George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Clement Biddle, 26 October 1788

From Clement Biddle

[Philadelphia] October 26th 1788

Herewith you have Invoice & Bill of Lading for sundries shipped for your Account by Capt. Ellwood who saild from here the 24th Inst, for Alexandria—he has a Certificate with him of the Porter[,] Potatoe Machine & Fan Riddles being American Manufacture the other articles being foreign Must be entered for Duty1—I could not meet with two pieces of fine Linen to please me but hope I may to send by Captain Ingraham’s Brig who sails this week for Alexandria & by her shall send a Bundle of Plate Iron for plow Mold omitted. Mrs Morris sent a ps. of Black India Sattin for Mrs Washington which Mrs Biddle thinks may supersede the Order for the Paduasoy & advises that I omit sending it til I can have Mrs Washington’s determination2—Mrs Biddle also says that the china Lute strings3 which are very good and better than a Ducape 4 are here prefered to paduasoys which are however very good—the piece of Sattin is in Capt. Ellwoods particular Care to deliver. My Endeavours to sell the herrings have not yet met with success but the present season I think will soon bring it about5—The Bank Note for 100Ds. Came safe & is to your Credit6—have not yet been able to get the necessary information respecting the Cloverseed but shall very soon.

C. Biddle

LB, ViMtvL.

1The enclosed invoice has not been found, but GW entered the information on his account with Biddle in Ledger B description begins General Ledger B, 1772–1793. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , p. 274. Biddle shipped "18 dozn porter . . . One potatoe machine . . . 40 fan Riddles." The other articles were seine twine and spices and corks. For information about the potato machine, see GW to Biddle, 2 Oct. 1788, n.4.

2See GW to Biddle, 15 Oct. 1788. Mrs. Morris was Robert Morris’s wife Mary White Morris. Biddle’s wife was Rebekah Cornell Biddle of Rhode Island.

3Lutestring is a glossy silk fabric.

4Ducape is a fine, soft, plain-weave silk fabric with a ribbed effect. It was widely produced in England in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

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