Inventory of the George Washington Parke Custis Papers, 1832-1856 Custis, George Washington Parke, 1832-1856 Mss. 65 C96

Inventory of the George Washington Parke Custis Papers, 1832-1856

A Collection in the
Manuscripts and Rare Books Department
Collection Number Mss. 65 C96


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Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary

Special Collections
Earl Gregg Swem Library
College of William and Mary
Williamsburg, Virginia 23187-8794
USA
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Email: spcoll@wm.edu
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© 2001 By the College of William and Mary

Funding: Web version of the finding aid funded in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Processed by: Peg Poeschl and Alan Strange, 1983-1984.

Repository
Special Collections, Earl Gregg Swem Library, College of William and Mary
Collection number
Mss. 65 C96
Title
George Washington Parke Custis Papers, 1983-1984.
Extent
55 items.
Creators
George Washington Parke Custis,Francis Nelson.
Language
English
Abstract
Letters, 1832-1856, of George Washington Parke Custis of "Arlington House," Virginia, to Francis Nelson, the manager of his "White House" plantation in New Kent County, Virginia.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Collection is open to all researchers.

Publication Rights/Restrictions on Use

Before publishing quotations or excerpts from any materials, permission must be obtained from the Curator of Manuscripts and Rare Books, and the holder of the copyright, if not Swem Library.

Preferred Citation

George Washington Parke Custis Papers, Manuscripts and Rare Books Department, Swem Library, College of William and Mary.

Acquisition Information

Deposit: 55 items, 30 January 1948.


Biographical/Historical Information

George Washington Parke Custis was the son of John Parke Custis who was the stepson of George Washington. Custis' mother was Eleanor Calvert. He grew up at "Mount Vernon" after the death of his father. He married Mary Lee Fitzhugh and lived at "Arlington." His daughter Mary Anna Randolph Custis married Robert E. Lee. George Washington Parke Custis was a playwright and agricultural reformer.

Scope and Content Information

Papers, 1832-1856, of George Washington Parke Custis of "Arlington." The collection is mostly letters written to Francis Nelson, his farm manager at "White House," New Kent County, Virginia concerning growing and marketing crops, agricultural improvements, the effect of the proposed Richmond and York River Railroad on the plantation, and Robert E. Lee. There are a few additional letters to Nelson from merchants and railroad officials, and photostats of 2 additional Custis letters.

Arrangement

Organization

This collection is organized three series: Series 1 contains materials dated 1832-1849, Series 2 contains materials dated 1850-1854, Series 3 contains materials dated 1855-1856.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged chronologically by date.


Index Terms

    Persons:

  • Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807- 1870.
  • Nelson, Francis.
  • Subjects:

  • Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial (Va.)
  • Railroads-- Virginia--History.
  • Railroads--United States--History.
  • White House (Washington, D.C.)
  • Occupations:

  • Farm management--Virginia--History.
  • Farm management--Southern States-- History.

Components List

Materials, 1832-1849.
Folder: 1
19 items.
Series 1: 1832-1849
  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Charles Fenton Mercer, n.p., 17 Feb[ruar]y [1832].
    3 pages.Positive pst. of ALS.

    Expresses joy that Congress has proposed to exhume the body of "my venerable Grandparent" [George Washington] and as the "last but one survivor of the family of Washington," consents to his reburial "beneath the dome of the Senate house."

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse]," Virginia, 23 April 1844.
    1 page.ALS.

    Asks if he can send herring up to him as the fishing in the Potomac has been bad, so the price is very high $3.50 to $4 per 1000; corn is 44 to 45 cents and will probably go up to 50 or 60 cents in June.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia, 29 August 1845.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Has received the draft for $1025; Nelson can dispose of the rest of the corn as he wishes; the news we are soon to receive from England may greatly affect the price of wheat and corn; is gratified to hear Nelson will have 2500 to 3000 bushels of wheat the best in 45 years; Custis will visit in October.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 2 May 1846.
    1 page.ALS.

    Wrote three weeks ago and has received no reply and as he has not heard from his estates for nearly half a year, is anxious for news; would have visited but his health has been poor.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 9 May 1846.
    1 page.ALS.

    Wrote three weeks ago and has received no reply and as he had not heard from his estates for nearly half a year, is anxious for news; would have visited but his health has been poor.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House, [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 27 Jan[uar]y 1847.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Gives Nelson directions for remitting several drafts; is happy with the 1000 barrels of corn Nelson will have for sale, especially as the price is still rising; is glad the wheat is promising and that they will soon be able to compare the value of "oyster shells and Marl," and the improvements by "plaister and clover; requests Nelson be careful with curing the hams as some have arrived "injured."

