Front Page Titles (by Subject) JOURNAL, 1 1760. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775)
The Online Library of Liberty
A project of Liberty Fund, Inc.
Search this Title:
JOURNAL, 1 1760. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. II (1758-1775) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1889). Vol. II (1758-1775).
About Liberty Fund:
Liberty Fund, Inc. is a private, educational foundation established to encourage the study of the ideal of a society of free and responsible individuals.
The text is in the public domain.
Fair use statement:
This material is put online to further the educational goals of Liberty Fund, Inc. Unless otherwise stated in the Copyright Information section above, this material may be used freely for educational and academic purposes. It may not be used in any way for profit.
January 1. Tuesday. Visited my Plantations and receiv’d an Instance of Mr. French’s2 great Love of money in disappointing me of some Pork because the price had risen to 22/6, after he had engaged to let me have it at 20/. Call’d at Mr. Posey’s in my way home and desir’d him to engage me 100 barls. of corn upon the best terms he coud in Maryland.—and found Mrs. Washington upon my arrival broke out with the Meazles.
Jany. 2d. Wednesy. Mrs Barnes who came to visit Mrs. Washington yesterday returnd home in my Chariot, the weather being too bad to travel in an open carriage—which, together with Mrs. Washington’s Indisposition, confind me to the House and gave me an opportunity of Posting my Books and putting them in good order. Fearing a disappointment elsewhere in Pork, I was fain to take Mr. French’s upon his own terms & engagd them to be delivd at my House on Monday next.
Thursday Jany. 3d. The weather continuing Bad & ye same causes subsisting I confind myself to the House. Morris who went to work yesterday caught cold, and was laid up bad again, and several of the Family were taken with the Measles, but no bad symptoms seemd to attend any of them. Hauled the sein and got some fish, but was near being disappointd. of my Boat by means of an oyster man who had lain at my Landing and plagud me a good deal by his disorderly behaviour.
Friday Jany. 4th. The Weather continued Drisling and warm, and I kept the House all day. Mrs. Washington seeming to be very ill I wrote to Mr. Green this afternoon desiring his Company to visit her in the morng.
Saturday, Jany 5. Mrs. Washington appeared to be something better. Mr. Green, however, came to see her abt. 11 oclock, and in an hour Mrs. Fairfax arrivd. Mr. Green prescribed the needful and just as we were going to Dinnr. Capt. Walter Stuart appeard with Doctr. Laurie.1 The Evening being very cold and the wind high Mr. Fairfax went home in the Chariot. Soon afterwards Mulatto Jack arrived from Fredk-with 4 Beeves.
Sunday, Jany 6th. The Chariot not returning time enough from Colo. Fairfax’s we were prevented from Church. Mrs. Washington was a good deal better to-day but the oyster man still continuing his Disorderly behavior at my Landing, I was obligd in the most preemptory manner to order him and his compy. away which he did not Incline to obey till the next morning—
Monday Jany 7th. Accompanied Mrs. Bassett to Alexandria and engaged a Keg of Butter of Mrs. Kirkpatrick being quite out of that Article: Wrote from thence to Doctr Craik to endeavor if possible to engage me a Gardener from the Regiment and returnd in the dusk of the Evening.
Tuesday—Jany 8. Directed an Indictment to be formd by Mr. Johnston against Jno. Ballendine for a fraud in some Iron he sold me. Got a little Butter from Mr. Dalton and wrote to Colo. West for Pork. In the Evening 8 of Mr. French’s Hogs from his Ravensworth Quarter came down one being lost on the way as the others might as well have been for their goodness. Nothing but the disappointments in this Article of Pork which he himself had causd and my necessities coud possibly have obligd me to take them.—Carpenter Sam was taken with the Measles.
Wednesday—Jany 9. Killd and dressd Mr. French’s Hogs which weighd 751 lbs. neat. Colo. West leaving me in doubt about his Pork yesterday obligd me to send to him again to-day, and now no definitive answr. was receivd, he purposing to send his overseer down to-morrow to agree abt. it. Colo. Bassett’s Abram arrivd with Letters from his Master appointing Port Royal, & Monday next as a time and place to meet him—he brought some things from me that day in Mr. Norton’s ware house in York Town.
Thursday—Jany 10th. Accompanied Mrs. Bassett in a visit to Belvoir. She this day determined on Setting of for Port Royal on Saturday. Colo. West wrote me word that he had engaged his Pork. Killed the Beeves that Jack brought down two of which were tolerable good.— * * *
Saturday—Jany 12th. Sett out with Mrs. Bassett on her journey to Port Royal- the morning was clear and fine but soon clouded and promisd much Rain or other falling weather wch. is generally the case after remarkable white Frosts, as it was to-day. We past Occognan witht. any great difficulty notwithstanding the wind was something high and Lodgd at Mr. McCraes in Dumfries sending the Horses to the Tavern. Here I was inform’d that Col. Cocke was disgusted at my House and left it because he see an old negro there resembling his own Image.
Sunday, Jany 13th. The wind last night chop’d about from Southerly to the No. West bleu Extreame hard and made it excessive cold—We reachd Mr. Seldon’s abt. 3 o’clock and met with a certain Capt. Dives—There a man, who, as I have been informd is pretty well known for some of his exploits and suspected to be in Instrument in carrying Dickerson whose character and memory are too well establish’d to need any Commentaries.
Monday—Jany 14th. The Wind at No. West and the Morning being clear and cold but otherwise fine we set out— Mr. Seldon obligingly accompanying us a few miles to prevent any misapprehensions of the Road— We arrivd about 2 oclock to the Plantation late Col. Turner’s but now Inhabited by an overseer directly opposite to Port Royal. At this place also Mr. Gibourne lodges and here we were disagreeably disappointed of meeting him for a few hours, but at length he arrivd almost at the same Instant, that Colo Bassett did, from hence we moved over to Port Royal and spent ye evening at Fox’s with Mr. and Mrs. Bassett. Mr. Bassett brought me a Letter from Captn. Langbourn Inclosing a Bill of Lading for 20 Hdds for the Deliverance Captn. Wm. Whyte— One other was sent by the ship, neither of which signifying to whom the Tobo. was consignd, which is not less strange than that only two Bills shd be given when 4 and never less than three are customary in war time. The Wind freshened up as the Evening came on and causd a most intense frost indeed no thaw had been the whole day.—
Tuesday—Jany 15th. Mr Gibourne and I, leaving Mr Bassett just ready to set out, recrossd the River and proceeded to Colo Carter’s where we dined and in the evening reachd Colo. Champe’s. Several Gentlemen dined with us at Colo Carter (neighbours of his) but we spent a very lonesome Evening at Colo Champe’s, not any Body favoring us with their Company but himself. The morning of this day was exceeding cold the wind still continuing at No West but in the Evening it died away grew something more moderate and promised falling weather but no appearance of a thaw.
