George Washington Papers

To George Washington from John Woddrop, 29 October 1788

From John Woddrop

Glasgow, the 29th day of October, 1788.


Since the 28th of November, the last year, think I did myself the honour for to write to your Excellency; by different opportunitys of some of the Glasgow Ships: bound to the State of Virginia.1

And the letters, went under cover to John Buckley, Esquire, Clerk to the house of Delegates, in Virginia.2 I do refer your Excellency, to these letters, and also, I do beg leave for to refer, the Honb. Richard Henry Lee, &ca and the other Gentlemen, your own & his friends, to these said letters, &ca. I can only now add to them, at this time the same disposition not only continues, but truly does increase, in numbers of people inclining for to come out, and settle in Virginia, &ca notwithstanding the many settlements making in Islands, on the coast of Scotland, by errecting towns, and different Stages, for the fishing. I have advice so late, as the 2d of this month from the spots, Vizt from Stornoway, & the Island of Mull.3

The Ling,4 Cod, & Tuck Fish,5 is Fifteen Pounds Sterg the Ton Weight, for Export, this present year, & it was thought, that it would be the same price the next year.

When I may have the honour for to receive a letter from your Excellency. All due attention will be observed by me, to the fulfilling of the commands in the contents of your Excellencys said letter to me.

With the most becoming, and justly merited Esteem, pure regard, and perfect respect, To you, Sir, to the Gentlemen, in the Circle of your Excellencys very Honourable Acquaintance. I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Most Obedient, and Most Humble Servant,

John Woddrop.


John Woddrop (Wardrop), a tobacco merchant, came to Glasgow from Edinburgh around 1746 and purchased Springbank, an estate near Glasgow. He was also an investor in the Stocking Manufactory Company and the Holland Manufactory Company in Glasgow.

1The only letters from Woddrop to GW that have been found are dated 16 Sept. 1784 and 25 Aug. 1785.

2Woddrop is referring to John Beckley (1757–1807), who served as clerk of the Virginia assembly during the 1780s. In 1789 Beckley became clerk of the United States House of Representatives.

3Stornoway is in the Outer Hebrides, some thirty-eight miles from the mainland; Mull is in the Inner Hebrides, separated from the mainland by the Sound of Mull.

4Ling is a slender gadoid fish, usually salted and used for food.

5Tuck is a fish with a thick, round snout resembling the afterpart of a ship where the planks of the bottom terminate in the tuck rail. The word is also occasionally used to refer to fish, often pilchard, taken up by a tuck net.

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