To Robert Lewis & Sons
Mount Vernon 18th May 1786
Waiting to be informed of what I stand indebted to you, is the cause of my not acknowledging sooner the receipt of your favor of the 24th of May last year. I have now requested Colo. Biddle to enquire into, & to discharge what is due from me.1
I feel myself very much obliged to you for the trouble you have had in obtaining a miller for me. Mr Devenport seems to be a very honest, good kind of man; but as a miller, & as a person skilled in the art of keeping a mill in order, I think him much inferior to Roberts. In these points perhaps roberts had no superior; but his propensity to liquor, & his turbulent temper when under the intoxicating doses of it, were not to be borne. I have no trouble at all with Devenport; he is steady, orderly & quiet, & does, I believe, as well as he knows how. We have neither of us intimated any inclination to part; & if the reputation of my flour (which stood very high under Roberts’s management) can be maintained, it is all I want.2
The Agreement which you entered into with him is perfectly satisfactory to me, & I thank you for your attention to the business.3 With great esteem, I am Gentn &c.
2. For GW’s hiring of Joseph Davenport as his miller to replace William Roberts, see Robert Lewis & Sons to GW, 5 April 1785, and notes.
3. GW’s agreement with Davenport is dated 23 May 1785.