Wednesday—Jany 16. I parted with Mr Gibourne, leaving Colo. Champe’s before the Family was stirring, and abt 10 reachd my mothr. where I breakfasted and then went to Fredericksburg with my Brothr Sam who I found there. Abt Noon it began snowing, the wind at So. West but not cold; was disappointed of seeing my Sister Lewis & getting a few things which I wanted out of the Stores, returned in ye Evening to Mother’s all alone with her.
Thursday Jany. 17th. The snow had turnd to rain & occasiond a sleet, the wind at NoEt. and the Ground coverd abt. an Inch and half with Snow, the Rain continued with but little Intermission till noon and then came on a Mist which lasted till night. Abt. Noon I set out from my Mothers & Just at Dusk arrivd at Dumfries—
Friday—Jany 18th. Continued my journey home the Misting continuing till noon when the Wind got Southerly and being very warm occasiond a great thaw. I however found Potomk. River quite cover’d with Ice—& Doctr Craik at my House.
Saturday—Jany 19. The wind got abt. to the No ward last night and froze the Ground hard. The morning Lowerd and threatend Rain but about noon the clouds dispersd and grew warm, the Wind coming about Southerly again. Recd. a Letter from my overseer Hardwich informing me that the Small Pox was Surrounding the Plantations he over-lookd & requiring Sundry working Tools. * * *
Sunday Jany 20th. * * * Visited at Belvoir today carrying Doctr Craik with us who spent the Evening there.— The wind continued Southerly the whole day the Ground very soft & rotten till 10 o clock A. M. it Raind witht intermission, but then the clouds dispersed and promised fair weather till noon when it again set in to Raining and continued by Intervals the whole afternoon being warm. * * *
Tuesday Jany 22d. The wind continued No wardly the weather clear & cold—the ground hard froze & the River blockd up again.
Killd 17 more Hogs which were bought of Mr French who was here ready to see them weighd & to receive his money. Doctr. Craick Dind here. Hogs weighed 1722 lbs nett.
Wednesday—Jany 23d. Clear and more moderate than yesterday but the gd. &ctr still hard frozen. Abt noon the wind (what little blew) came westerly and Inclining south.
My waggon set of for Frederick with sundrys’ that were wrote for by ye overseer there.
Doctr. Craick left this for Alexandria and I visited my quarter’s & ye Mill, according to custom found young Stephen’s absent.— * * *
Friday Jan’y 25th: Went to Alexandria and saw my Tobo wch. came from the Mountn’s. lying in an open shed with the ends of the Hhds out and in very bad order—engagd the Inspection of it on Monday.
Wrote to Doctr. Ross to purchase me a joiner, Bricklayer and Gardnar, if any ship of servants was in.—
Also wrote to my old servant Bishop to return to me again if he was not otherwise engaged. Directed for him at Phila, but no certainty of his being there.—
Saturday—Jany 26th. A very white frost the ground and River hard froze—the wind at Sun Rise at No.Et. in an hour afterwards it got to South and continued there the whole day. Rode to Williamsons Quarter. the overseer not there. A very remarkable Circle round the Moon—another Indication of falling weather. * * *
Monday—Jany 28th. The River close again and the ground very knobby & hard— The Wind got So. about—and blew fresh-Which all most cleard the River of Ice. Visited my Plantation. Severely reprimanded young Stephen’s for his Indolence, and his father for suffering of it.—found the new negroe, Cupid, ill of a pleurisy at Dogue Run Quarter and had him brot. home in a Cart for better care of him.
Tuesday Jany 29th. * * * Darcus—daughter to Phillis died. Which Makes 4 Negroes lost this winter viz: 3 Dower negroes namely
Beck—appraisd to £50—
Doll’s child, born since
Darcus—appd. at — and Belinda a wench of mine in Frekerick.—
Wednesday—Jany 30th. Very cloudy—Wind at So. till 9 oclock at Night when it instantainously Shifted to No. West & blew a mere hurricane.
Cupid was extreame Ill all this day and at night when I went to Bed I thought him within a few hours of breathing his last.—
Thursday—Jany 31st. He was somewhat better—the wind continued at No. West all day. Very cold—& clear.—
Friday—Feb’y 1st. 1760. Visited my Plantations—found Foster had been absent from his charge since the 28th ulto. Left orders for him to come immediately to me upon his return and reprehended him severely.
Mr Johnston and Mr. Walter Stewart came here this afternoon.
Saturday Feb’y 2d. 17— The gentlemen went off after Breakfast, and I rid out to my Plantns. and to My Carpenter’s. Found Richd. Stephens hard at work with an ax— Very extraordinary this!—Desird him to see after Wm Nation’s Rent, who died t’other day.—
The wind for the most part was northerly yet the Day was mild—the Evening fine & promisd settled Weathr.
Mrs Posey and 2 of her children came and stayd the night here.—
Sunday Feby. 3d. Very white Frost—and wind shifting from So. to East.—
Breechy was laid up this morning with pains in his breast & head & attended with a fever.
Mrs. Posey went home, and we to Church at Alexandria. Din’d at Colo Carlyle’s and returnd in the Evening.—
One Newell offerd himself to me to be overseer put him off to another day.
Monday . . . Dispatch’d Foster to Occognan, to proceed from thence in Bailey’s vessel to — for 100 Barrls. of Corn which Captn. Posey purchas’d of Mr. Hunter, the Priest, for my use. Sent money to pay for the Corn, viz:—37 pistoles and a Shilling, each pistole weighing ds4.gr8
Breechy’s pains increasd and he appeard extreamely ill all day.—In suspense whether to send for Doctor Laurie or not.—Visited my Plantations and found two Negroes sick at Williamson’s Quarter, viz: Greg. and Lucy. Orderd them to be blooded. Stephens at Winchester.
Colo Fairfax giving me notice that he shoud send up to Frederick in the morning, sat down and wrote to my overseer there.—
Tuesday Feb’y 5th. Breechy’s pains Increasing, and he appearing worse in other respects, inducd me to send for Dr. Laurie Wrote to Mr. Ramsay begging the favor of him to enquire into the price of Mr. Barnes’ Sugar Land Tract, and he informd me that ye value set on it by Mr. Barnes was £400.
Visited my Plantation and found to my great surprise Stephens constantly at work—Greg and Lucy nothing better—
Passing by my Carpenters that were hughing (hewing) I found that four of them viz:—George, Tom, Mike & young Billy, had only hugh’d 120 foot yesterday from 10 oclock. Sat down therefore, and observ’d—
Tom and Mike in a less space than 30 minutes, clear’d the bushes from about a poplar stock; lin’d it 10 Foot long, and hugh’d each their side 12 Inches deep.
