To William Augustine Washington
Mount Vernon 7th Oct. 1799
My dear Sir,
Strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that your letter of the 30th of August never got to my hands until the 4th instant.1 But it is not unusual for letters by private hands, to be thus delayed; and often to miscarry. By the Post they are certain of getting to hand, & in time.
You will not be surprised after receiving this information, that your request in favour of Mr James Digges Dishman was not complied with, nor, at your being disappointed of Whiskey, required for your own use: for whether sending it, would have placed you in my debt, or left me in yours, would have been no let to its going, then, or at any other time, when you want it.
Mr Dishmans Rye, and yours wd, & now will, if it is yet to be disposed of, be received, Bushel for Gallon (delivered at my landing) ; and with respect to Wheat, in a letter written to you about a fortnight ago, I requested you to inform me if any Crops were to be bought in your part of the Country; informing you at the sametime of my desire to purchase a quantity. Enclosed, are the present prices of this article in Alexandria. These I am willing now to give, or the Cash price at the time of delivery; to be ascertained by the purchasers Books, of that date. The Wheat to be delivered at my Landing.2
We shall always be glad when your health, inclination and convenience will admit of it, to see Mrs Washington and yourself at this place—to whom, Mrs Washington unites her best wishes with those of My dear Sir Your sincere friend and Affectionate Uncle
ALS, NN: Liebman Collection; ALS (letterpress copy), ViMtvL.
1. Letter not found. On 22 Sept. GW acknowledged the receipt of William Augustine Washington’s missing letter of 15 September.
2. The enclosure, headed “Prices of Wheat in Alexandria 5th October 1799 by advice,” reads: “For good white Wheat, weighing 58 lbs. the measured bushel, the price in Cash is 8/9d. And for red wheat, weighing the same the measured bushel, the price 8/3d. for every 60 lbs. weight; the same weight is required in white Wheat, as the weights of Wheat pr bushel, whether white or red, must be 60 lbs. And provided the Wheat is fine, and that the measured bushel weighs more than 58 lbs. then there is 2d. advance allowed for every pound above 58 lbs.—And on the other hand, if Wheats are light, & under 58 lbs. the measured bushel, then 2d. pr lb. is deducted for every lb. under 58 lbs.—and when the grain is very poor say weighing only 50, 52, or 53 lbs. pr bushel there is a greater deduction, as wheats of these Wts produce little flour & the quality not good. Rye, in common, is bought & recd by the measured bushel—Yet, notwithstanding, some purchasers this yr in Alexandria have fixed 56 lbs., as the weight of the Bushl” (AD, NN). Below this, GW wrote: “The above is an Extract of a letter just Received.” The letter has not been identified. James Degges Dishman was left land in the 1778 will of his uncle James Degges of Westmoreland County (Fothergill, Wills of Westmoreland County, description begins Augusta B. Fothergill. Wills of Westmoreland County, Virginia, 1654–1800. 1925. Reprint. Baltimore, 1973. description ends 169).