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President, - 

First Vice-President, - 

Second Vice-President, 

Foreign Cm-responding Secretary, 

Home Corresponding Secretary, - 

Recording Secretary, - 

Chairman of the Executive Committee, 


Curator of the Museum, 































WASH 1 f-TOW. 


IriTOTVPt. t. bltH^TAOT, 









Author of "Omitted Chapters of History disclosed in the Life and Papers 
of Edmund Kandolph" 




Tins volume is not only a monument of the first president 
'of the United States, but, in a sense, of the first president of 
\)ie Historical Society by which it is published. For it is the 
munificence of the late James Carson Brevoort which adds 
this contribution to the Centenary of Washington's inaugura- 
tion. He whom the nation calls Father was as deeply inter- 
ested in the literary and scientific, as in the industrial, culture 
of the country, and his homage was especially given to men 
who promoted both. Of these Mr. Brevoort was a remarkably 
fine type. From the infant school in JSTew York, where he 
was born (in Bloomingdale, 10 July ISIS) he passed to the 
Bound Hill School, Xorthampton, Mass., where he was under 
the care of George Bancroft and Joseph Cogswell ; his edu- 
cation was continued in Paris, then in Switzerland — at Baron 
Fellenberg's School, Hofwyl; this being followed by a three 
years* course at the Ecole Centrale des Arts ct Manufacture^ 
in Paris, from which he received a diploma as Civil Engineer. 
After studying railway-construction in France and England 
he returned to Xew York in 1838, and for nearly a year was 
employed at the West Point foundry, in which Ids father was 
interested. In 1841, as surveyor, he accompanied Prof. James 
Benwick, one of the Commissioners of the Xorth-east Bound- 
ary Survey. In 1842 he accompanied Washington Irving, 
United States Minister to Spain, as private secretary and at- 


lache of the Legation. An intimate friendship between Mr. 
Brevoort and Washington Irving continued until the latter's 

death. In 1SI5 he married Elizabeth Dorothea, daughter of 
the Hon. LefTert Lefferts, first Judge of King's County, and 

first president of the Long Island Bank, — the earliest incor- 
porated bank in Brooklyn. After Mr. Brevoort's marriage he 
made Brooklyn his home, and became actively interested in 
whatever concerned the welfare of that city. As a member 
of the Charter Convention (1S47), as a member of the Board 
of Education, and of the Board of Water Commissioners, as 
a trustee of Greenwood Cemetery, his services were of much 
value. In 1SG3 he took an active part in the formation of 
the Long Island Historical Society, was its President until 
1ST3, Chairman of its Executive Committee until 1STG, and 
Director until his death, 15 December 1887. 

Mr. Brevoort's services were by no means limited to any 
locality. For twenty-six years (1S52-1878) he was a trustee 
of the Astor Library, and for two years its superintendent. 
II is scientific and historical contributions were recognized by 
honorary membership in many American Societies, and in the 
Archaeological Society of Madrid. In Natural History he was 
especially interested in Ichthyology ; his collections were ex- 
tensive and his writings on that subject have high authority. 
His " Notes on some Figures of Japanese Fish by Artists of 
the [Jnited States Expedition to Japan ;" his "Early Spanish 
and Portuguese Coinage in America ; " and " Verrazzano, the 
Navigator ; or Notes on Giovanni da Verrazzano, and on a 
planisphere of 1529, illustrating his American Voyage in 
1521:;" are monographs of much value. His thorough ac- 
quaintance with ancient and modern languages opened to him 
original sources of information, which he was always willing 
to impart, selfishness being unknown to his nature. 

PREFACE. v j| 

By many learned Societies Mr. Brevoort was honored ; by 
his associates of the Long Island Historical Society he was 
beloved as well as honored ; and these Washington Papers 
of his donation, are affectionately inscribed to James Carson 
Brevoort, from whom, the patriot and the student will receive 
them as a bequest. 