Then letting them proceed their own way they spent 25 minutes more in getting the cross cut saw standing to consider what to do; sawing the stalk off in two places; putting it on the Blocks, for hughing it, square lining it &ctr. And from this time till they had finishd the stalk entirely requir’d 20 minutes more: so that in the spaces of one hour and a quarter they each of them from the stump finishd 20 Feet of hughing. From hence it appears very clear that, allowing they work only from Sun to Sun and requird two hours’ at Breakfast, they ought to yield each his 125 feet, while the days are at their present length and more in proportion as they increase.
While this was doing, George and Billy saw’d 30 foot of plank, so that it appears as clear making the same allowance as before, but not for the time requird in piling the stock, that they ought to saw 180 feet of plank.
It is to be observd here that this hughing, and sawing likewise, was of poplar. What may be the difference, therefore, between the working of this wood and others some future observations must make known.
The weather to-day was variable often Rainy, but the wind hung Chiefly between the South and West. No frost last night and the ground vastly rotten—
Colo. Fairfax, his Lady, and Doctr. Laurie din’d here. The Dr. went away afterwards, but the other stayd the Evening.
Wednesday—Feb’y 6th * * * Colo. Fairfax and Mrs. Fairfax din’d here. The Dr. sent his servant down with things to Breechy. Greg came here this afternoon worse, and I had 15 Hogs arrivd from Bullskin.
Thursday Feby 7th. The Hogs which arrivd yesterday were killd—weighg as follows—viz:—
Out of which Jno. Foster received the remainder of his years Provisions viz:
177 lbs; had before 173
ye years allowance 350
Doctr. Laurie’s Man attended the sick this day also.
I went to Mr Craig’s funeral sermon at Alexandria, and there met my waggon’s with 4 Hhds Tobacco more. Unloaded & sent them down to Mt Vernon.
One of the boys that came down with them and ye Hogs (Nat) was taken with the measles last night.— * * *
Friday—Feb’y 8th. 1760. * * * Rode to my Plantation and orderd Lucy down to the House to be Physickd.
Saturday Feby 9th * * * Visited my plantations before Sunrise, and forbid Stephen’s keeping any horses upon my expence.
Set my waggon’s to draw in stocks and scantling, and wrote to Mr. Stuart of Norfolk for 20 or 30 or more thousand shingles, 6 Barrls. Tar, 6 of Turpentine and 100 wt of Tallow, or myrtle wax, or half as much Candles. * * *
Sunday, Feb’y 10th. * * * Captn. Posey and Mrs Posey dind here, He obliquely hinted a design of selling his 145 acres of Wood Land on Muddy Hole.
Orderd all the fellows from the different quarters to assembly at Williamson’s quarter in the morning to move Petit’s House.—
Monday Feby 11th. Went out Early myself and continued with my people till 1 o’clock, in which time we got the house about 250 yards. Was informd then that Mr Digges was at my house upon which I returned, finding him and Dr. Laurie there.
The ground being soft and deep, we found it no easy matter with 20 hands, 8 Horses and 6 oxen, to get this house along. * * *
Tuesday, Feby 12th. A small frost happening last night to crust the ground, caused the house to move much lighter and by 9 o’clock it was got to the spot on which it was intended to stand.
Visited at the Glebe, the day being very fine, clear & still.—no wind blowing from any Quarter perceivably.
Sett Kate and Doll to heaping the dung about the Stable.
* * * * * * *
Thursday—Feby 14th. Mr Clifton came here, and we conditiond for his Land, viz: if he is not bound by some prior engagement, I am to have all his land, in the Neck, (500 acres about his house excepted,) and the land commonly called Brents, for 1600 £ currency. He getting Messrs. Digges &c. to join in making me a good and sufficient Title. But now I am not bound to ratify this bargain unless Colo. Carlyle will let me have his Land adjoining Brents at half a pistole an acre.
Visited my Quarters and saw a plant patch burst at the Mill.
Brought home 4003 lbs of hay from Mr. Digges’s—
* * * * * * *
Friday Feby 15th. A small fine rain from North East wet the top of my hay that had been landed last night. It was all carted up however to the barn and the wet and dry separated.
Went to a ball at Alexandria, where Musick and dancing was the chief Entertainment however in a convenient room detached for the purpose abounded great plenty of bread and butter, some biscuits, with tea and coffee, which the drinkers of could not distinguish from hot water sweet’ned—
Be it rememberd that pocket handkerchiefs servd the purposes of Table cloths & Napkins and that no apologies were made for either.1
The Proprietors of this ball were Messrs. Carlyle, Laurie and Robt. Wilson; but the Doctr. not getting it conducted agreeable to his own taste would claim no share of the merit of it.
We lodged at Colo. Carlyles.—
Saturday Feby 16. Returnd home, receiving an invitation to Mrs. Chew’s Ball on Monday night next-first. * * *
Sunday, Feby 17th * * * Went to church and din’d at Belvoir. Sent 4 yews & Lambs to the Mill to be fatted.
Monday Feby 18th. Dispatched my waggon with Tools &c, for Frederick. Sent over for two more tons of hay to Mr. Digges.— * * *
Tuesday-Feby 19th. Went to court, and administered upon Nation’s effects—got Mr. Smith’s Lease to me recorded, and Mr. Johnston not having Darrel’s deeds ready, I was oblig’d to get the acknowledging of them postpond.
Recd. a letter from my Brother Austin by Mr Lane and answer’d it.—
Fine moderate day, with a brisk southerly wind which brought the vessell with my corn.
Mike and Tom began sawing in the Pit, some considerable time after Sun rise and cut 122 feet of oak scantling.
Wednesday-Feby 20. Landed 65 Barrels of Corn. Fine moderate day very little wind. George & Billy sawed 155 feet of oak scantling.
Thursday, Feby 21. Finishd landing the corn which held out only 1½ Bushells above measure. Paid the Skipper for the Freight.—
Visited at Mr Clifton’s, and rode over his lands but in an especial manner view’d that tract calld Brents, which might have pleas’d me exceedingly at the price he offer’d it at, viz:—half a pistole an acre, provided Colo. Carlyle’s 300 acres just below it cou’d be annex’d at the same price. And this but a few months ago he offered it at, but now seeming to set a higher value upon it, and at the same time putting on an air of indifference, inducd me to make Clifton another for his land—namely £1700 curr’y for all his Lands in the Neck, including his own plantation &c., which offer he readily accepted, upon condition of getting his wife to acknowledge her right of dower to it; and of his success in this he was to inform me in a few days. * * *
Friday Feby 22. * * *
Laid in part the worm of a fence round my peach orchard, and had it made. Waited on Lord Fairfax at Belvoir and requested him to dine at Mt. Vernon on Monday next.—
Upon my return found one of my best waggon horses (namely Jolly) with his right foreleg mash’d to pieces, which I suppose happend in the storm last night by means of a Limb of a tree or something of that sort falling upon him. Did it up as well as I could this night.
