To Clement Biddle
Mount Vernon 13th Novr 1799
You will perceive by the enclosed Invoice & Bill of Lading, that two Pipes of old Madeira Wine, & two Boxes of Citron have been Shipped by Charles Alder and Co. for my use, on Board the Ship Lavinia, James Cook Masr, bound for Philadelphia.
As the original letter, enclosing these papers, has been received (via Philadelphia) It is presumed that the Wine is safe in that Port. I have to request the favour of you, therefore, to receive these things; Pay the freight and Duty; and to forward them by a safe conveyance to me. The amount of cost shall be paid so soon as you shall advise me of it.1
At the sametime that you send the Wine, forward, I pray you, one hundred, or an hundred & fifty pounds of best Mokha Coffee2—a small chest of the finest Tea—say about 25 lbs.—and two boxes of Spirma citi candles.
Let me know at what price Clover seed sells—and whether good Lucern seed can be had?3 Neither this kind of Seed, the White Clover, or Blue grass seeds with which you furnished me this Spring, was worth the freight; little or none of it came up. Add if you please, the present prices of Wheat & Flour; and continue to mention them in your letters thereafter.4
In September last, I enclosed Mr Jos. Anthony a check on the Bank of Pennsylvania for $56 in discharge of my subscription for Mr John Trumbulls Prints; and requested, when he received the money, to send me a receipt therefor; since which havg heard nothing from him, I take the liberty of putting the enclosed letter for Mr Anthony, under cover to you, that I may learn what has become of the former, & the check.5 With very great esteem & regard I remain Dear Sir Your Most Obedient Servant
ALS, PHi: Washington-Biddle Correspondence; ALS (letterpress copy), NN: Washington Papers.
1. For the correspondence relating to the shipment of wine to GW from Madeira, see GW to Elias Boudinot, 22 June 1799, n.2. On the back of a note drawn by Charles Alder & Co. on Tobias Lear for £84 for the value of the wine shipped to GW, GW certified on 14 Nov. that it had been “Presented and accepted” (advertised by Charles Hamilton, 18 Sept. 1969, item 359; see also Cash Memoranda, 1797-99 description begins "Cash + Entries & Memorandums," 1 Sept. 1797–3 Dec. 1799. Manuscript in John Carter Brown Library, Providence. description ends , 14 Nov. 1799).
2. Coffee from the Red Sea city of Mokha (Mocha) was considered the best.
3. Biddle wrote above the word “Clover,” “10 Ds. Bushel,” and above “Lucern,” “5/7½ lb. (old).”