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 2 Feb[ruar]y 1847.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Advises him not to sell the 1000 barrels of corn at 80 cents a bushel in New York, $1 in Baltimore and if they wait they too will get $1 a bushel; needs the money and wants to enjoy the rarity of selling a good crop at a good price.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House,", [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 25 Feb[ruar]y 1847.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Suspension of the [British] Navigation laws has temporarily caused the price of corn to steady but it will soon rise again; will sell his corn at $1, although by next August the price should be great as there are reports of demand abroad even in the Mediterranean; in 1810[?] will actually go to $9 a barrel; on the 22nd was at a celebration in Alexandria and shipwrecked on the way home; there will be a railroad built across the "White House" estate; will send instructions regarding this later.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 21 July 1847.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Nelson's good news regarding the wheat and corn crops has bettered his spirits which are low due to the loss of the sale of the corn crop; the markets in Europe are still depressed but surely have reached their lowest point; when to sell the wheat will depend upon the English harvest; advises Nelson to go ahead and sell the ship timber; the success of the Oyster Shell [fertilizer] will transfer the Pamunkey [rive] lands.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White house, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 25 Aug[u]st 184.
    1 page.ALS.

    Prices in Europe have declined even further, but may go up if rains hit the harvest there; his health is bad and spirits, low.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 28 Sept[embe]r 1847.
    1 page.ALS.

    Feels Nelson has made a judicious sale of the wheat, considering the times and prices; advises to sell the corn South in Norfolk or Richmond as prices in North are lower; his health is better with the waning of the frosts.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 26 Oct[obe]r 1847.
    2 pages.ALS.

    The prices of breadstuffs are better here than in Europe; corn is 75 and 80 cents in Philadelphia and New York, wheat is $1.35 to $1.50 in the North; was not in New York for the laying of the Corner Stone of the Washington Monument despite what the papers say; the prices for corn and wheat should be good in Baltimore due to the burning of the Gallego mills.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson,, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 4 Jan[uar]y 1848.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Nelson's draft for $600 is greatly appreciated as Custis has agreements due now and would have had to have sold his corn early; gives specification for Chestnut rails [for railroad?]; is readying his Pocosin [lands?] for planting.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 13 May 1848.
    2 pages.ALS.

    The price of breadstuffs is improving so he wishes to wait before selling his corn; if Nelson's fishery was good he wants him to lend him [GWPC] $300-$400.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia, 4 June 1849.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Thanks Nelson for the butter and corn; notes the price of corn is rising but, as he needs the money, wants Nelson to sell it when he feels it adviseable; is not surprised Nelson's fishery was bad as it was bad on the Potomac and Delaware also; sounds like the wheat crop will be fine.

  • Folder 1
    Georege W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 17 June 1849.
    2 pages.ALS.

    The price of corn has advanced in Europe so he hopes his money needs will be met; there is cholera at the plantations on the James River, in Gloucester, and on the York River; advises to prepare phials of camphor and give one to each overseer and keep one in the house to be used at first instance of cramps; the rains have worked wonders on the wheat crops.

  • Folder 1
    McConky & Co., Baltimore [Md.], to Francis Nelson, "White House," near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia, 25 Aug[us]t 1849.
    1 page.ALS.

    Informs him of the sale of Major Custis' wheat which had been sent on the Schooner Harold.

    This letter was included within the letter listed below; D. McConky & Co., Baltimore, to George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, ["Arlington House," Arlington, Virginia], 21 August 1849.

  • Folder 1
    D. McConky & Co., Baltimore, to George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, ["Arlington House," Arlington, Virginia], 21 August 1849
    1 page.

    A receipt for the sale of his wheat.

    This letter was included within the above letter; McConky & Co., Baltimore [Md.], to Francis Nelson, "White House," near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia, 25 Aug[us]t 1849.

  • Folder 1
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 12 Sept. 1849.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Is glad to hear Nelson has been healthy here they have had dysentery and diarrhea but no losses; tells Nelson to sell the rest of his wheat as best he can and from that money to pay Mrs. Nelson her $1000; hopes she will wait for payment of the interest on it as he has other debts to pay; has been truly economical spending only on essentials for his family and on manure for his fields; hopefully the next crop will solve his problems.

Materials, 1850-1854.
Folder: 2
21 items.
Series 2: 1832-1849
  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 19 Feb[ruar]y 1850.
    1 page.ALS.

