George Washington Papers

To George Washington from William McGachen, 13 March 1774

From William McGachen

Baltimore March 13th 1774

Dear Sir

I received your very agreeable favour by Mr Crawford I have done my self the pleasure to give him every assistance in my power and has purchased for you Four men convicts four Indented servants for three years and a man & his wife for four years1 the price Is I think rather high but as they are country likely people and you at present wanted them Mr Crawford said he imagined you would be well satisfied with our Bargain I have agreed to pay £110 Sterling for them the first of next may which I hope you will be pleased with should you want any more there is a ship expected this month with country convicts2 I suppose six months credit may [be] got for a parcel of them on the same terms I have bought the parcel now sent you as they are at present scarce and in demand I shall always take pleasure in doing every thing in my power to serve you here I am respectfully Dear sir Your most Obdt Hum. Servt

Will. McGachen

ALS, DLC:GW. The letter is docketed “19th March 1774” by Lund Washington.

1GW’s letter has not been found, but Valentine Crawford left Mount Vernon on 4 Mar. to go to Baltimore where he bought these ten servants for his expedition to the Great Kanawha. See GW to Valentine Crawford, 30 Mar., and Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:238. In March 1774 GW entered in his ledger a charge of £110 “By 10 Servants purchasd at Baltimare by Mr Valent[in]e Crawford for which you [McGachen] were Security—@ £10” (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 97). On 1 May GW sent ship captain McGachen bills for £110 sterling drawn on John Parke Custis’s account with Osgood Hanbury & Co. (GW to Osgood Hanbury & Co., 30 April; GW to McGachen, 1 May). Indentures dated 12 Mar. 1774 for three of the four convicts, William Webster, John Smith, and Thomas Wight, are in DLC:GW. Signed by William Lux & Bowly, the indentures assign each to GW “for the Term of Seven Years, the Time to commence from the Arrival of the Brig Swift Captain George Straker in the Province of Maryland, it being the Twenty Sixth Day of February 1774.” For the other servants purchased, see Valentine Crawford to GW, 27 July 1774, nn. 1 and 3.

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