Gunston-Hall Decemr. 9th. 1791.
I recd. yrs. yesterday Afternoon, by Capt. Fenwick, & approve your Sale of my Wheat. I had much rather have had it measured & weigh'd here, at the Delivery; having always lost by remeasuring in Alexandria; but think, with you, it was better to give up that, than miss the Opportunity of selling; as I am apprehensive the price is falling, and besides, as it is a wasting Article, I am anxious to deliver it as quickly as possible, & before the Frost sets in. I wish to set about delivering the Wheat from Dogues Run & little Hunting Creek, without Loss of Time, for fear of the Roads getting bad. You will therefore speak to Mr. Willson to receive it, as soon as he can; & give Groves (my Overseer at Dogues Run) Notice when to begin sending it in. I hope it will be by Tuesday morning next; at which time the man I have employed to waggon it, tells me he shall be ready, & out of Employment, waiting to carry my Wheat.
I shall direct my Overseer & the Wagoner to attend to the weighing & measuring what Wheat is deliver'd, by Land, from my upper Quarters; but I must get you to attend to the weighing & measuring what the Vessel carrys up from my Quarters on the River; for I know the Alexandria half Bushels differ from each other, & some of them from the County Standard, notwithstanding their being stamp'd; as they are not stamp'd by a proper Officer; but by some of the Coopers in Town; anybody, who pleases, having Access to the County Standard. The fairst Way of Weighing is to lay by every 50th or 100th half Bushell, by itself; then weigh that, &compute the Load by that Average. My Wheat, I expect will weigh well. You have not told me; whether Mr. Willson is to take such of the Overseer's Shares, as chuse it, upon the same terms. Mitchell has sold his, at the same Price, to Mr. Hartshorn's Mill. I don't know whether any of the other overseers have sold theirs, or not. You will let me know, by the Return of the Bearer, whether they have the Option of selling it with mine. The Bad Weather has prevented my Overseers from coming up, in my little Boat. You may therefore send, by the Bearer, such of the Articles I desired you to buy for me, as he can bring in his Saddle bags, with a List of them.
Since I wrote to you last, I have collected a few more Hhds. of Tobo. which enables me to furnish you (instead of 65) with 72 Hhds. of Tobo. vizt. in Chickamuxon-8. in Aquia-4. in Quantico, & Dumfries 25. in Colchester 23—in Alexandria 10 & in the Falls Warehouse 2. I inclose you Notes, & an order for the 10 Hhds. in Alexandria, & notes for the 2 Hhds. at the Falls, with a Memodm. from Capt. Fenwick, respecting that at the Falls. The Notes for all the rest I have delivered to Capt. Fenwick. I also enclose you an Acct. of the whole 72 Hhds. in two seperate Lists; 39 Hhds. in one List, & 33. Hhds. in the other: the 39 Hhds in one list being my own Crops & Rent Tobo. & the 33 Hhds. in the other List being what I purchased this Fall, upon Speculation. That I may know what I gain or lose by the Project, I am desirous, if it can be done, without Inconvenience to you, to have seperate Bills of Loading & Accts. of Sale for the Tobo. in the respective Lists. And I wou'd prefer sending the Tobo. in both Lists to Marseilles; provided you can so accomodate it, without Inconvenience, or Delay, Loading the Ships; but manage this, to suit your own Business. The 13 Hhds. for which I deliver'd you the Notes, some time ago, I then told you, I wish'd to ship to Marseills; but upon Reflection since; as those 13 Hhds. were the picking of my own Crops in this Neck, & of a Quality, which may probably suit the British or Irish Smuglers, I believe it will be best to send them to Bourdeaux. As soon as you have determined how to dispose of all my Tobo. you will inform & transmit me the Bills of Loading; that I may have my Letters &c. ready. I shall depend upon you to order Insurance upon what Tobo. is ship'd for me; at Rate of about £6. . Sterling Hogshead; except the 13 Hhds. first delivered you, which I wou'd have insured at about £7. . 10. . Per Ster: Per Hogshead; unless you make a general Insurance upon the Vessels Cargoes; in which Case, it will hardly be worth while to make any Difference.
I am in Hopes the Tobo. I have now furnished you with, will enable you to refuse any Tobo. in the Brig from Marseille's, except upon Consignment to your own Friend there: first because taking any upon Consignment to another House may, perhaps, disoblige some of those, who have already agreed to consign to your Friend; and se[c]ondly, because Marsells may probably become a considerable Tobo. Port, & this Beginning may probably secure to you great Part of the Business from thence; Whereas Part of the Tobo. being consigned to another House, might create a Rivalship, to Your Disadvantage.
The Weather is, at present, a little alarming; but it is too early for the Frost to continue; & I think the Weather will soon be mild again. I am Dr. John, your affecte. Father