Front Page Titles (by Subject) TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIII (1794-1798)
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON. - George Washington, The Writings of George Washington, vol. XIII (1794-1798) 
The Writings of George Washington, collected and edited by Worthington Chauncey Ford (New York and London: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1890). Vol. XIII (1794-1798).
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TO THOMAS JEFFERSON.
Mount Vernon, 4 October, 1795.
Your letter of the 12th ulto. after travelling to Philadelphia and back again was received by me at this place, the 1st Instant.
The letter from Madame de Chastellux to me is short, referring to the one she has written to you, for particulars respecting herself and infant son. Her application to me is unquestionably misplaced, and to Congress it would certainly be unavailing, as the Chevalier Chastellux’s pretensions (on which her’s must be founded) to any allowance from this country were no greater than that of any and every other Officer of the French army who served in America the last war. To grant to one therefore would open a wide door to applications of a similar nature, and to consequent embarrassments. Probably the sum granted at the last session of Congress to the daughter of the Count de Grasse, has given rise to this application—that it has done so in other instances I have good reasons to believe.
I am much pleased with the account you have of the succory. This, like all other things of the sort with me since my absence, from home, have come to nothing: for neither my Overseers, nor Manager will attend properly, to anything but the crops they have usually cultivated; and in spite of all I can say, if there is the smallest discretionary power allowed them, they will fill the land with Indian Corn, altho’ even to themselves there are the most obvious traces of its baneful effects.—I am resolved however, as soon as it shall be in my power, to attend a little more closely to my own concerns, to make this Crop yield in a degree to other grain,—to pulses—and to grasses.—I am beginning again with Chicory, from a handful of seed given to me by Mr. Strickland; which though flourishing at present, has no appearance of seeding this year. Lucern has not succeeded better with me than with you; but I will give it another and a fairer tryal before it is abandoned altogether. Clover, when I can dress lots well, succeeds with me, to my full expectation, but not on the fields in rotation. Altho’ I have been at much cost in seeding them,—this has greatly disconcerted the system of rotation on which I had decided;—I wish you may succeed in getting good seed of the winter Vetch;—I have often imported it but the seed never vegitated or in so small a proportion as to be destroyed by weeds—believe it wou’d be an acquisition if it was once introduced properly, in our farms.—The Albany pea which is the same as the field pea, of Europe, I have tried and found it will grow well, but is subject to the same bug which perforates the Garden pea, and eats out the Kernel;—so it will happen I fear with the pea you propose to import,—I had great expectation from a green dressing with Buck-wheat as a preparatory fallow for a crop of wheat; but it has not answered my expectation yet; I ascribe this, however, more to mismanagement in the times of seeding and plowing in, than any defect in the system. The first ought to be so ordered in point of time, as to meet a convenient season for ploughing it in while the plant is in its most succulent state, but this has never been done on my farms, and consequently has drawn as much from as it has given to the earth.—It has always appeared to me that there were two modes in which Buck wheat might be used advantageously as a manure.—One to sow early and as soon as a sufficiency of seed ripened, to stock the ground a second time, to turn the whole in, and when the succeeding growth is getting in full bloom, to turn that in also (before the seed begins to ripen) and when the fermentation and putrefaction ceases to sow the ground in that state and plow in the wheat.—The other mode is to sow the Buck wheat so late as that it shall be generally about a foot high, at the usual seeding of wheat, then turn it in, and sow thereon immediately, as on a clover lay, harrowing in the seed lightly to avoid disturbing the buried Buck wheat—I have never tryed the last method but see no reason against its succeeding.—The other, as I observed above, I have prosecuted, but the Buck wheat has always stood too long, and consequently had got too dry and sticky to answer the end of a succulent plant.
But of all the improving and ameliorating crops, none in my opinion, are equal to Potatoes on stiff and hard bound land (as mine is). I am satisfied from a variety of instances, that on such land a crop of potatoes is equal to an ordinary dressing. In no instance have I failed of good wheat, Oats or clover that followed potatoes;—and I conceive they give the soil a darker hue.—I shall thank you for the result of your proposed experiment relatively, the winter Vetch and pea; when they are made.
I am sorry to hear of the depredation committed by the Weavil in your parts, it is a great calamity at all times, and this year when the demand for wheat is so great and the price so high, must be a mortifying one to the farmer;—The rains have been very general, and more abundant, since the first of August than ever happened in a summer within the memory of man. Scarsely a mill dam or bridge between this and Philadelphia, was able to resist them and some were carried off a second and third time.
Mrs. Washington is thankful for your kind remembrance of her, and unites with me in best wishes for you. With very great esteem and regard, &c.