With the exception of the papers collected by the editor, 
and used in the Introduction and the Appendix, this volume 
consists of 127 Washington MSS., of which nearly all are 
letters to the manager of his Mount Yernon estates during 
his absence while President. They were bought from the 
family of that manager, William Pearce, by the Hon. Ed- 
ward Everett, to whose eloquence the purchase and preser- 
vation of Mount Yernon are mainly due. Mr. Everett had 
intended to edit and publish them, but the task was never 
undertaken. At his death they passed to a member of his 
family, from whom they were purchased by Mr. Brevoort 
and presented to his cherished Long Island Historical So- 


A legend relates that Augustine Washington planted seeds 
which, when they grew, wrote the name of his child — George 
- Washington. It sounds like a fable of Mount Yernon, in 
whose growths is perennially repeated the name of Washing- 
ton:; The present volume bears to the world a finer fruitage 
of that estate, in letters genuine as its oaks, fresh as its sward, 
sweet as its brier roses. Here is the man. Not in the battle- 
field, nor in the executive chair, shall we be intimate with 
the heart of Washington, but at Mount Yernon, where he 
wrote on the landscape what near life : s el<~>5C he repeated on 
paper: "The more I am acquainted with agricultural affairs 
the better I am pleased with them; insomuch that I can no- 
where find so great satisfaction as in these innocent and use- 
ful pursuits. In indulging these feelings I am led to reflect 
how much more delightful, to an undebauched mind, is the 
task of making improvements on earth, than all the vain 
glory which can be acquired from ravaging it by the most 
uninterrupted career of conquests." 

The visitor at Mount Yernon still finds a charm no art 
alone could give, in trees from various climes, each a witness 
of the taste that sought, or the love that sent them, in fields 
which the desolating step of war reverently passed by, in 
flowers whose root is not in graven, yet tinged with the life- 
blood of the heart that cherished them from childhood to old 
age. On those acres we move beneath shade or shelter of 
the invisible tree which put forth whatever meets the eye. 


and has left some sign on each object, large or small. Still 
planted beside his river, he brings forth fruit of his season. 
Nor does his leaf wither. It is still a living inquiry — how 
grew Washington himself '? The inquiry is appropriate for this 
volume, largely concerned with local and family detail.-, and 
some contribution towards its satisfaction must be attempted. 
But for the present every such contribution must amount 
mainly to the collection of neglected materials, by aid of which 
the tree, to continue the similitude, may be distinguished 
from its mythical mosses, and freed from parasitic traditions. 
Much of the Washington Mythology is a folklore such as 
must always invest the founders of nations or the man of the 
people. Washington is entitled to his Washingtondore, by 
which, indeed, he is rather draped than disguised. It is the 
fashion tu smile at Parson Wecms's romances of Washington's 
early life; but the quaint " Rector of Mount Vernon,' 1 as he 
called himself, to whom Washington in his last year wrote a 
kindly letter, needs only more time-perspective to be seen as 
an humble Homer reciting to Virginia villagers legends and 
ballads of their great men. One would travel far to surprise 
him reading the Bible to the negroes in their cabins, then 
tuning his fiddle for their dance ; or to observe the lank figure 
beside his ancient buggy and bony horse, attracting his court- 
ereen audience with his music, and selling his patriotic leaf- 
lets. The very soul of his time, picturesque as it recedes, is 
in his ballad of Lord Fairfax, who, on hearing that Great 
Britain had surrendered to his surveyor, said, in Weems's 
recitative : " Come, Joe, I'm sure 'tis high time for me to die." 

11 Then up rose Joe, all at the word. 

And took his master's arm, 
And to his bed he softly led 

The lord of Grcenway farm : 
There oft he called on Britain's name, 

And oft he wept full sore, 
And sighed • Thy will, O Lord, be done ! ' 

And word spake never more." 



