303).
3. Stanhope Vaughan, one of the York County overseers, was married to Joseph Valentine’s daughter Anne. In the tax list for 1782 Vaughan is listed as owning ninety acres in New Kent County.
4. The book Graves is referring to must be Valentine’s missing book of accounts with the Custis estate. In the Custis Papers are copies in GW’s hand of Valentine’s accounts with both John Parke Custis and himself for December 1769, which he entitles “An Exact Copy from Mr Valentine’s Book taken May 8th 1771.”
5. Valentine’s “wider” was Mary Valentine.
6. Graves wrote “kow,” instead of “no.”
7. GW himself did not get down to York County until the following March, but he may have sent Thomas Bishop or someone else.