Philadelphia 11th Decr 1796.
Since my last to you was dispatched, I have received your letters of the 30th of Novr and 4th inst.
I am sorry to hear that your Wheat begins to heat. If it does this in a degree to do it much injury, it ought to be disposed of for the best price you can get; but otherwise, as I have waited so long to grind it, & shall have occasion for the Bran, I had rather Manufacture it myself.
It is a matter of astonishment to me, that the lower floor of the Barn at Dogue Run has given way so soon. How it was laid at first, being from home, I know not; but if it had been executed according to my directions, & the end of the sleepers, by the tenons had rested on a Wall, it could not have given way until the Sleepers themselves had failed. As the case is, I must endeavour, after I come home, to make the floor without the circle, of some well tempered earth, or composition, to guard against the expence of such frequent decays. In the meantime, the best shift that can, must be made.
I must remind you of having the Pork killed & salted before you go away; and above all things attend to the Ice house, as it is of serious importance on account of fresh meat next summer, that it should be filled.
Not perceiving by the weekly repts, that any of the Trees at the Mansion house have been taken up, or trimmed; and as little, if any thing, can be done at it now, give Mr Anderson all the information you can relative to this business; and turn the string of Memorandums (which I sent to you sometime ago) over to him.
Relying on Mr Smiths making you the first payment (on the 24th instt) according to promise, I request again, that no demand against me may be left unpaid; among these pay Gray the Weaver; and let all that is owing to me, be reduced to promissary notes.
I hope all the Shelters for the Cattle are up, that they may be secure from Snows, Rain and cold weather; for it is always observable, that if they suffer in the early part of Winter, they rarely get perfectly recovered of it.
Mr Craik informs me that Clark (I think his name is) whom you recommended to him, has been very sick, but, notwithstanding, has given evident demonstrations of his fitness as an overlooker. I wish you would make it a point to see Clark, & fix him to me, as agreed, for the next year; otherwise I may have more difficulty in doing it, than at the present time; from causes which you will be at no loss to conjecture. It was extremely unlucky, after waiting so long to get an answer from the Eastern Shore, that I had not waited a few days longer—until Clark arrived—Pray did you see the person on the Eastern shore, when last there, from whom you had been expecting to hear? and what excuse did he make for not fulfilling his promise of writing to you?
In my next letter, I will send you a certificate of my satisfaction in your Services as a Manager. I would have done it now, but am hurried, and it will be in time then. I am Yr friend and well wisher