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Yates to Samuel and William Vernon

Virginia Fredsburg Augt 24 1773

Messers. Samuel & William Vernon
You will by this oprty. be advised by Capt. Jno. Duncan of his arrival here & entering himself on Colo. John Thornton for his services in disposal of the Brigg Othellos Cargo of slaves--as that Gent. admitted me, or rather the House I am a partner in (Vizt. Payne Moor & Co. of Falmt. [Falmouth]) to an equal share of the commissions on sd. Briggs slaves in 1771. I coud not in gratitude refuse his present offer of being concerned in sales of those now arrived - although it would have been much more pleasing to have avoided it, as the prospect before us is by no means favourable either for your advantage or on creditt-Negroes having sold here for some time past very low, and Money is so extremely scarce, that one quarter of their value coud not be obtained if sold for Prompt Payt.-it will therefore be necessary to give a creditt in disposal of them & if it woud answer your Purposes to receive Wheat Flower Indian Corn or any country Produce it will enhance their value considerably---I have only seen Colo Thornton once since Capt. Duncan arrived & it now unluckily happens that he is prevented from riding up hither or giving you a line but has sent a Message desiring I would do it---Monday the 30th Inst. is the Day appointed for opening the sales-before that time I shall wait on him if in the interim he does not get better & consult with him & Capt. Duncan what is most proper to be done for your Interest & as far as we can determine without further instructions, you may rest assured nothing on our Parts shall be wanting--You will please in your first advice be explicit about the mode of remittance I have security prepared for that Purpose - as before said it will certainly be both easier and more to the advantage of the sales here to do it in Produce then Bills or specie of the latter there is little amongst us-& Bills since the late unhappy Failures in England are both scarce & precarious----I am for Colo. Jno. Thornton & my partners Payne & Moor

Your most obed. hble servt.
Chs. Yates

[Note: See John Thornton's ad for a runaway from iron Works near Fredericksburg and sale of cargo of slaves, Virginia Gazette (Dixon & Hunter), Williamsburg, January 31, 1777. Walter Minchinton et al. Virginia Slave Trade Statistics, p. 187, lists the entry of the Brig Othello, Capt. John Duncan, from Newport Rhode Island, with 52 slaves for owners William and Samuel Vernon.]

Bibliographic Information

[Charles Yates Letterbook, p. 15. 1773-1783 The Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia #3807 (micro M 570-P)]


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