Saturday—Feby 23d. Had the horse slung upon canvas and his leg fresh set, following Markham’s directions as near as I cou’d.
Laid the worm round my apple orchard and made the fence. * * *
Captn. Bullet came here from Alexandria and engagd to secure me some Lands on the Ohio, being lately appointed surveyor of a district there.
Sunday, Feb’y 24th. Captn. Bullet dind here to day also; so did Mr Clifton. But the latter was able to give me no determinate answer in regard to his land.
Was unprovided for a demand of £ 90 made by Mr. Alligood in favor of Messrs. Atchinson & Parker of Norfolk, my note of hand to Sampson Darrel; but promisd the payment and Interest at the April Court next.— * * *
Monday Feby 25th. Lord Fairfax, Colo F—’x and his Lady, Colo. Martin, Mr B. F—’x, Colo. Carlyle, and Mr Green and Mrs Green dind here.—
So.ly Wind and remarkable fine clear day. Set my people to carting and carrying Rails round the peach orchard. The broken Leg’d horse fell out of his sling and by that means and struggling together, hurt himself so much that I order’d him to be kill’d.
Tuesday—Feby 26th. Began plowing the field by the stable and quarter for oats and clover. Set two plows to work under the care of Mulatto and Cook Jacks.
Lay’d the worm round my peach orchard and had the Fence put up.
Made an absolute agreement with Mr Clifton for his land, (so far as depended upon him,) on the following terms; to wit: I am to give him £ 1150 Sterling for his Neck lands containing 1806 acres, and to allow him the use of the plantation he lives on till fall, twelve months.
He on his part is to procure the Gentlemen of Maryland to whom his Lands are under Mortgage to join in a conveyance, and is to put me into possession of the land so soon as this can be done. he is not to cut down any timber, nor clear any ground, nor to use more wood than what shall be absolutely necessary for fences and firing.
Neither is he to assent to any alterations of tenants, transferring of leases, &c., but on the contrary is to discourage every practice that has a tendency to lessen the value of the land.
N. B. He is also to bring Mr Mercer’s opinion concerning the Validity of a private sale made by himself.
Went down to Occognan by appointment to look at Colo. Cocke’s cattle; but Mr Peake’s being from home, I made no agreement for them, not caring to give the price he asked for them.
Call’d and din’d at Captn McCarty’s in my way home, and left the order of Court appointing him and others appraisers of Nation’s Estate (which I had sent my Boy down for,) and at the same time got a promise of him to prize and Inspect his Tobacco at the Warehouse.—
Bottled 35 dozen of Cyder; the weather very warm & cloudy with some Rain last night.—
Wednesday—Feby 27. Very little wind & that Southerly, but rain’d off and on the whole day. Continued plowing while the weather wou’d permit; and the people, viz: George, Kate, Doll & little George, were employ’d in grubbing the field by the garden.
Nation’s horse, that was destrained on for my rent, was sold at Publick Auction to Mr Tom Triplet for £5.—
Peter had got his coal drawn and brought in one load.
Thursday—Feb’y 28th. Measur’d the fields by the quarter and garden, as the Fence was intended to be run, and found Six acres [in] the former and nine in the latter.
Also run round the fields in the lower pasture, according as the dividing fence is to go; but the compass being bad, or some mistake happening I cou’d not close the plot with any exacting.—
Finish’d grubbing the field by the garden—
Between sun setting and dark came Mr Ramsay, Mr Piper, Captn. Stanly and Captn. Littledale— * * *
Friday Feb’y 29th. The Rain continud by intervals through the night, and till afternoon, when the wind came to No. West, and ceasd growing clear.—Stop’d my plows.
The gentlemen din’d here to-day, and two, viz. Mr Ramsay and Captain Stanley, returnd to Alexandria. The others went to Belvoir.
A very great circle round the Moon.
Saturday, Mar. 1. 1760. Finishd Bottling 91 dozn. Cyder.—
* * * * * * *
The Ground being hard froze stop’d my plows this day also. And employ’d all hands in running the dividing fence of my pastures.
Travers’d the fields in the Lower pasture again and set a course from the head of the drain that runs into my Meadow.
Note, the Ground cleard this year measures
And the fallow ground is only
the Marsh and Pocoson at the Creek point contains—
Sunday—Mar. 2. * * * Mr Clifton came here today, and under pretence of his wife not consenting to acknowledge her right of dower wanted to disengage himself of the bargain he had made with me, or his land on the 26th. past, and by his shuffling behavior on the occasion convinc’d me of his being the trifling body represented.
Monday—Mar 3d. Bought 100 Bushels of Oats at ½ of Reuben Joyne.
Finishd plowing the clover field but not the dividing fence in the pastures. * * *
Tuesday—Mar 4th. * * * Plows stop’d, but the dividing fence finish’d. Gave up the horse cart and the dun horse and Jack to R. Stephens.
Wednesday—Mar 5. High wind from the west the day clear and somewhat cold. Began plowing the field by the garden for lucerne. Put in the great bay mare of King. The latter cou’d not be prevail’d upon to plow; the other did very well.—But the plows run very badly. Finishd plow harness for my chariot horses.
Thursday—Mar. 6. Fitted a two eyed plow instead of a Duck Bill plow, and with Much difficulty made my chariot wheel horses plow.
Survey’d Captn. Posey’s 145 acres of woodland ground which he bought of my Brother Charles and find some of the courses and distances to vary from those in the deeds and that 136 acres only are included.
Also run the upper courses of Trent’s Land and find some great Errors, as may be seen by my plot of it. * * *
Friday—March 7th. * * * Put the Pole end Horses into the Plow in the morning; and the postilion and hand horse in in the afternoon: but the ground been well swarded over and very heavy plowing, I repented putting them in at all, for fear it should give them a habit of stopping in the chariot.
Saturday—Mar. 8. North Et wind and rain—Plow stop’d. Gave Captn. Cawsey’s skipper, namely William Vicars, 1 Tobacco Note and an Order on Hunting Creek Warehouses for 7 Hhds of my Mountain Tobacco * * *
Monday—Mar. 10th. North West Wind and clear but the ground too wet for plowing. Rode to my plantation, and the mill and there partly agreed with Jerry Mitchell to rebuild my Mill when she runs dry in the summer. Dispatch’d Mulatto Jack to Frederick for some mares from thence to plow. The snow which was not more than an Inch & half deep was entirely dissolvd today.