The legends of Washington's physical strength connect 
him with the race of heroes whose moral greatness gained 
traditional expression in a symbolism of size. When Henry 
11. would terminate the superstition of his Celtic subjects 
that King Arthur was not dead, but would reappear to expel 
the Saxons, he arranged that certain large animal bones 
should be discovered at Glastonbury and buried with pomp 
as those of Arthur. Ordinary human bones would have been 
popularly repudiated. The tale of "Washington's father plant- 
ing seeds which in springing up wrote his son's initials in green 
shoots, and suggested a sermon on creative design, does not 
lose interest by being borrowed from Dr. Beattie's sketch of 
his son. There were legends to suggest the contrivance to 
Beattie, stretching back as far as that of the infant Hilde- 
hrand who arranged the chips with which he played into the 
prophetic sentence, " Dominabitur a mare ad mare." Arthu- 
rian and Gregorian mythology that has migrated across the 
seas and twined round the childhood of a certain Virginian 
is not to be explained as falsehood nor dismissed as rubbish. 
Augustine Washington compelling the growing seed to write 
his son's name turns out to be Weems and others planting old 
stories to spring up as Washington-glories. The nation out- 
grows that particular folklore ; it can not linger in the nur- 
sery where Washington's name is written in goody-goody 
stories ; but it is not mature enough to dispense with the 
mythological figure altogether. It clings to the fable that 
Frederick the Great sent Washington a sword, with homage 
of "the oldest general in the world to the greatest,' 1 to the 
legend that our flag was evolved from his coat of arms, and 
the tradition that he never laughed. 

By varieties of portraiture, pictorial and historical, Wash- 
ington's individuality was made by one and another pious or 
political party into its own image, with result of the com- 
posite effigy with which the real personality revealed by re- 
search has to contend. To restore Washington to the place 


occupied by this conventionalized Holy Picture has become 
the necessity of political history. The literary manipulation 
of Washington's writings, now generally condemned, was only 
part of a system of pious suppression and conventionaliza- 
tion. The great need of the world is a complete and critical 
biography of Washington, but to write it would require a cour- 
age equal to his own. And indeed, for the present, it is on 
Washington's own courage that the truth of his history is 
mainly depending. He has fearlessly left to the certain in- 
spection of mankind, diaries and letters, in which his public 
and private life are faithfully recorded. These remains, 
more than 4,000, mainly preserved by his own drafts, amount 
to an autobiography so candid that, when fully published, 
other biographies will be shelved. 

It is natural that some should have misgivings concerning 
this complete publication of Washington. The historiog- 
rapher of the Diocese of Virginia, Dr. Philip Slaughter, 
(whose eloquent centennial discourse in Washington's church 
at Alexandria all should read) wrote to me last year : " What 
a terrible ordeal Washington's character will have to endure 
at the many hands now plying their scalpels and critical 
glasses to its dissection. To have all one's doings and sav- 
ings in the abandon of private life proclaimed upon the 
house-tops is a trial through which no one could pass un- 
scathed save that peerless person who stood alone with noth- 
ing like to him.*' Since this was written (IS Dec. 1SSS) 
fragmentary publications of the intimate correspondence of 
Washington, often with ignorant inferences, have subjected 
his fame to an unfair ordeal. The danger now lies rather in 
partial than in full publicity. When Washington appears as 
delineated by himself in his simple record some small haloe- 
may fade; but it will be found that such haloes have ob- 
scured a greater brain than is commonly recognized, a larger 
heart, a life more pathetic, a character formed by the eigh- 
teenth century of America which in turn he largely formed. 


At any rate, it is inevitable that every word of Washington 
shall be brought to light. American history is not yet really 
written, and cannot be written, nor our future stand firmly 
on the shoulders of the Past, unless we can freely study this 
man both as an individual and a type of his time, instead of 
a supernatural avatar. And this emancipation from thral- 
dom to a mere name is a final service done by the pen of him 
whose sword liberated us from the previous superstition of 

There is a further reason why Washington alone can reveal 
his true self beneath his traditional effigy. He was an un- 
witting party to his own conventionalization. His patriotism 
and his humility induced him to sacrifice his preferences, in 
ceremonial matters, to statesmen more learned than himself, 
but often less wise. American society was under sway of 
courts . for some time after political independence was 
achieved. "It was expected," wrote Edmund Randolph, "at 
the commencement of our revolutionary government that 
these gaudy trappings would be abandoned. They were re- 
tained indeed by usage, not by any authoritative recognition, 
nor yet from any admiration of the empty baubles in the 
country of our origin, or an anti-republican tendency in the 
people ; but they may be ascribed to a degree of pride which 
would not sutfer the new government to carry with it fewer 
testimonies of public devotion than the old," By such in- 
fluences Washington was induced to accept, as President, a 
ceremonial regime which lie disliked, — his wife declaring her 
environment of etiquette a virtual imprisonment. Washing- 
ton also attitudinises in heroic portraits through submission 
to their painters. Such irksome concessions helped to diffuse 
a misconception of his character which, had it not been erro- 
neous, might have made him a' king. Yet just this consti- 
tutes what one may almost call a Washiugtonology. He 
stands like an obelisk, whose substance tells the story of a 
geologic formation, but is yet less important than the symbols 


