George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Newton, Jr., 21 December 1774

From Thomas Newton, Jr.

Norfolk Decr 21 1774.

Sir

I Received yours & am extreemly sorry for the disapointment at the meeting in October. I was not wanting in my endeavors to collect the whole that was due to you, but such was the scarcity of Cash that it cou’d not be got & beleive in generall the worst payments that ever were known was made at that meeting.1

I will use my utmost endeavors to get your money by the meeting of the Assembly, tho. I have little hopes of doing it before the Aprill Court.2 The biscuit I am afraid I shall never be able to render you a satisfactory acct of. Mr Balfour refused it & I was obliged to get rid of it as I cou’d, but must defer the perticulars relating to it untill I have the pleasure of seeing you & can only say that I have done for you as I should have done for myself & can assure you that that biscuit has given me more uneassiness than every disapointment I ever met with in my whole trade.3 Flour sells here at 2d. superfine & 15/ Common payable in Aprill & June, tho. (as you have expeirienced) we are often disapointed when the day of payment comes, therefore shall leave it altogether to yourself to choose whether you’l send any or not, if you should send any, I will do as well for you as lies in my power.4 I shall take due care of Mr Custis wine when it comes to hand. I have in my care Mr Custis desk & book case which I will send by the first oppertunity.5 Capt. Curtis of your Brig. call’d here to get seamen & an anchor which I supply’d him with amount £20.2. to your debit. he desired me to inform you that his vessell was no worse than when he wrote you & that he should imediately proceed to sea. The two Seamen run away from him in Potomack, Jno. Young & Robt Scott he imagin’d had return’d to Alexa. & was in hopes you’d make an example of them.6 I am Yr Hble Servt

Thos Newton Junr

ALS, DLC:GW.

1GW’s letter has not been found. His most recent one is dated 2 April 1774. Newton’s most recent is dated 27 June 1774. GW credits Newton with the payment on 20 Nov. 1774 of £170 to Fielding Lewis (Cash Accounts, November 1774). Newton is probably referring to the meeting of the merchants that took place in Williamsburg twice a year at which time much business was conducted and due debts were paid. The meetings were set for 25 April and October (Virginia Gazette [Purdie and Dixon; Williamsburg], 8 Sept. 1774).

2The next payment from Newton, recorded by Lund Washington, is for £160 and dated 31 July 1776 (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 85).

3For the problem Newton had with selling GW’s biscuit, or ship stuff, see GW to Newton, 14 Dec. 1773, n.1.

4In the spring of 1775 GW sent Newton both herring and flour for sale, receiving two pence per pound for the superfine flour and ten shillings per barrel for the ship stuff. Superfine flour seems to have been generally sold by the pound and the lesser grades of flour by the barrel. See Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 85.

5GW credits Newton with £36.5.8 for the “freight of Wine &ca” belonging to John Parke Custis (Ledger B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 85).

6GW’s brigantine Farmer, formerly Daniel Jenifer Adams’s Anne and Elizabeth, sailed in the fall from the Potomac bound for Lisbon with a cargo of 4,000 bushels of Indian corn. Philip Curtis was master; he returned in the spring with 3,000 bushels of salt from Turks Island in the Caribbean. See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:319–20.

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