Tuesday—Mar. 11th. Visited at Colo. Fairfax’s and was informd that Clifton had sold his land to Mr Thompson Mason for 1200£ sterling, which fully unravelled his conduct on the 2nd and convinc’d me that he was nothing less than a thorough pac’d rascall disregardful of any engagements of words or oaths not bound by penalties.— * * *
Wednesday—Mar. 12. Return’d home. Mrs Carlyle accompanying us, the day being exceeding fine. Wind at South.
Found William Ludwick here with one Beef from Frederick. He set of with two but lamed the other and left him at Ric’d Coleman’s at the Sugar Lands.
Thursday—Mar. 13th. Incessant Rain and No.Et. wind.—Mr Carlyle (who came here from Port Tobo. Court last night,) and Mrs Carlyle were confin’d here all day.
Mulatto Jack return’d home with the Mares he was sent for; but so poor were they, and so much abus’d had they been by my rascally overseer, Hardwick, that they were scarce able to highlone, much less to assist in the business of the plantations.—
Friday—Mar. 14th. * * * Mr Carlyle and his wife still remaind here. We talk’d a good deal of a Scheme of setting up an Iron Work on Colo. Fairfax’s land on Shannandoah. Mr Chapman who was propos’d as a partner, being a perfect Judge of these matters was to go up and view the conveniences and determine the scheme.—
Saturday, Mar. 15: Snow’d in the morning, but afterwards clearing—Mr Carlyle and his wife returnd home.
Wm Ludwick & the boy (Nat) who came down with him went up for the same beef they left upon the road coming down.
The Vast quantity of rain which had fallen in the last two days had swelld the waters so high that Dogue Run carried of the tumbling dam of my mill and was near carrying of the house also.—
Wind at No. Et. and from a settled Sky. Sent word to Mr Clifton by my Negro Will—that I shou’d be glad to see him here in the morning, having something to propose to him.
The bad weather this week put put a total stop to plowing except a little on Wednesday with one plow.
Monday—Mar. 17th. * * * Went to my Mill and took a view of the ruins the fresh had caused. Determind however to repair it with all expedition, and accordingly set my carpenters to making Wheel and Hand-barrows.
Beef from Coleman’s was brought down.
Mr. Posey being here and talking of the Orphan Fren’s Land adjoining mine on Dogne Run, he undertook to purchase it for me of the said Orphan Diana, who lives at Naugany in Maryland with one—Wright, who, I think he said, married her Aunt. Mr. Posey thinks it may be bought for £50 or 60 pound & there shou’d be 207 acres of it.—
Tuesday Mar. 18th.— * * * Went to Court, partly on my own private business, and partly on Clifton’s affair, but the Commissioners not meeting nothing was done in regard to the Latter. Much discourse happened between him and I concerning his ungenerous treatment of me, the whole turning to little account, t’is not worth reciting here. The result of which was that [for] £50 more than Mr Mason offer’d him, he undertook if possible to disengage himself from that gentleman, and to let me have his land. I did not think myself restrain’d by any rules of honor conscience, or &c. after making him this offer, as his Lands were first engaged from me by the most solemn assurances that any man cou’d give.—
Mr. Johnston not being in town I coud not get Mr. Darrel’s Deeds to acknowledge. Killd the Beeves that came from Frederick.
Wednesday Mar. 19. * * * Peter (my Smith) and I, after several efforts to make a plow after a new model, partly of my own contriving, was feign to give it out, at least for the present.
Snow but little dissolvd—Col. Fairfax & Mrs F—x came here in the evening.
Thursday—Mar. 20th. Cold Northerly Wind. Colo. F—x and I set out to Alexandria by appointment, to settle & adjust (with the other Commissioners) Clifton and Darrel’s accounts, conformable to a decree of our General Court; but not being able to accomplish it then, the 28th. was a further day appointed to meet, and my house the place resolv’d upon.—
Friday—Mar. 21st. Colo. Fairfax and Mrs F—x return’d home.— * * *
Sunday, Mar. 23d. Southerly wind and warm. Miss Fairfax and Miss Dent came here.—
Monday—Mar 24th. Began repairing my Mill Dam, with hands from all my quarters, carpenters Included.
In digging Earth for this purpose great Quantities of Marle or fuller’s Earth appear’d.
In the Evening, in a Bed that had been prepard with a mixture of Dung on Saturday last, I sowed clover Lucerne and Rye Grass seeds in the garden, to try their goodness, doing it in the following order:—at the end next the corner were two rows of Clover seed—in the 3d. 4. 5. & 6th. Rye Grass, the last row thinest Sow’d 7th. & 8th. Barley (to see if it would come up) the last also thinest sown—9. 10. 11. 12th. Lucerne.—first a few seeds at every 4 Inches distance the next thicker & so on to the last wch. was very thick.
Carried the Sows I bot of George Taylor to my Mill by water.
Tuesday—Mar. 25th. Set one Plow to Work on the Field below the Garden.—
All hands being employd on the dam again, the water was stop’d. and the work in a fair way of receiving a finish by tomorrow night.—
The wind was southerly—the Day Changeable.—
Mrs. Posey & some young woman, whose name was unknown to any body in this family, din’d here.
Wednesday—Mar. 26. One Plow at Work to day also. Miss Dent and Miss Fairfax returnd home. My Dam was entirely compleated by Evening.—
Spent the greatest part of the day in making a new plow of my own invention.
Wind at No. West & very boisterous.—
Thursday—Mar. 27. Southerly wind—day warm and very fine.—
Sat my plow to work and found she answerd very well in the field in the lower Pasture, which I this day began Plowing with the large Bay Mare & Rankin—Mulatto Jack continuing to plow the Field below the Garden.
Agreed to give Mr William Triplet £18, to build the two houses in the front of my house (plastering them also) and running walls for Pallisades to them from the Great House & from the Great House to the Wash House and Kitchen also.—
Friday—Mar. 28. According to appointment Colo. F—x and Mr. Green met here upon Clifton’s affair, he being present; as was Mr Thompson Mason (as Counsel for him). Mr Digges and Mr Addison were also here; and after examining all the Papers and Accounts on both sides and stating them in the manner which seem’d most equitable to us. The debt due from Mr. Clifton according to that settlement amounted to £ NA that is to say—
to Mr Carroll £
to Mr Tasker pr Mr Digges
to Do pr. Mr Addison—
We also agreed to report several things which appear’d necessary, as well in behalf of Mr. Clifton as the other party.
The Gentlemen from Maryland, Mr. Mason and Clifton left this; but Colo. Fairfax and Mr. Green stay’d the night.
