Gunston-Hall Decemr. 15th. 1791-12 o'Clock
Your Brother George having Occasion to send to Alexandria, I take the Opportunity of writing by his Messenger, and wish to hear whether most of your long expected Craft has arrived; & whether you have secured Tobo. enough for both yr. Ships, &c. Thinking you wou'd be glad to hear how yr. Craft in Occoquan is going on, I sent this Morning to know. Mr. Bayly writes me, that the Craft which took in Tobo. from Colchester Ware house, for you, a few Days ago, got out of Occoquan Yesterday, & he imagines is at Alexandria before this time; and that another Craft of yours (I presume that which went to Chickuxon for my Tobo. there) is now at the Wharf at Colchester, taking in 23 Hhds. of my Tobo. & 5 Hhds. ship'd by Mr. Carter of Nomoni, & will go off this Evening.
The Mercury is now at 40 Degrees in Farenheit's Thermomiter, 8 Degrees above the freezing Point. If this weather holds another Day, it will certainly open all the Creeks. Indeed I expect the Creek at Dumfries will be open this afternoon; so that, if the Skippers of the Craft do their Duty, all your Tobo. from these Warehouses will be up this Week.
About Christmass, or two or three Days before, the Winter's Frost may probably set in; before which time, I hope you will be able to get your Ships loaded, & down the River. After you have made your Arrangements, with Respect to my Tobo. & got it on board the Ships, give me the earliest Information you can; that I may have my Letters &c, ready.
You know it is my Custom to enclose exact Lists of the Marks Nos. & Weights (Gross Ton & Nett) of my Tobo. with the Bills of Loading.
Pray tell Mr. Willson, I am surprized at his not having sent, a Vessell for my Wheat; being very anxious to have it taken away, before the Frost sets in; & therefore desire the Opportunity, this fine Weather affords, may not be lost. I am, dear John, Yr. affecte. Father
P. S. Pray get me a good Closet Lock; & send it by the Bearer; if from Mr. Hodgson's, to be charged to my Acct. if from any other Store, you will please to pay the Cash for it.