George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William Milnor, 19 October 1773

From William Milnor

Philada Octobr 19th 1773

Honour’d Sir

Agreable to your request, I sent you 2 Yds Boulting cloth, which I hope you have receiv’d ere now, ’tis I think much finer than the sample I receiv’d from Mr Addams I am autherized by Mr Williams to inform you, that if it should not suite, he will take it again.1

The several articles Capt. Cox left with me for Mrs Washington, I have ship’d on board of the sloop Norfolkpacket Capt. Francis Gilbert bound to Allexandria and directed them to the Care of Mr William Herbert. Mr Dougherty the Owner of the Sloop, was fearfull of taking them on board, least they should cause his Vessel to be seized, it was in vain for me to Urge the weakness of his timidity, I therefore at his request Packed them carefully in a fishbarrel with two Rowes of Middletons biscuit at each End, an account of which, I have sent to Mr Herbert.2

Permit me, dear sir to remind you of our Salthouse and be Assured, that we will at any time obligate our selves to pay you the rent of it for any term of Years you may think necessary. I am determin’d for my part to carry on the fishery with spirit & resolution, your exceeding kindness to us hitherto, is the greatest encouragemt for us to proceed,3 & with the permission of divine providence, under the Countenance of so great an encourager of Industry I fear not but our labours will be crownd with success—be pleased (sir) to give my best respects to your Lady, to those young ladies I saw at your House & to mr Lund Washington, & b[e]lieve me to be, Sir Your most Obedient Humble Sert

William Milnor


1GW’s letter has not been found, but Milnor, a Philadelphia merchant, and William Herbert of Alexandria, spent the night 30 Mar. 1773 at Mount Vernon when some of the matters mentioned here, particularly plans for Milnor to purchase herring from GW, perhaps were discussed. Mr. Williams has not been identified.

2See John Cox to GW, 25 July, and GW to Milnor, 16 December. The packet boat was owned by Henry Dougherty & Company.

3In 1774 Milnor bought from GW fish valued at £158.10.10 Pennsylvania currency (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 123), and he planned to buy more in 1775 (see Milnor to GW, 18 April 1775). GW had promised to build a fish house or salt house for Milnor at Johnston’s on Clifton’s Neck. This was completed in 1774 and was rented for £12 (see Milnor to GW, 16 Dec., and Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 123). In 1774 and 1775 Milnor acted as GW’s agent in Philadelphia to buy uniforms and arms for various new county military units which turned to GW for aid. See Milnor’s letters to GW of 8, 29 Nov., 27 Dec. 1774, and 3 Jan., 21 Feb., 7 Mar., 18 April 1775 and GW to Milnor, 23 Jan. 1775.

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