About noon Mulatto Jack finish’d plowing the field below the garden, and went into the lower pasture to work. * * *
Saturday Mar. 29th. About noon set one plow into the fallow ground below the Hill, and about an hour before Sunset the other. * * *
Monday Mar. 31st. * * * Went to Belvoir (according to appointment on the 28th. past,) and drew up and sign’d a report of our proceedings in Clifton’s affair to be sent with the accts to the General Court.
Finishd plowing the fallow’d ground about Sun setting.
Mr. Walter Stuart, who I met with at Belvoir gave me a letter from Dr. Macleane and another from Bishop.
The latter very desirous of returning but enlisted in the 44th Regiment. The former wrote to Colo. Byrd to ask his discharge of the General.
Wrote to Lieutt Smith to try if possible to get me a careful Man to overlook my Carpenters. Wrote also to Hardwick ordering down two mares from thence and desiring him to engage me a ditcher. Inclosed a letter from my Brother John to his Overseer, Farrell Littleton, and directed him what to do if the Small pox should come amongst them.—
Tuesday, April 1—1760. Cross’d plowd the fallow field today which contains 3—2—38, which shews that 2 acres a day, in level ground already broke up, may easily be accomplished.
Doctor Laurie came here. The Wind at No West, weather clear, somewhat cold and drying. Moon at its first rising remarkably red. Received a letter from Mr. Digges inclosing a packet for Messrs. Nicholas & Wythe, which he desir’d I wou’d send under Cover to some friend of mine in Williamsburg, as it was to go by Clifton, suspecting that Gentleman wou’d not deal fairly by it.
Began to prepare a small piece of Ground of about — yards square at the lower corner of my garden to put trefoil in—a little seed given me by Colo. F—x, Yesterday.
Wednesday Apl. 2d.—Got the above ground ready for Sowing tomorrow.
Began to cross plow the first plow’d ground in the lower pasture, endeavoring to get it in Order for sowing Lucerne seed in. * * *
Thursday April 3d. Sow’d 17½ drills of trefoil seed in the ground adjoining the garden, numbering from the side next the Stable (or Work shop), the residue of them viz: 4 was sow’d with Lucerne seed. Both done with design to see how these seeds answer in that ground.—
Sowd my fallow field in Oats today, and harrow’d them in, viz: 10½ bushels got done about three oclock.—
Cook Jack after laying of the lands in this field went to plowing in the 12 acre field, where they were yesterday, as did the other plow abt. 5 o’clock after pointing.—
Got several composts and laid them to dry in order to mix with the Earth brought from the field below, to try their several virtues. * * *
Friday Apl 4th. Sow’d about one Bushel of barley in a piece of ground near the tobacco house in the 12 acre field.—
Harrow’d and cross’d harrowd the ground in the said field intended for Lucerne.
Apprehending the herrings were come, hauled the sein, but catch’d only a few of them tho’ a good many of other sorts.
Maj Stewart and Doctr Johnston came here in the Afternoon; and at Night, Mr. Richie attended by Mr. Ross, solliciting freight.—Promis’d none.
Saturday, April 5th. Planted out 20 young pine trees at the head of my cherry Walk.
Recd my Goods from York.
Haul’d the Sein again; catch’d 2 or 3 white fish, more herring than yesterday and a great number of Cats.
Richie and Ross went away.
Made another plow the same as my former, excepting that it has two eyes and the other one. * * *
Sunday, April 6th. * * * I just perceiv’d the Rye grass seed, which I sow’d in the garden to try its goodness, was beginning to come up pretty thick; the clover lucerne, and barley I discovered above ground, on the first instant.
Majr Stewart and Doctr. Johnston set out for Winchester.
Monday April 17th. * * * In the Evening Colo. Frog came here and made me an offer of 2400 Acres of Land wch he has in Culpeper for £400. This land lyes (according to his account) 46 Miles above The Falls of Rappahannock, is well water’d timber’d and of a fertile soil; no implements on it. I told him that I wou’d get Captn Thomas Fitzhugh to give me his opinion of the land, when he went next to his quarter not far from it; or I wou’d take it in my way from Frederick, when I next went up there as it lies he says only 8 miles from the place where Josh. Nevil livd at the Pignut Ridge.
One Captn. Kennelly [Connolly?] lives within a mile of the land and is well acquainted with it.
People kept Holliday.
Tuesday, April 8th. What time it began raining in the night I cant say, but at day break it was pouring very hard, and continued so, till 7 o’clock when a Messenger came to inform me that my Mill was in great danger of blowing. I immediately hurried off all hands with shovels &c to her assistance and got there myself just time enough to give her a reprieve for this time by wheeling dirt into the place which the water had wash’d.
While I was here a very heavy Thunder shower came on which lasted upwards of an hour.—
Here also, I tried what time the Mill requir’d to grind a bushel of corn, and to my Surprize found she was within 5 minutes of an hour about this. Old Anthony attributed to the low head of water, but whether it was so or not I can’t say—her works [being] all decayd and out of Order, which I rather take to be the cause.
This bushel of corn when ground measurd near a peck more Meal. * * *
Wednesday Apl 9th. * * * The heavy rains that had fallen in this few days past had made the ground too wet for plowing; I therefore set about the Fence which Incloses my Clover Field.
Doctr Laurie came here, I may add drunk.
Observed the trefoil which I sow’d on the 3d instt. to be coming up, but in a Scattering manner. The lucerne which was sow’d at the same time and in the same manner, appear’d much better, & forwarded.
Thursday Apl. 10th. Mrs. Washington was blooded by Doctr Laurie who stay’d all night.
This morning my plows began to work in ye clover field, but a hard shower of rain from No. Et. (where the wind hung all day) abt 11 o’clock stop’d them for the remainder of the day. I therefore employd the hands in making two or three hauls of the Sein, and found that the Herrings were come.
Val. Crawford brought me 4 Hhds of my Mountain Tobacco to the Warehouses in Alexandria, two in my own Waggon, and with a plow such as they use mostly in Frederick, came here in the night.
He inform’d me of my worthy Overseer Hardwick’s lying since the 17th Ulto. in Winchester of a broken leg.
Friday April 11th. Set one Plow to work again in the Morning; the other about 10 o’clock in the clover field.
Try’d the new plow brought yesterday, found she did good work and run very true but heavy, rather too much so for two horses, especially while the ground was moist.
Abt. 11 o’clock, set the people to hauling the sein, and by night; and in the night catch’d and dress’d — barrels of herring and 60 White fish.
Observ’d that the flood tide was infinitely the best for these fish. * * *
Saturday April 12th. * * * Hauld the Sein but without success, some said it was owing to the wind setting of the shore, which seems in some measure confirm’d by the quantity we catch’d yesterday when the Wind blew on upon it.
