The Papers of Henry Laurens


[Page 340]

Henry Laurens to William Manning

Dear Sir_

I have not paid my respects to you Since the 19th. June per the Rabbit Capt Fraser_ in the mean time I have received your Sundry favours of the 21st. April 3 May_ 3d & 7th. June & although the last of them came to hand more than a Month Since, yet I have not found time to read them with that attention which is due to the Several Contents_ I have been for a long time past as closely[Page 341] employed as ever I was in any part of my Life, but in a way, not so agreeable; God grant me relief, by relieving my distressed distracted Country_ I would willingly lay down that life, if that would be Sufficient to obtain the latter_ I have just now Seized a leisure of five minutes for giving a very cursory answer to your Letters abovementioned to which I am principally prompted by a desire of doing justice to Messrs Bush & Elton in an article which will be mentioned below, had it not been for that business 'tis probable I might have delayed another Month_
I have Entered to your Credit £17.15.6. Cost of £500 Insurance per the Mermaid_ & £43.19.6. paid Tappenden Stanfield & Denham which you call Thomas Denham & Co._ and to your Debit £72.17.5. for the Dividend from Richard Grubb's Estate_ & £215.6.9._ Received on my Account from Bush & Elton._ the Account introduced against me from Grubb's Estate or present owners of the Magna Charta[1] I think is not right if it proves erroneous upon further examination I will trouble you with remarks to apply to the proper persons.[2] Messrs. Bush & Elton omitted in their Account Sale £7.5.2. their Commission on £290.6._ which they are so good as to Say is Some acknowledgement for Services done them_ but I really do not know of having rendered them any but what they had a just title to, therefore I request you to remit the Said £7.5.2. to them without delay.
I am always content with your transactions on my Account because I know you wish to promote the Interest of every one of your friends therefore have no complaint to make on Account of your Sale of my Rice per Mermaid you acted as appeared to be for my benefit & I am content._[3] I shall be glad to know which of the parcels in particular were complained of_ My own Rice I mean the produce of my own plantations was very good originally but I perceive by a fragment of one Crop which lately came to Town that the Overseer had packed too much in each Barrel in consequence[Page 342] of which it had heated, caked together, become discoloured & produced a great quantity of Dust perhaps the damaged at Cowes might have gone from that plantation_
We have in general appearances of a large Crop of Rice; the Summer, after those pernicious Rains were over which hurt the planting, has been very favourable & I learn, that I Shall make more this Year on my three Southward Plantations than was made last Year_ if no disaster Shall Intervene by Hurricanes between this & latter end of September 'tis probable I Shall have enough at Altamaha to load fully the Mermaid or a Vessel of her burthen_ my produce in this Country I presume will be locked up by the joint operations of the restraining Bill & our own Resolutions_ If Georgia remains unrestrained as to ports Southward of Cape Finistre, I request you to Charter a Ship on my Account qualified by a licence & Certificate to carry Rice to Spain or Portugal & entitle me to all the Markets in those Kingdoms within & without the Medeterranean Sea_ consult an easy draught of Water a good Vessel & a discreet Sober Commander_ burthen not above 800. Barrels of Rice to arrive not Sooner than the 10th. January & not later than 20th. otherwise to be at my option to load_ to lye forty five working days after being ready to receive on board_ to Sail for St. Catharine's Sound & to proceed thence to Sunbury or to Sapelo high point the Extra-pilotage if any to be paid by me_ this latter place is an exceeding Safe & agreeable place to lie at, no kind of disadvantage to the Ship & no other to the Master but that of not being in a Town, but to compensate the want of much Company, his business will be Sooner done & his Seamen will not ramble_ If Capt Yowart could leave Mrs. Yowart at home I dare Say he will have no objection to Sapelo high point where I may probably load his Vessel in thirty days_ nor is the place destitute of Company there are a few very good families in the Neighbourhood & poulty & other provision much cheaper than at Sunbury_ the Vessel may bring as many good Bricks as She can possibly take for Ballast which I will pay for at 20/. Sterling Per thousand delivered on board my Schooner along Side of the Ship_ I beg pardon this would be an Importation_ therefore must not be thought of_ She must come in common Stone Ballast._ if you can not prevail upon a Master to agree to load at Sapelo high point then engage him to go to Sunbury give me previous notice if possible by two conveyances[Page 343] in order that I may lodge proper directions for the reception & dispatch of the Vessel.

I remain with great regard &ca_

LB, HL Papers, ScHi; addressed "William Manning / London / Pr. Capt Wilson"; dated "21st. August. 1775_".
[1.] HL had sold his one eighth interest in the Magna Charta in 1774 to James Bourdieu and Samuel Chollet. The Papers of Henry Laurens, IX, 406; William Manning to HL, April 21, 1775, HL Papers, ScHi.
[2.] The clerk left half a line of blank space here.
[3.] Manning sold this cargo at 13/ per hundredweight less one percent to Messrs. Langkopf, Molling & Rasch. He reported that shortly after the sales the price offered for rice rose to 13/3. William Manning to HL, June 3, 1775, HL Papers, ScHi.