and histories engraved on it. Washington is our eighteenth 

At Wakefield, the birthplace of Washington, I have found, 
on a document of 1695, a seal with modifications of the 
Washington arms which may shed light on the genealogical 
problem. For their appreciation the reader will find the fol- 
lowing facts important, and, indeed, of interest apart from 
the question of pedigree. 

In 1785 the Countess of Huntington, a connection of the 
Northamptonshire Washington's, claimed relationship with 
the General, whom she sought to enlist in her scheme for In- 
dian evangelization. In 1791 Sir Isaac Heard, Garter King 
of Arms, enclosed to Washington a genealogical statement on 
the same theory. In his reply (2 Hay 1792) Washington 
says : " I have often heard others of the family, older than 
myself, say, that our ancestor, who first settled in this coun- 
try, came from some one of the northern counties of Eng- 
land ; but whether from Lancashire, Yorkshire, or one still 
more northerly I do not precisely remember. The arms en- 
closed in your letter are the same that are held by the family 
here ; though I have also seen, and have used, as you may 
perceive by the seal to this packet, a flying griffin for the 

The seal here referred to was no doubt Washington's pri- 
vate seal, now in possession of Robert J. Washington of 
Westmoreland, to whom I. am indebted 
for the impression here given. The Snl- 
grave crest has a raven instead of a 
griffin. Notwithstanding Washington's 
suggestion of a more northerly origin 
the pedigree of the family from that of 
Northamptonshire had been generally ac- 
cepted until 1867. In that year Col. 

Private Seal. l _ 

Joseph L. Chester, in the New England 

Historical and Genealogical Regist€t\ proved that the John 


Lawrence Washington of Northamptonshire, previously 

identified as the Virginia immigrants, 
never came to America. 

Washington used a curious variety of 
seals. The " private seal " differs from 
:>iu>ther, used at the same period, in its 
foliations, being also without the motto, 
" Krltus acta jirohat" which occurs on 
two other seals. At what time Wash- 
ington began to use the arms, — three 
mullets in chief, and two bars, — ris un- 
certain. His early seals had no armorial 
character. By the favor of Mr. Howell, 
of the N. Y. State Library, and skill of 
Miss Sutermeister, his assistant, I am 
enabled to present fae-similes of Wash- 
ington's watch-chain (reduced from 7J- 
in. to 6) and two seals (full-sized), pur- 
chased by New York from 
/$£§& %^r\ ^ ie estate of Lewis W. 
' i :tlf »/ V ^A) Washington. The earlier, 

on Braddock's field and 

Silver Seal. 

there found by Daniel 
Boone Logan in 1842. The "golden 
seal " no doubt succeeded the other. 
Dr. A. M. Hamilton of 
New York owns a very 
old china plate from 
Mount Vernon, with the 
letters " Geo. and M.W," 
beneath a spread eagle 
with thunderbolts in its talons. This ap- 
pears to me earlier than the mirror and 
silver plate, in the National Museum, on 

Gold Seal. 




which the Sulgrave arms are represented. In a letter of 
June 1768, to Robert Gary & Co., London, ordering a chariot, 
Washington directs that it shall be decorated " with my arms 
agreeable to the impression here sent." This is his earliest 
mention of arms. In vol. I. of Washington's Letters (State 
Department) p. 701, a letter to Hancock, IS May 1776, bears 
traces of a seal that may have had some armorial character ; 
but the earliest certain use of any device by Washington 
is a griffin, which seals a letter to Robert Morris, 27 Jan. 
1777. (lb. vol. III. p. 500.) In the same volume, p. 571, 
the arms occur on a letter of 3 March 1777 to Messrs. 
Morris, Clymer, and Walton, Members of Congress. The 
shield is here, as on the furniture in the National Museum, 
of the "heater" (flatiron) shape. As yet no motto ap- 
pears. In 1777 Washington used other seals : on July 31 
lie seals a letter to Hancock with an urn (vol. IY. p. 171); 
on Sep. 13 and 16, to the same, he seals with a dove bear- 
ing an olive branch over a flood, and motto " La Fax " (vol. 
V. pp. 55, 67). 

