Virginia Gunston-Hall May 20th. 1790.
I take the Opportunity, per the Ship Confidence Capt. de Bore, to send you, Via Havre de Grace, (where the Ship is to touch for Orders) a Duplicate of my Letter of the same Date, & by the same Route, to Messrs. Fenwick Mason & Compy., covering the first Bill of a Set of Exchange on Messrs. Thos. Clagett & Company Merchants in London for £500..0.. Sterling, pble to me, & by me indorsed to your House. I now enclose the second Bill of the same Set; and refer you to the enclosed Duplicates of my said Letters, for Information respecting it, &c.
Capt. Fenwick has been obliged to charter the Ship Confidence at a very low Freight, rather than send her back (unchartered) in Ballast; which has been the Fate of many of the Ships sent out to America for Wheat & Flour, & has reduced Freights this Year lower than ever they were known before.
My Reason for remitting the above mentioned second Bill by this Conveyance, via Havre de Grace is, that it is uncertain when your Ship the Washington will be ready to sail. I fear it will be very difficult to procure a load for her; for the Confusion & uncertain State of Affairs in France, makes People cautious of venturing their Property there; which together with the low Price of Tobo. at that Market last Fall discourages everybody from shipping thither; & it will not answer to purchase on your own Accounts; Tobo. now selling here from 18/ to 20/ per hund. Virga. Curry., & expected to be higher; at the same time that Exchange for Bills on London is at 15 to 20 pct.
As I have some exceeding fine, broad leaf'd strong Tobo. this Year, I wish to be advised, as quickly as possible, whether you think it will answer at Bourdeaux, for Exportation, as for the British Smuglers, & what price you think such Tobo. will command.
I heartily wish the french Nation Success in establishing their new Government, upon the Principles of Liberty, & the sacred Rights of human Nature; but I dread the Consequences of their Affairs remaining so long in an unsetled State. Their Finances, their Commerce, & some of their most important Interests, must suffer exceedingly by it; besides the Risque of the most respectable Part of the People (which is always found in the Middle Walks of Life) being disgusted, and worn down, with so long a Scene of Doubt & Uncertainty, not to say Anarchy.
I wrote you in my last, that the Crops of Wheat were very unpromising. We have lately had a long Spell of cold dry Weather, which has made them still worse. This Day we have had a fine moderate rain, which seems to be general, tho' not yet a sufficient Quantity. It will, no Doubt, recover the Wheat considerably; but no Weather, in my Opinion, can now produce a full crop.
I yesterday received your Letter of the 30th. of March, via New Hampshire, & rejoyce to hear you are so much recovered. I have no Doubt but the approaching Summer, & the use of the Cold-Bath will compleatly restore you.
As soon as you have determined upon it, let me know your intended Route, & Plan, on your Return to America; & what Letters you wish me to furnish you with. I am just recovered from a three months Fit of the Gout. All the Family here & at Lexington, are well, & join in their best Respects to you with?our affecte. Father
P. S. Your Brother William has this Day sold his Mattawoman & Pomankey crop of Tobo. at four Dollars Per hund. wth. 4 per Ct. for Caske.
I have lately been appointed a Senator for the Commonwealth of Virginia, in the Senate of the United States; but have refused to serve.