George Washington Papers

To George Washington from Thomas Law, 9 April 1799

From Thomas Law

Washington April 9th 1799.

Dear Sir,

I am honoured with your obliging note by Mr Lear,1 the “Barclay” is arrived at Philadelphia2 Mr Miller sends by Mr Simpson on the same ships two bags, one countg 30 lb. of grain, and the other 40 lb. of a different kind, together with some 12 or 14 smaller seeds of the cold weather for the purpose of food for mare and horse.3 There are 175 parcels of different seeds all marked with the scientific names &ca.4

We are all occupied in the city by gardening. Eliza desires her most afft. regards & I remain With unfeigned esteem and respect, Your afft. humble servt

Thos Law

Sprague transcript, DLC:GW.

1GW’s note to Law has not been found, but it could have been dated as late as 7 April when Lear wrote to Alexander Hamilton from Mount Vernon. See GW to Hamilton, 25 Feb. 1799 (first letter), n.2.

2In an undated letter, assigned the date c.25 April, Law wrote GW that the “George Berkely” had arrived in Philadelphia with “the Boxes.” See note 4.

3Mr. Miller may be the prominent Philadelphia merchant John Miller, Jr. Mr. Simpson has not been identified.

4It would seem that Law had received and was forwarding to GW the enclosed List of Plants in Box No. 1. For Genl Washington and List of seeds in Box No. 2 For Genl Washington before the two boxes from India (or the East Indies) had themselves arrived at Georgetown from Philadelphia (see note 2). In his letter dated c.25 April, Law indicates that that letter itself along with the two boxes were being conveyed across the Potomac to GW at Mount Vernon in the George Berkeley. The list of the botanic names of forty-six plants in box 1 includes ornamental trees, shrubs, herbs, and other plants of all sorts, many semitropical and tropical: such plants as loquat, mango, lichee and betel nuts, crape myrtle, gardenia, French honeysuckle, marjoram, spirea, cactus, and coffee. This list and the list of 175 packets of seeds of different exotic plants are in DLC:GW.

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