To Benjamin Lincoln
Mount Vernon 1st July 1799
My Dear Sir,
Your favours of the 11th of May and 4th Ulto have come ⟨late⟩ to hand. The last the day before yesterday only.
The cost of the Glass therein enclosed, shall be immediately paid to Messrs Solomon Cotton & Co. Merchts in Baltimore—and for your agency in this business I pray you to accept my thanks.1
The mistake will, I trust, soon be rectified as the wrong box of glass was returned to Baltimore (according to desire) and the proper one expected from thence.2 With the highest esteem and regard I remain my dear Sir Yr Most Obedt & Affece Servt
ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers.
1. GW’s letter of 1 July to the Baltimore firm of Solomon Cotton & Co. led to an exchange of letters. GW wrote on 1 July: “Gentlemen, From my correspondent in Boston, I have (within these two days) received the bill of cost of Glass shipped from thence for my use—viz.—$250.43—and am advised that the amount is to be paid to your house.
“Be so good therefore as to advise me whether you have any Agent in Alexandria to whom I shall pay the money? or whether you would prefer having it remitted in a letter, in Bank notes? as there is no person in Baltimore to whom I give the trouble of doing business for Gentlemen Your Most Obedt Hble Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers). Solomon Cotton & Co. replied on 6 July: “we duly recd yours of the 1st Inst. in answer to your request respecting the money for Mr Kupfer as we have no agent in alexandria we will thank you to be So good as to cutt the bills in halves & Send them at 2 different times” (DLC:GW).
On 10 July GW wrote: “Gentlemen, Enclosed you will receive, I trust, the half parts of Two hundred and fifty dollars, sent in the manner requested by you. The other half parts, I shall retain until I am advised of the safe arrival of these—of which you will please to inform. Gentlemen—Your Most Obedt Servant Go: Washington” (ALS, CSmH; letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers). On the same day GW entered in his Day Book: “By Cash (in Bank notes) sent Messrs Solomon Cotton & Co. Merchts in [Baltimore] for Glass sent me by Genl [Benjamin] Lincoln from the Glass Manufactury at Boston—Mr [Charles F.] Kupfer $250.43.” Solomon Cotton & Co. then wrote on 13 July: “We have the Honor to acknowledge your favor of July 1—for which please to accept our thanks. one of our House having lately gone home to Boston informs us that the Box that was deficient is sent by a more direct way than Coming here—permit us to offer our S⟨ervi⟩ces in Balto: if at any time you may have occasion for them” (DLC:GW).
GW replied on 17 July: “In your letter of the 13th instant, you acknowledged to have recd mine of the 1st of this month, and say nothing of that of the 10th containing the half parts of $250; which by your own desire, were remitted to you therein, although, in the usual course you ought to have received them by the 11th.
“This being the case, I shall withhold the other half parts of the Bank notes until the receipt of the first parts are acknowledged. I am Gentlemen—Your Obedt Hble Servant Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers). On 18 July Solomon Cotton & Co. wrote: “We have just recd yours of Yesterday, are very Sorry you Should have any trouble, about such a trifle, ours of the 13th was an acknowledgement of the rect of the halves of 250 ⟨D.⟩ in bank bills, the Error is in our writing 1st instead of 10th which we find is the Case on referring to our Letter Book—in the Hurry of business we Cannot always be free from Errors” (DLC:GW). GW responded on 21 July: “Gentlemen Enclosed are the other half parts of the two hundred and fifty dollars, remitted in my letter of the 10th instant; together with half a dollar to make the sum charged for the Glass, from the Manufactury at Boston.
“If your letter of the 13th acknowledging the receipt of that from me dated the 1st instant which had been written instead of the 10th which contained the parts of Bills, had taken the least notice of the contents of the latter, all doubt of their having reached you would have ceased, the mistake of dates notwithstanding.
“You will please to acknowledge the receipt of this money—and the purpose for which it has been remitted by—Gentlemen Your Most Obedient Servt Go: Washington” (letterpress copy, NN: Washington Papers).