From an early period Washington appears to have gener- 
ally used some kind of envelope, and the rarity of examples 
of his seals may thus be partly accounted for ; but he also 
often used wafers. On four letters only of the present 
volume are there arms. On the letter (1779) to Lund Wash- 
ington, p. 320, the crown and griffin alone appear; this also is 
the seal on a Letter to Bushrod Washington 15 Jan. 1784 in 
this Introduction. A letter (1700) to Pearce, p. 209, has the 
SmVrave arms as engraved above, with the crooked shield, 
but with the motto added ; such is also the seal on the letter 
(1797) to Bushrod Washington, p. 339. The foliations around 
this motto-shield are different from the ''private seal/' The 
earliest use of the latter which I have found is on a leave of 
absence to Major I/Enfant 10 Oct. 17S3. Sir John Sinclair 
engraved the same on two of his facsimiles of Washington's 
letters to him (20 Oct. 1792, and 6 Nov. 1797). 



The Siilgrave arms appear on the frame of an en "raved 
portrait of Louis XVI. sent by him to Washington (in the Na- 
tional Mnseum); also in the Columbian 3faya.zine,Yuh. 17S7, 
under a portrait of Washington, who is decorated as if to 
satisfy monarchists of the Constitntional Convention. This 
represents the only publication I can find of the arms, which 
.viine have strangely supposed to be the origin of our stars and 

At what time "Washington began to use his motto I cannot 
discover, but apparently late in life. Mr. Cabot Lodge 
i George Washington, II. p. 3S6) relates that "he said to one 
officer, 'I never judge the propriety of actions by after 
events'" — which precisely reverses his motto Exitus acta, 
j>r<>baL Mr. Garnett of the British Museum sends me a let- 
ter of Washington to "Mrs. Wright in England," 30 Jan. 
17S5, which is unique in having the motto under the private 
peal (p. xiv.) and the raven crest, — this, however, different 
from the Siilgrave raven in Sparks I. 174. 

The originals of the Wills of the earlier Washingtons of 
Virginia being lost, it was with but little hope that I resolved 
on an exploration of records in Westmoreland. But under 
the hospitable roof of "Wakefield, residence of Mr. and Mrs. 
John E. Wilson — the latter a descendant of Col. Wm. Aug. 
Washington — was made the discovery to which I have re- 
ferred. Among Mr. Wilson's papers is an Indenture of 
Lewis Markham, dated 28 May 1G95, convey- 
ing land to " Lawrence Washington Gentl," to 
complete which he borrowed Lawrence's seal. 
The shield has the three mullets in chief, 
two bars, and no crescent. Crest a helmet (I 
think), supporting coronet, and eagle issuant. wakefLeia seal 
* hiQ significance of this Crest is that the eagle (exs 
k u?x>d by the German Washingtons who come of the *Ad- 
wiek-lc-Street branch. This makes a third coincidence with 
the German family, which uses the griffin and motto also. 


In the Historical Magazine (III. p. 83) the Adwick brand] is 
traced to the family which named Washington parish, Dur- 
ham — the only parish so named save that in Virginia. On 
the marriage of their heiress Dyonis Washington with Sir 
William Tempest, of Studley Royal, the minor branch dis- 
persed. In 1577 James Washington owned the manor of 
Adwick-le-Street. John Washington came to Virginia from 
South Cave, and it may be noted that the castle there was 
thirty years ago owned by an heiress named Lawrence. 1 
Another member of the family founded a family in Ger- 
many. To Baron Yon Washington of Munich the President 
wrote, 20 Jan. 1790: ".There can be but little doubt, Sir, of 
our descending from the same stock*' {Hist. Mag., TV. p. S6). 2 

