John Thornton to Samuel and William Vernon, Dec. 20 1773
Virga. Fredsburg. Decbr. 20th 1773
Messers. Samuel & William Vernon-
Your sundry favrs. of 9th 7amp; 25th Novr. are at hand and we are much concerned that your instructions of Septembr. were
not better understood - as it woud have been of advantage to the sales of the Othellos cargo, had we been allowed to barter
the slaves for Tobacco or any other our Countrys produce-we can say no more in our justification than that we consulted Capt
Duncan on the subject & acted with view to your interest only - Capt. Hatch informs us, he goes from here to So. Carolina
& we are very doubtfull it will not be in our power to procure freight to Rhode Island for 15 or 20 hhd. Tobo. as most of
the Northern vessels come with design of purchasing & get full pretty readily & we have none here that are to be chartered,
so that we think it woud be best for you to send a small vessel to take it with about 8 Tons of Hemp which we have purchased
and to fitt up with Corn Flower Wheat or any thing else that is to be had here which you may order - There yet remain on hand
21 slaves 3 however dyed and 31 have been disposed of for the sum of £1979.6.0 Virga. currency gross sales. those left on
hand you may believe must be of less value than the others, being 9 old women 4 Men, 3 of them old, 4 small girls & 4 very
small boys which are very unsaleable. there is little prospect of doing any thing with them till this spring, in the mean
time it is our study to keep them at as tight expences as is consistent with the views of turning them to profitt in future.
we have also sold 1 slave for Messers. S & W Vernons Junr. at £50 & one for Mr W Ward Vernon at £52 both gross sales We are
Your obed. hble. servt.
Jno. Thornton, & Co.
[Charles Yates Letterbook, p. 41. 1773-1783 The Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia
#3807 (micro M 570-P)]
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