    Has received Nelson's letter and draft; will be in Richmond the 22nd and ready to accompany Nelson to the "White House" on Saturday.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," {Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 3 April 1850.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Is anxious to hear how Nelson sold the corn, about the wood cutting, and how the wheat crop is; does Nelson think anything will come of steam navigation on the Pamunkey or a plank road to Richmond?; the fishery on the Potomac is the best for March in 20 years; any money to be spared can be used, for it is time to buy guano, cloves and plaister; please send the barrel of herring to Baltimore.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 11 Dec. 1850.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Questions whether anything grew out of the suggestion to initiate steam navigation on the York River and its branches in New Kent, Hanover and King William counties; corn prices are up in Europe and will probably be $3 a barrel by spring; hears the people of Albemarle wish to build a railroad from near Hanover Court House to the tide water of the Pamunkey [River] so they needn't unload and reship at Richmond, bu such improvements go slowly in Virginia.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 5 June 1851.
    1 page.ALS.

    Still needs the advance of $600 on the corn, which he will pay back as soon as the corn sells; expects the largest crop of wheat ever on his estate.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 15 Jan[uar]y 1852.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Is sorry he did not get to see Nelson before the severe weather set in; Nelson did well to get 90 cents for his wheat; corn is at 60 cents; is proud of the improvements Nelson has made on his estate; "indeed it may be fairly said the Old Virginia is rising from the dead"; Nelson and Mr. [Edmund?] Ruffin should publish a memoir Improvements on the Pamunkey so as to aid others by their success.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis, "Arlington House." [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 26 Ap[ri]l 1852.
    2 pages.ALS.

    The severe weather has thrown all his occupations backwards; the fish in the Potomac are late; needs the money from the corn; has Nelson send a barrel of herring from the Pamunkey as they are fatter, larger and better than those of the Potomac; asks for herring to be sent to his daughter Mrs. Lee; orders oars for his market boat; feels wood will be in demand as he has heard some New York people are planning to run steamers to Eltham[?] and a railroad from there to Richmond.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 30 June [18]52.
    1 page.ALS.

    Has not heard from Nelson since last October and needs the money for the corn crop to carry him over until his wheat goes to market as he is out of money.

  • Folder 2
    George Wk[ashington] P[arke]Cutis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt H[ouse], Virginia," 22 March 1853.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Fish is fast becoming the most expensive article of food in the United States; 50 cents for a shad or herring, $6 a thousand for herring, $8 to $10 for a hundred shad; needs money to pay for repairs on his mills; has heard that the assembly passed the Pamunkey railroad and feels the "White House" would be a good place for it to meet the water; as vice president of the Virginia chapter of the U. S. Agricultural Society he plans to elect Nelson to it.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 9 June 1853.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Col. [Robert E. Lee] will be here soon and will help him with his business affairs; they would not be in so bad a shape except that the man he contracted with to cut pine on Smith Island forfeited his contract; needs an advance on the wheat; is not feeling well.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia, 30 June 1853.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Made out very badly with the corn; Nelson should do well with the wheat this year; he plans to go to West Point [New York] for his health probably the last time he will go abroad; made a speech before the United States Agriculture Society of Virginia and mentioned Nelson's services to the restoration of agriculture in this state.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 27 July 1853.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Feels Nelson received a good price for the wheat, but if war comes to Europe prices will go up; Col. [Robert E.] Lee is here with Custis's grandchildren and Custis will soon go to West Point [New York] for his health; it is good Nelson is fallowing for wheat, twenty years ago this was unheard of; they are talking again of a railroad to the Pamunkey; wants Nelson to get it to cross the "White House" estate.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, West Point, New York to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 22 Aug[u]st 1853.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Is comfortably fixed at Col. [Robert E.] Lee's quarters and Nelson can direct his mail here; the railroad from Richmond to the Pamunkey will certainly be built; wants Nelson to represent his interests if it crosses the "White House" estate a city will build up there.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 23 Oct[obe]r 1853.
    2 pages.ALS.

    The Richmond market is the only one where grain is sold on credit and this is unfair to the farmer; feels next year they should insist on money or take the wheat to Baltimore or New York; Corn is worth $4 a barrel; is sure the improvements at "White House" will compare favorably to any ordered elsewhere.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia] to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent, C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 2 Feb[ruar]y 1854.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Has heard the railroad is to be built, and as the "White House" is the nearest point to deep navigable water on the Pamunkey they should try to get the route as it would greatly cut their distance to market; the price of wheat in New York, $2.56, is the highest ever in the United States; as a consequence land is at an astounding price for example, $100 an acre unimproved in Fairfax; corn is also on the rise; may go to Europe next summer.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House." [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent Ck[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 24 April 1854.
    4 pages.ALS.

