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Letter, 1850, of Dr. William Wirt, of "Bleak Hall," Westmoreland County, Va., to Lawrence Washington, of "Oak Grove," Westmoreland County, Va., concerning the hiring out of several African-American slaves.

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In mind that it is my particular desire that you should take any and all that you may desire, before any one else and I send you a list of those that will be offered for hire. Isaac I wish to hire as a sailor if I can get him a [illegible] [bill?] to see if going by water May not make a cure of his leg as it did of John’s. I presume that [illegible] will hire for about the same that they did last year. If you select any please let me hear from you. I will write by this mail to [William?] Payne and inquire if he wishes to hire Reuben and Joshua. I shall however, conclude my bargain with him until I hear from you. Any that you may not want can be readily hired I presume in the neighborhood. I fear that I should have to trouble you somewhat in the hiring on the first day of January, as I fear that it will be out of my power to be present on that day as much as I desire it. We shall move into our house on the 16th of this month and my dear wife will not consent (nor do I desire it) to be left there alone. We have been staying so long with our relations that I have not the conscience to impede our large party on them so soon again, and if I can avoid leaving home etc than twice I should do it.