About 11 o’clock finish’d plowing the clover field; about 1, Mulatto Jack began harrowing it with the wide toothd harrow, and got half over the Field by night. Cook Jack went to Plowing in the 12 Acre Field.
Perceiv’d my Barley and Oats to be coming up very thick and well.
Engag’d 150 Bushels of Oats of an Eastern shore Man and got 40 of them landed before I found they were damag’d.
Sunday April 13th. * * * My Negroes askd the lent of the Sein to-day but caught little or no fish.—Note, ye wind blew upon the shore to-day.
Monday April 14th. Fine warm day, Wind Soly and clear till the evening when it clouded; No fish were to be catch’d today neither.
Mix’d my compost in a box with ten apartments, in the following manner, viz:—in No 1. is three pecks of the earth brought from below the hill out of the 46 acre field without any mixture;—in No. 2—is two pecks of the said earth and one of marle taken out of the said field, which marle seem’d a little inclinable to sand.
3. Has—2 Pecks of said earth, and 1 of river side sand
4. Has a peck of horse dung.
5. Has mud taken out of the creek
6. Has cow dung.
7. Marle from the gulleys on the Hill side which seem’d to be purer than the other.
8. Sheep Dung.—
9. Black mould taken out of the Pocoson on the creek side.
10. Clay got just below the garden.
All mix’d with the same quantity and sort of earth in the most effectual manner by reducing the whole to a tolerable degree of fineness and jabling them well together in a Cloth.
In each of these divisions were planted three grains of wheat, 3 of oats, and as many of barley—all at equal distance in rows, and of equal depth (done by a machine made for the purpose).
The wheat rows are next the number’d side, the oats in the middle, and the barley on that side next the upper part of the garden.—
Two or three hours after sowing in this manner, and about an hour before Sunset I water’d them all equally alike with water that had been standing in a tub about two hours exposed to the Sun.
Began drawing bricks, burning lime and preparing for Mr. Triplet, who is to be here on Wednesday to work.
Finish’d harrowing the clover field, and began the harrowing of it.—Got a new harrow made of smaller and closer tinings for harrowing in grain; the other being more proper for preparing the ground for sowing.
Cook Jack’s plow was stopd, he being employ’d in setting the lime kiln.
Tuesday April 15th. Sent Tom and Mike to Alexandria in my boat for 20 or 25 bushels of oats.
Went up myself there to Court, after calling at Mr. Green’s & leaving Mrs. Washington there.
Mr. Darrell not being there, the execution of his Deeds were again put off.
Being informd that French, Triplet and others were about buying (in conjunction) a piece of land of Simon Pierson lying not far from my Dogue Run Quarters, I engag’d him to give me first offer of it so soon as he should determine upon selling it.— * * *
Wednesday Apl. 16. My boat which the wind and rain prevented from returning yesterday came home this morning, the wind being at north west and fresh.
Mr. Triplet & his brother came this day to work. About 10 o’clock they began, and got the wall between the house and dairy finished.
Thinking the ground rather too wet for Sowing, I set my horses to carting rails, and both my plows were stop’d, Cook Jack being employ’d about the Lime.
Finish’d a roller this day for rolling my grain.
Thursday April 17th. By 3 o’clock in the afternoon Mr. Triplet finish’d the wall between the dairy and kitchen. The Rain from that time prevented his working.
Sow’d my clover field with oats, 24 bushels. The upper part next the peach orchard was harrowed in during the rain, but before it began to clog much.
Also sowed 18 rows of lucerne in the 12 acre field below the hills; the first 4 rows were sowd in drills, the others by a line stretch’d and the seed raked in.
Richd Stephens brought down 9 Hogsheads of tobacco to go to the Inspection at Hunting, in a flat which I borrow’d (or I rather suppose hir’d), from Messrs. Carlyle and Dalton—which flat brought down 4 barrels of Corn—being, part of eight that I was to have had of William Garner at the rate of 9/pr barrel, to be pain in pistoles or dollars. It seems the other 4 barrels I am to get from Garner’s house. * * *
Friday April 18th. Righted up all my Fencing.
Planted other pine trees in the fenc’d place at the corner of the garden the first being broke, and much hurt by creatures.
Began Sowing my Clover and got 4 Acres Sow’d—14 lb to the acre. Harrowd it in with the fine tooth’d harrow, as light as I could.
Try’d my roller which find much too light.
Sow’d 69 rows more of lucerne, which makes 87 in all.
Got my cloaths &c packed up for my journey to Williamsberg tomorrow.—
Mr. Barne’s Davy brought home my Negroe fellow, Boson, who ran away on Monday last.
Saturday Apl. 19th. Crossd at Mr. Posey’s Ferry and began my journey to Williamsburg about 9 o’clock. About 11 I broke my chair and had to walk to Port Tobacco, where I was detain’d the whole day getting my chair mended, no Smith being with 6 miles. Lodg’d at Doctr. Halkerton’s.
Sunday April 20th. Set out early, and cross’d at Cedar Point by 10, the day being very calm and fine. Din’d and lodg’d at my Brother’s. The Evening cloudy with rain. Wind, tho’ little at So West.
Monday Apl 21st. Crossd at Southern’s and Tods Bridge and lodg’d at Major Gaines’s.
Tuesday April 22d. Crossd Pamunky at Williams’s Ferry, and visited all the Plantations in New Kent. Found the Overseer’s much behind hand in their business. Went to Mrs. Dandridge’s and lodg’d.
Wednesday April 23d. Went to Colo Bassett’s and remaind there the whole day.
Thursday April 24th. Visited my quarters at Claiborne’s, and found their business in tolerable forwardness. Also went to my other Quarter at NA where there was an insufficient quantity of ground prepard, but all that cou’d be had, it was said.
Din’d at Mr. Bassett’s and went in the evening to Williamsburg.
Friday Aprl 25th. Waited upon the Govr.
Saturday Apl 26th. Visited all the Estates and my own quarters about Williamsburg, found these also in pretty good forwardness.
Receiv’d letters from Winchester, informing me that the small pox had got among my quarter’s in Frederick; determin’d therefore to leave town as soon as possible and proceed up to them.
Sunday Apl. 27th. Went to church. In the afternoon some rain and a great deal of severe lightning, but not much thunder.
Monday Apl 28th. Let my House in town to Colo Moore, for Colo Dandridge, who is to come into it in the fall and pay me 45 £ per annum. In the mean while I am to paint it.
In the afternoon, after collecting what money I coud I left town and reach’d Colo Bassett’s.
