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Yates to George McCall, Jan. 30, 1776

Virga. Fredsburg Jany. 30th 1776

Mr Geo. McCall
My Dear Sir
This day has afforded me the pleasure of your agreeable favr. of 13th Septr. which got to hand with some others from your side the water & happened to be the only one which had not been inspected - a proceeding now very common but in my opinion not cleverly conducted - for although it may be right when all is at stake to guard against every possable contingency - yet I think opening of Letters shoud be conducted with the greatest delicacy - which has not been the case here - one of mine to my friend Mr Ellison of Wthaven on business, but containing also the Dolefull tidings of the fate of a Dog he had sent me who was hanged for sheep stealing - related in my free rattling way which I so often use with my intimates happening to fall in to certain hands at Port Royall for whose view it was not intended - caused as I have been told various surmises not without some of that suspicion that generally attends your very illiberal zealots - it appears that I either forgot or did not think it necessary to write the word Dog but to his quondam Master called him plain Pierro - said he had a fair tryal &c &c - however it seems neither head nor tail coud be made of by the Letter openers of what they read - every one told the story in the manner he thought it ought to be solved; his hearers repeated what had been said to them with [illeg.] tyrants & garrisons till at length the tale of poor Pierro's end was so mangled that with many I was set down as a rank Tory - or an enemy to Virginia - which was in the opinion of others calling me a down right fool -------- I differ much with you about battling in Virginia it has begun by the totall destruction of Norfolk - I wish it may end there - You are on the right side of the water to know how to manage in the disposal of your Tobo. when ever we are to have peace restored, the olive branch must be held out by those who now seem resolved in sending us scourges - in short whether the Majr house will believe it or not you may rest assured not a single hhd. will be sent you, till lord N's tone is changed or America humbly kiss his feet & I will venture to take Sams title & say that the latter will not be in seven years which is a reasonable time allowed for emptying your cellars & ships too.
What you say about the manufacturers & Labourers I must confess stands with me at this hour in the same light it did with you 12 Months ago ---
I have seen well authenticated estimates of the American imports of British manufactures, & think them of very great importance & am persuaded you will be of my opinion in a year or two if we are to be so unhappy as to continue to be at Loggerheads during that time - perhaps it has not occurred to you how close every thing set for American consumpt was shipd of in the fall 1774 or that a Trade may for certain ends be forced for awhile - but cannot long continue ----- It is with great pleasure I hear that you have at length as you think, subdued the old knavish Parson - I know no other way of apologising for the great trouble you have had in this business than requesting that you will when the cash is received make arrangments & let me know the remainder in your hands for which I will draw on you ---- ---- I think as Mrs McCall has laid to your charge since I had the pleasure to see her -- George Jack & Christie - you have every just right to charge at least one Penny Per lb. to the modest price you seem to expect for your Tobacco - it might not be amiss I think from present appearances here (however, as I have before said the Judgmt. must be formed on your side) to stick out for 6 d. because your Lady will most probably in due course of time swell your List to a round dozen & from the sample I saw there is little doubt of their having pretty quick & regular demands on you from the time Miss Megg was eighteen ----- I am resolved to live in Virga. if I can till better times, but hope not to die in it - Wherever I am, be assured my sincerest wishes are for Mrs McCalls, yours and familys happiness, being most truly
Your obliged friend & servant
Chs. Yates

As oprtys offer please tender my best respects to your Brother Jno. & Family Mr Smith & all you know I have regard for of our mutual acquaintance ----
This letter stopped by Jno. Tennant who extracted a part of it & circulated Copy, one to the Chairman of our Committee - original got back & not since forwarded

Bibliographic Information

[Charles Yates Letterbook, pp. 184-185. 1773-1783 The Harrison Institute and Small Special Collections Library, University of Virginia #3807 (micro M 570-P)]


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