Virginia, Gunston Hall, June 3, 1790.
This will be delivered you by your partner Mr. Joseph Fenwick, and as he proposes going by land to Boston, and embarking from thence, or from Portsmouth in New Hampshire, it will hardly come to your hands before the latter end of September, before which it is probable I shall have other different opportunities of writing to you. Mr. Fenwick's long stay in America, and the necessity you will be under of staying in Bordeaux, some time after his arrival, to adjust and fully settle your affairs, so as to take away all cause for any confusion or dispute hereafter, will, I fear, prevent your embarking for America this year; unless you can get a passage to South Carolina, so as to arrive there in the month of November, for I would wish you to avoid a winter passage, especially after your late long ill state of health. And therefore I think you had better stay in France until next spring, than risk passage in the depth of winter; more particularly if you come to any of the northern or middle States. Should you spend this winter in France, and find Bordeaux still disagree with your constitution, I would advise you to go to Marseilles, or some place in the south [of] France, and return to Bordeaux in the spring; as you will probably not meet with a passage from any of the ports in the Mediterranean, and even if you could, the danger of falling into the hands of the Algerines is such a shocking circumstance, as I would have you by all means avoid.
I would strongly recommend your availing yourself of every means and opportunity of making yourself acquainted with commercial customs of France, and what of their produce or manufactures will suit the respective States here, and can be imported upon advantageous terms, so as to be able to give satisfactory information to the merchants in our different sea port towns, which you will find of infinite advantage to your house, when you make the tour you propose through the United States; which I still think it will be proper for you to do.
Adieu, my dear John, and believe me, Your most affectionate father,