George Washington Papers

From George Washington to Clement Biddle, 8 January 1784

To Clement Biddle

Mount Vernon 8th Jan. 1784.

Dear Sir,

Be so good as to send me by the Post, or any other safe & expeditious conveyance, 70 Yards of livery lace three quarters, or Inch wide; or any width between—Direct it to the care of the Postmaster in Alexandria. The lace should be red & white.1

I will thank you also for sending me, if an oppertunity should offer soon by Water, one hundred weight, or even a Barrel of good Coffee. Pray forwd the Acct between us that I may discharge the Balle if it is against me.2 My Compliments in which Mrs Washington joins are offered to Mrs Biddle & Mrs Shaw.3I am—Dr Sir Yr Most Obedt Servt

Go: Washington

ALS, PHi: Washington-Biddle Correspondence; LB, DLC:GW.

Clement Biddle (1740–1814), Nathanael Greene’s commissary general for forage from July 1777 to June 1780, was a Philadelphia merchant whom GW used as his factor, or commercial agent, in that city.

1GW repeated the order for lace on 17 Jan. and 5 Feb.; on 10 Mar. he reported having received the lace after 1 March.

2On 10 Mar. GW acknowledged receipt of Biddle’s letters of 22 and 29 Feb., both of which are missing. He does not mention having received the account.

3Rebekah Cornell Biddle was the daughter of Gideon Cornell, lieutenant governor and chief justice of Rhode Island at the time of his death in 1765. Mrs. Shaw was Sarah Biddle Penrose Shaw, Clement Biddle’s sister, who was soon to marry her third husband, Rudolph Tillier (see GW to Biddle, 1 Feb. 1785).

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