George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Thomas Newton, Jr., 23 January 1773

To Thomas Newton, Jr.

Mount Vernon January 23d 1773


By the Liberty Wm Heath I send you 80 Barrls of Herrings pr Receipt Inclosd; which please to dispose of for April pay; or, if the price can be enhancd by it, for that of July.

As I have never yet sold a Barrl of my Fish under 15/ at my Landing—as I know them to be good (equal, if not superior to any that is transported from this Country)—and in no danger of spoiling by keeping, being well cured, and well pack’d in tight Cask; I shall hope that you will be able, between this and the coming in of the New Fish, to sell these for 15/ clear of Freight & Commission.1 Some of the same Cargo shipd in the Fairfax by a Gentn to whom I sold them, fetchd 25/ in Jamaica; when other Herrings on board the same Vessell scarce reachd 12/6, & some again sold for less than 10/ a Barrell.2

I have now a Vessell waiting (at the Mouth of the Creek on which my Mill stands) to take in Flour to your address, but the Ice prevents the delivery of it—A few days may produce a change, and enable me to load it—The quantity to be sent, cannot be ascertaind; as the Stoage of the Sloop is unknown; perhaps there may be about 200 Barrls of Super fine Burr—50 of Midling Do—and 50 of Bisquet stuff, as it is supposd the Vessell will carry about 300 Barrls in all—By that oppertunity I shall write you again,3 in the meanwhile I have to request the favour of you to give the Inclosed Letter to Mr McMickan, the first conveyance that offers as the dispatch of it may, eventually, be a matter of some Importance4 to Sir Yr Most Hble Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. If you have an oppertunity, I should be obliged to you for sendg a Barrel of these Fish to Mrs Dawson of Wmsburg,5 & let her know that it is sent as a compliment from yrs &ca G. W——n


1GW records in his ledger that the eighty barrels of herring sold for £50.5.9 net (General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 85).

2For GW’s consigning to Daniel Jenifer Adams 115 barrels of herring for sale in the West Indies, see GW to Adams, 20 July 1772, n.1, and GW to Robert McMickan, 12 Jan. 1773 (second letter).

5Elizabeth Churchill Bassett Dawson (1709–1779), who was the mother of Burwell Bassett and briefly in 1752 the wife of Commissary William Dawson (d. 1752), lived in the Bassett town house in Williamsburg.

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