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John Woddrop to John Adams

22 Jul. 1785

Sir, Bridgestreet, of Glasgow, the 22d day, of July, 1785.

I wrote to your Excellency two letters lately, noticing in them, my intention of becoming a Subject to the thirteen United States, of North America.

I will he extreamly happy to find my poor intention that way, meets with the approbation of your Excellency. And in case it does so, for to have my duty pointed out to me, by your Excellency, the better and the more free for me to act in that line, of Employ, and bussiness, which at any time in my life, after this, I may ever come to be called to act in, when I may pass over to the said States,—and to whom, I do now, in a most chearful, free, and willing manner Offer my service, to serve in the Army of the States, of America, in case any rupture may ever come to happen between the said States, and any power on this Earth—But I pray to God, to grant the said States, along, a very long, & a permanent peace, accompanyed with all the blessings of Heaven, & Peace, & all kind of happiness. Having dwelled some years in Virginia, but long before the late troubles in America, I do at this time still retain a strong affection, and an attachment to that Country—In, and on the Coast, of which, I have many near, and dear relations, to me, lying burried. My residence was in Nansemond County, near the head of the Western branch, of Nansemond River.

And at which place, I still have, full Cousins, dwelling,—the Posterrity, of Mr. John Woddrop, my Uncle, who marrying a Virginia Lady, & of the name of Cock, on James River, I then did dwell in his family, as a Merchant—

I will he happy to know, if any encouragement, is for tradesmen, & Mechanicks, to settle amongst the States of America. Such as Curriers, and, preparers of Leather for the different uses of Leather of horned Cattle, Glover’s & Skinner’s, and tanners, Printers of Linens, Cottons, &ca. &ca. and persons well skilled in preparing the Colours, for Staining, & printing Linens.—I am, an acquaintance of some, of such employments, who find inclinable, for to go out to the States of America if they had good encouragement.

Your Excellency may speculate on these things to me if you please to do so.—

And if School Masters to teach English, Gramer Writing, Arithmetick Bookeeping, Navigation, Geography, & Surveying of Lands; are wanted. I wish to have your mind on such things, &ca. For the honour of the States of America, insist Sir, on a free trade, and commerce for the trade and Shipping of the States of America to and with all parts, of the British Empire.—

And without any kind of restraint, or restriction, on the American States Shipping.

And if not granted, do you think the none Importation Scheme, of British Goods, will happen to take place, in the States of America.

And in case that this should happen, I do, and in the most respectful manner, Sollicit the favour of your Excellency, to have a Scheme of the Goods, of the Irish Manufactures sent to me, you think will best Suit for Virginia, & Maryland, and indeed for any of the other States of America, for to be sent out this present fall.

And also again, in the next Spring.

I want to know, what American, Iron Barr will be purchased for in Maryland, & in other States:—I mean Pig Iron, and Malleable Iron, the Carron Company use the former, kind, but not the Malleable kind, of Iron, and before they can give any offer, for the Pig Iron, they must be told the Number of it. I have been told so by Mr. Charles Gascoigne, one of the Carron Company, and I have mentioned these things, in this letter in case they can be of any use to your Excellency. Whom to serve, and the States of America, I shall think myself happyly honoured for to do, although it be in the smallest degree, and to do more, I will be still more happy.

I wish to have your Excellencys return to this letter, and soon.

And the same will be received, with the esteem, due thereto, by me.

I have the honour to be, / Sir, your Most Obedient, And / Most Humble Servant,  

John Woddrop.

(MHi: Adams Papers).
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