George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Joseph Caverly, 12 January 1794

From Joseph Caverly

West River [Maryland] 12th Jany 1794

Dear Sir

I under stand that their are A Number of Ships of war to Be Built. I Should Be Glad if it would not Be to troblesom to you for you to Assist me In Arecting A Yard In this state1 and if you should not think me capelable of that Business I could Git A Recommendation from comedore Nickelson of New York to whome I have Rote on the Subject their is A Near Neighbour By Name Richard Spriggs that has A Very Larg Quanety of timber Both pine and Oak and of a Good Quallity in Diferen[t] parts of this State if Youl Be so Kind as to Assest me in this Business I shall take it A Very Great favour also to send the Inclosed Letters to Commedore Nickelson.2 I am with Respect Your Obet Svt

Jos: Caverly

ALS, DNA: RG 59, Miscellaneous Letters.

1Apparently, Joseph Caverly recently had decided to move his shipbuilding business from Alexandria, Va., to Maryland. By 1796 he had formed a partnership with Jeremiah Yellott of Baltimore. The USS Baltimore, a sloop of war, was built at Caverly’s shipyard in 1798 as the merchant ship Adriana before its acquisition by the Navy later that year (Federal Gazette & Baltimore Daily Advertiser, 27 July 1796, 11 Aug. 1798; Dictionary of American Naval Fighting Ships [Washington, D.C., 1959], 1:88).

2Caverly’s letter to James Nicholson, a resident of New York City, has not been identified. His neighbor may have been Richard Sprigg, Jr., whose estate of Strawberry Hill overlooked Annapolis, Maryland. No reply from GW has been found.

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