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Account of the Success of Colonel Charles Carter


Williamsburgh, Virginia, February 2, 1776.

We have the pleasure to inform the publick, that Colonel Charles Carter, of Stafford, goes prosperously on with his manufactory of Saltpetre, and gives it as his opinion, that were people in general to pay proper attention to that business, Virginia might pay her quota of the expenses of the war by it, as every housekeeper can, with much ease, make more or less. That gentleman writes on the 21st instant: "I have got the following Saltpetre Works established, and am now on my way to many estates, where I hope that more will be set on foot in a very short time; and can with truth aver, that nothing but the neglect of the overseers can frustrate the scheme. No proper directions for making saltpetre having appeared in print, it may be expected that I should publish my own process; but as it would take up too much of your paper, I shall only mention, that any person may be taught by applying to any of the following gentlemen: Messrs˙ Gilpin and Hartshorn, Alexandria; Mr˙ Robert Bailey, Colchester; Mr˙ John Murray, Dumfries; Mr˙ John Smith, Aquia; Mr˙ Joshua Brown, at Ludlow Farm, in Stafford; Mr˙ William Nelson, in Caroline; and Mr˙ William Griffin, of King and Queen. At Aquia we now make about twelve pounds of refined saltpetre per day, at Dumfries, eight pounds; at Ravensworth, twenty pounds; at Alexandria, ten pounds; at Colchester, six pounds; and, when the whole gets in motion, I do not doubt making from five hundred to one thousand weight per day, which I hope will add spirit to our glorious cause."