    Is trying to settle his account with Mrs. Nelson with the help of Mr. Stompers; Colonel [Robert E.] Lee was there to help him, as he is a master of accounts; fishery on the Potomac has been tolerable; has heard the York River Railroad is to go to West Point; the rule is for the directors to bargain directly with the proprietors over compensation for the right of way, and if they can't agree the Commissioners of the Court decide; hopes to go to Europe to better his health and spirits.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 7 May 1854.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Fishery in the Potomac has been the worst ever; tells Nelson to pay Mrs. Nelson from the corn crop now and later from the wheat; has been assured that the railroad will run through Romancock to West Point, and Nelson should get good compensation for the right-of-way, but must get it in cash; feels they should insist that the Richmond millers pay cash as is done everywhere else in the United States.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 17 June 1854.
    2 pages.ALS.

    This is the first year he has paid his bills when they were presented, rather than giving notes; feels selling the wheat at the landing is a good idea as it saves risk, time and waste, and will be satisfied with $2 a bushel; it will be the most he has earned from his estate in 52 years; has sent Nelson a find Durham bull calf.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 27 August 1854.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Most here are selling their wheat at under $2 despite the expected high prices due to the bad crops in Europe; his health is bad and he will go to West Point [New York]; corn everywhere is very bad due to the drought, which is the worst in memory; due to his [GWPC] advanced age he feels it important that Nelson settle their accounts according to Colonel [Robert E.] Lee's instructions.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 11 Sept. 1854.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Will be at West Point [New York] 3 or 4 weeks; hopes Nelson has continued selling the wheat which is at 70 to 80 cents a bushel; is anxious to hear about the decision on the railroad route.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virgiia," 7 Nov[embe]r 1854.
    3 pages .ALS.

    Feels Nelson must write him immediately and explain the suit which has been filed against him by a man in New Kent County for a debt of $900 which he [GWPC] knows nothing about; is particularly upset due to the suit; was too ashamed to go to Richmond for the agricultural exhibition where he feels he would have been greatly honored due to his many efforts on behalf of Virginia Agriculture, especially his having started the Arlington Sheep Shearing 50 years ago and having privately supported it the first 9 years.

  • Folder 2
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 5 Dec[embe]r 1854.
    4 pages.ALS.

    Declares that this is the sixth letter he has written to Nelson without having received a reply; asserts that he has the right to require information from his agent [Nelson] and urges him to immediately convey information respecting last year's crops, "having heard nothing respecting the balance of the wheat crop which I directed to be sent to Baltimore...;" hopes they they may both part in peace.

Materials, 1855-1856.
Folder: 3
15 items.
Series 3: 1832-1849
  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custie, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, [New Kent County, Virginia], 17 Jan[uar]y 1855.
    4 pages.ALS.

    Notes that the decision to run the r[ail] road by the "White House" will be made tomorrow; instructs Nelson to give them te land necessary for the bridge's abatement and any other needed right-of-way, for the railroad will be a "decided benefit," allowing him to sell his fish almost fresh in Richmond noting that the rent for a fishery along the Potomac had risen from $133 1/3 a year to $4000; crops will not go to Richmond, but to West Point or Baltimore, where he has had satisfactory dealings and where higher prices compensate for the distance; reports that he wants to own no more "Negro property," of which he has $100,000 worth; notes that a gentleman in "Washington City" congratulated him for selling his Lower Country Wheat Crop for $17,000; says he knows nothing of it and begs Nelson to send information.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 26 Jan[uar]y 1855.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Acknowledges that he [Nelson] has quadrupled his property's production since becoming agent; wishes work to commence on the mill; notes the unpleasantness of some of the correspondence and asks for information regarding the sale of last year's wheat crop, noting that he had received $6000 and wondered if any of the remainder could be remitted to him; refers to having been insulted by being arrested for a debt of which he knew nothing.

