George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Lamar, Hill, Bisset, & Company, 15 July 1773

To Lamar, Hill, Bisset, & Company

Mt Vernn Virga July 15th 1773.


Inclosed you have a Letter from Mr Henry Hill respecting some Flour which I proposd Shipping to your House.1 You have also a Bill of Lading for Eighty Barrels of it with the Invoice by the Molly Thomas Conway which I expect will be found of the best quality—In return for this please to send me four Pipes of your particular, or best Wines, as it is for my own drinking I want it, and understand that the last years Vintage was remarkably fine.2 I expect you will likewise, from Mr Newton of Norfolk, receive Ninety Barrls of Burr Midlings belonging to me, which in my opinion makes better Bread than common Flour—These you will also dispose of for Wines of good quality, & Ship me the whole by the return of Captn Conway who comes directly to my own Door, & is a Person on whose care I can rely.3

If, contrary to my expectation, it should happen that, Mr Newton has disposd of these Midlings before my Order for Shipping of them gets to hand, and the Eighty Barls of Superfine Flour should not amt to the cost of four Pipes of Wine of the first quality, you will please nevertheless to send them, & draw upon Robt Cary Esqr. & Co. of Londn for the difference.4

By the first good opperty to York River please to send for the use of Mr John Parke Custis my Ward (who is approaching towards the age of 21 yrs) four Pipes also of your very best Wine, & consign them to his Steward Mr James Hill at the Capitol Landing, near Williamsburg. Inclosd is an Order upon Robt Cary Esqr. & Co. as above for the Cost. I hope I shall meet with no disappointment in the quality of these wines & am Gentn Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

P.S. Please to send me a large Box of Fresh Citron.


2The bill of lading has not been found, but see Henry Hill to GW, 22 June 1773, and notes, and GW to Thomas Newton, Jr., 10 July. Capt. Thomas Conway of the Molly was back at Mount Vernon on 17 October. He brought from Madeira for GW four pipes of wine and two boxes of citrons (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:210; P.R.O., C.O. 5/1352, f. 133; General Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 92). The account from Lamar, Hill, Bisset, & Co. was sent with this letter of 22 Feb. 1774.

3GW wrote from Mount Vernon on 19 July these additional instructions to Lamar, Hill, Bisset, & Co.: “The 4 Pipes of Madeira Wine which I wrote to you for on the 15th Instt for Mr Custis, you will please to send by Messr Phrips & Newtons Vessell to Norfolk and those Gentlemen will take care that they are forwarded agreeable to the Bill of Loading to Mr James Hill at the Capitol Landing” (ALB, DLC:GW). On the same day he wrote the Norfolk firm of Phripp & Newton: “Having orderd 4 Pipes of Wine from Messrs Lamar Hill Bisset & Co. for the use of my Ward Mr Custis, to be sent to the Capitol Landing to the care of Mr James Hill his Stewart; and perceiving by your Advertisement have sent you Inclosed an order for the Freight of it—please therefore to have particular care taken that it may be delivered in good order at the aforesaid Landing” (ALB, DLC:GW). The following advertisement appeared on 8 July in the Virginia Gazette (Purdie and Dixon; Williamsburg): “Norfolk JULY 4, 1773. THE Subscribers intending to send a Vessel to MADEIRA, will be much obliged to any Gentlemen for their Orders for Wine. Matthew Phripp[,] Thomas Newton.”

4GW wrote on this day to Robert Cary & Co.: “As I have understood that the last, was a very good Vintage in Madeira, I have desird Messrs Lamar Hill Bisset & Co. to send to York River for the use of Mr Custis, four Pipes of best Madeira Wine & draw upon you for the amount, which please to pay, & place to the Acct of this young Gentleman. I have also remitted Flour for the purchase of four Pipes for my own use, but if the Sales should fall short of the Cost I have desird them in that case to draw upon you for the difference, which please to pay & charge it to acct of Gentn Yr Most Obedt Servt Go: Washington” (ALB, DLC:GW).

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