This day agreed with Mr. Jno. Driver, of Nansemond, for 25,000 shingles to be deliver’d in October. They are to be 18 inch shingles, and of the best sort. Desir’d him, if he cou’d not cause them to be deliver’d for 18 / a Thousand, not to send them but let me know of it as soon as possible.
Tuesday Apl. 29th. Reach’d Port Royal by Sunset.—
Wednesday 30th. Came to Hoes Ferry by 10 o’clock, but the wind blew too fresh to cross: detain’d there all night.
Thursday May 1st. Got over early in the morning and reachd home before dinnertime, and upon enquiry found that my clover field was finish’d sowing and rolling the Saturday I left home; as was the sowing of my lucerne, and that on the — they began sowing the last field of oats and finish’d it the 25th.
That in box No. 6, two grains of wheat appeard on the 20th.; one an Inch high. On the 22 a grain of Wheat in No 7 and 9 appear’d. On the 23d, after a good deal of rain the night before, some stalks appeard in Nos. 2, 3, 4, 5, & 8, but the ground was so hard bak’d by the drying winds when I came home, that it was difficult to say which Nos. look’d more thriving. However in
The two grains in No. 8 were I think rather the strongest, but upon the whole No. 9 was the best. * * *
Sunday May 4th. Warm and fine,—Set out for Frederick, to see my Negroes that lay ill of the Small pox. Took Church in my way to Coleman’s, where I arriv’d about Sun setting.—
Monday May 5th. Reachd Mr. Stephenson’s in Frederick abt 4 o’clock, just time enough to see Richd. Mount’s interred. Here I was inform’d that Harry and Kit, the two first of my Negroes that took the Small pox were dead, and Roger and Phillis, the only two down with it, were recovering from it. Lodgd at Mr. Stephenson’s.
Tuesday May 6. Visited my Brother’s Quarter, and just call’d at my own, in my way to Winchester, where I spent the day and evening with Colo. Byrd &c.
The Court was held to day at Stephen’s Town, but adjourn’d to Winchester to-morrow.—
Wednesday May 7. After taking the Doctor’s directions in regard to my people, I set out for my quarters and got there about 12 Oclock, time enough to go over them and find every thing in the utmost confusion disorder and backwardness—my Overseer lying upon his back of a broken leg, and not half a crop, especially of Corn ground prepar’d.—
Engag’d Vall Crawford to go in pursuit of a nurse, to be ready in case more of my people should be seizd with the same disorder.
Thursday May 8th. Got Blankets and every other requisite from Winchester, and settl’d things upon the best footing I cou’d to prevent the Small pox from spreading; and in case of its spreading for the care of the negroes—Mr. Val Crawford agreeing in case any more of the People at the lower quarter getting it, to take them home to his house, and if any of those at the upper quarter gets it, to have them remov’d into my room and the Nurse sent for.
Friday May 9th. Set out on my return home, the morning drizzling a little. call’d at the bloomery and got Mr. Wm. Crawford to shew me the place that has been so often talk’d of for erecting an iron Work upon.
The convenience of water is great. First it may be taken out of the river into a canal and a considerable fall obtain’d; & then a run comes from the Mountain on which the largest fall may [be] got with small labor and expence, but of the constancy of this Stream I know nothing nor cou’d Crawford tell me. I saw none of the Ore, but all people agree that there is an inexhaustible fund of that, that is rich. But wood seems an obstacle, not but that there is enough of it but the ground is so hilly and rugged as not to admit of making coal or transporting it—
I did not examine the place so accurately myself as to be a competent judge of this matter, and Mr Crawford says there will be no difficulty in the case.
Saturday May 10 Arrivd at home about 10 o’clock where I found my brother John, and was told that my great Chestnut foalded [foaled] a horse colt on the 6 Instant, and that my Young peach trees were wed according to order.
The oats, and in short everything else, seem’d quite at a stand, from the dryness of the earth which was remarkably so, partly for want of rain and partly by the constant drying winds which have blown for some time past.—
Sunday May 11th. Mrs Washington went to church.—
My black pacing Mare was twice Cover’d—
Proposd a purchase of some Lands which Col F—x has at the mouth of the Warm Spring Run joining Barwick’s bottom. He promisd me the preference if he should sell, but is not inclined to do it at present. * * *
Friday May 16th. Still Cool and Windy, my People yet continuing at Muddy Hole—my Brother John left this and I got Nation’s Estate appraisd by Messrs McCarty, Barry & Triplet, as follows—viz:
Saturday—May 17th. Mulatto Jack return’d from King William, with 3 yoke of oxen and lost Punch, the horse he rid.
Sent up 16 Hydes to Mr. Adams at Alexandria, viz:—
12 large & 4 small ones to be Tan’d—Brought a pipe of Wine from there, which Captn McKie brought from Madeira, also a Chest of lemons and some other trifles.
Began weeding my trefoil below the hill.
The Great Bay was coverd; and got an acct that the assembly was to meet on Monday. Resolvd to set off tomorrow.
Sunday May 18th. Set out in company with Mr. George Johnston. At Colchester was inform’d by Colos Thornton and Chissel that the Assembly would be broke up before I cou’d get down. Turn’d back therefore and found Colo Fairfax and his family, and that lightning, which had attended a good deal of rain, had struck my quarter and near 10 Negroes in it, some very bad but with letting blood they recoverd.
Monday May 19th. Went to Alexandria to see Captn. Littledale’s ship launchd, which went off extreamely well, this day was attended with slight shower’s. Colo. F—x had a Mare cover’d; so had Captn. Dalton.
Tuesday May 20 Being Court day Mr. Clifton’s land in the Neck was expos’d to sale, and I bought it for £1210 Sterling, under many threats and disadvantages paid the money into the Commissioner’s hands and return’d home at night with Colo Fairfax and Taylor. Captn Dalton’s Dun Mare again covd.
Wednesday May 21. Wrote to Messrs. Nicholas, & Wythe for advice how to act in regard to Clifton’s land. Sent the letter by the post. A good deal of rain in the night.
Colo Fairfax went home. Began shearing my sheep.
Thursday May 22d. Continued shearing my Sheep—A good deal of rain at night—and cool as it has been ever since the first rain on ye 12th.
Captn. Dalton had a Sorrel Mare coverd.—
My Black Mare that came [from] Frederick was coverd yesterday and the day before.
Captn. McCarty had a Mare coverd the 20th.
[1 ]This Journal is the earliest daily record of Washington’s life at Mount Vernon that I have been able to find. It is printed nearly in full, the omitted sentences being merely records of the weather from day to day.
[2 ]Daniel French.
[1 ]Dr. James Laurie. He attended all of Washington’s people in the country for £15 per annum.
[1 ]I shall therefore distinguish this ball by the stile and title of the Bread & Butter Ball.—(Note by Washington.)