  • Folder 3
    Account Sheet of Major G[eorge] W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, listing agricultural supplies purchased, 20 March 1855-19 June 1856.
    1 page.D.
  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House" [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 9 April 1855.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Reports that Col. [Robert E.] Lee can't look over his accounts as he has received his new commission; has retained a lawyer and a banker to look over accounts; requests that Nelson submit the dates of the receipts for money credited to him [GWPC]; Wheat prospects are $2.30-$2.45 with new crops engaging $2.00; Bishop [William] Meale to visit White House and will report to {GWPC] on his holdings; wants complete list of all Negroes' ages; health as usual, depressed in spirits.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House." [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 12 July 1855.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Notes that Mr. Raoch has returned from the "White House" lauding the size of the oat and corn crops; finds it "remarkable" that some acres are producing 30 bushels of wheat and notifies him [Nelson] that he will take $2 cash [a bushel] for the wheat; recommends Mr. Roach as a contractor; hopes that the railroad will not delay any longer.

  • Folder 3
    Richmond and York River Railroad Company, Richmond, [Virginia], to George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, 18 August 1855.
    2 pages.

    PDS, informing Custis of a Commissioners' meeting in King William County for ascertaining a just compensation for landowners along the railroad line; ADS, [on reverse] Custis empowering Nelson to act on his behalf at the Commissioners' meeting.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 22 August 1855.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Notifying him [Nelson] that he is to receive just compensation from the railraod for any right-of-way and expressing the hope that the RR will take action on the condemnation of the White House depot; asks about wheat crop and whether two barrels of clothes "for the Negroes" arrived; complains of "severe attack of diarrhea."

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Alington House" [Alexandria, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 7 Sept[ember] 1855.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Acknowledges receiving $4000 and figures that he [Nelson] must have procurred at least $2 [a bushel]; hopes for a good corn crop; tells him to look after his interest at the meeting of Railroad commissioners.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House" [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 26 Feb[ruar]y 1856.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Col. [Robert E.] Lee has looked over accounts and Mr. Overton Winston of Hanover will attempt to settle all unsettled accounts no further expenditures; encourages him to market fish noting that fish has increased by five- hundred percent and fishery rent from $133 1/3 in [GWPC's] time to $3750; "The severe season and fall of prices" will necessitate selling the corn in March.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 8 April 1856.
    1 page.ALS.

    Instructs him to ship the corn crop to McKonkey in Baltimore to sell.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House." [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, near New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 26 June 1856.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Informs Nelson that "as the time of year is at hand when it is customary in Virginia to give notice of the "discontinuance of employment," his [Nelson's] services will no longer be required after the harvest [six months], wants to sell wheat to make payment of $1000 to Mary Nelson; discusses negotiations with the railroad.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, [near] New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 18 Aug[u]st 1856.
    3 pages.ALS.

    Complains of marketing wheat crop at a time of "sudden and great depression of prices"; wants all crops to be shipped to Baltimore; corn prices are "looking up" instructs him to exact compensation for any of his [GWPC's] men and/or materials that the railroad uses.

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House," [Arlington, Virginia], To Henry C. Wise, Drummond Town, Accomac[k] County, Virginia, 15 Oct[obe]r 1856.
    2 pages.Positive pst. of ALS.

    Expresses support for his [HCW's] plan to establish the Ocean Bathing Place on the coast of Virginia, noting that an advantage of such an arrangement might be that "gentlemen will not be liable...to be first knocked down and sued afterwards by coloured gentlemen."

  • Folder 3
    George W[ashington]P[arke]Custis, "Arlington House" [Arlington, Virginia], to Francis Nelson, "White House, [near] New Kent C[ourt] H[ouse], Virginia," 2 Nov[embe]r 1856.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Wheat prices are $1.50 to $1.55 while corn is at $2.00; had expressed desire to go to the Richmond fair but discouraged by family because he knew no one there; attended the "Great Exhibition at Philadelphia as Vice President of the United States Agriculture [?] Society for Virginia"; called it "grandest spectacle"; looks forward to "bright das" for lower Virginia with the extension of the new railroad to West Point, [Virginia].

  • Folder 3
    D. R. Thomason, New York, [New York], to Francis Nelson, [New Kent County, Virginia], 23 Dec. [18]56.
    2 pages.ALS.

    Offers to furnish laborers for the work to be done by the railroad [subcontracted by Nelson GWPC's property] at the rate of $9 for each man, $5 passage, $2 provisions, $1 fee for laborers and for Nelson.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Georege W[ashington] P[arke] Custis
  • George W[ashington] P[arke] Custis
  • Francis Nelson
  • George Washington Parke Custis,
  • Lee, Robert E. (Robert Edward), 1807- 1870.
  • Nelson, Francis.
  • P[arke]
  • W[ashington]