1 That Jolm Washington emigrated from South Cave (30 miles from Ad- 
wick-le-Street) is a tradition, but with many probabilities in its favor. 
Wakefield, which reappears as name of the Virginia homestead, is also in 
Yorkshire. As to the name "Lawrence," so much used by the American 
family, it may be mentioned for what it is worth that in the early annals a 
marriage is recorded of Sir James Lawrence of Trafford, Lancashire, with 
Matilda, heiress of one John Washington. The name "Lund " also appears 
at the head of the Adwick-le-Street pedigree in Sparks (I. 554;. It should 
be borne in mind that the coronet from which a crest issues signifies noth- 
ing in the way of rank. 

2 The account given by the Bavarian Barons Von Washington of their 
family is that their ancestor James Washington (brother of the Virginians) 
was involved in the Duke of Monmouth affair (1G83-4) and fled to Hol- 
land. This corresponds with the Rotterdam merchant of that name men- 
tioned in Sparks' table of the Adwick-le-Street family. In the same table, 
besides this Rotterdam James, appears " Jolm, drowned in 1661." Possibly 
John was not drowned. (Magazine of Am. Hist. Feb. 1879.) In Bietstap 
{Armorial General) the arms of the German family are given as follows:— 
" "Washington. Bav. (Barons S dec. 1S29). D'arg. a deux fasces ah. de. gu. 
ace. de trois etoiles du nicme, ranges en chef. C<p cour. C: une t'-te et col 
d'aicrle de sa., tenent en son bee une rose blanche tige'e et feuillee do sin. S : 
deux griffons de sa. D : Exitm acta probat." It will be seen that this is sub- 
stantially the coat of arms on the Wakefield seal,— the crest also, excepting 
the white rose in the eagle's beak. This Wakefield eagle also seems to hold 
something in its beak. The Germans are the only other Washington family 
in which I can discover the use of the General's motto. II is crest appears 
in their griffin supporters. In England the motto is nsed by several fam- 
ilies, and the three stars and two bars by the Frcke family. 



In 1626 a Lawrence Washington lived in Bermuda; and Mr. 
Alexander Brown of Va. has discovered the indictment of one 
George Washington at the Bermuda Assizes, Nov. 1648, for 
saving that "the King lias sould his subjects to Popery'* and 
4 ' deserved to be hanged 7 years ago." 

Whence came the griffin, as the Washington crest, I do 
not know. At Wakefield Mr. Wilson showed me an arbitra- 
tion (3 Dec. 1742) between Augustine and John, — the Gen- 
eral's father and uncle — on their boundaries; to this they 
have affixed, if we make it out correctly, each the same seal, 
— which appears to me a griffin, but with wings more dis- 
played than those used by the General, and more like the 
Yorkshire family's eagle. Xo arms are on this seal used by 
the brothers. Indeed Augustine does not appear to have 
been particular about his seal, and on an important Agree- 
ment of 1737 (owned by Dr. Emmet) his round seal, perhaps 
borrowed from a bystander, represents two Cupids playing 
with hearts. 1 

The first Washingtons in Virginia may therefore be re- 

! After tlie above was in type I was favored by Mr. Dean, editor of the 
-\rir England Historical and Genealogical Register, with sheets of an impor- 
tant contribution on the subject by Henry F. Waters, A.M. The paper now 
appears in the October Register. It adds to our knowledge the fact that the 
younger of the Virginia immigrants, Lawrence Washington, was from Lu- 
ton, Bedfordshire. Twelve miles from Luton is Tring, Co. Herts, where 
Mr. Waters discovers the presence of a Lawrence Washington, and two sons 
—John and Lawrence — who, at the time of immigration (1657) would be 
23 and 24 years of age. Mr. Waters believes this Lawrence, the father, to 
to the one who was supposed, until Col. Chester's paper of 1SG7, to be him- 
•-' If the immigrant ; that is the Rev. Fellow of Brasenose, Oxford, and rec- 
tor of Purleigh. This would restore the Sulgrave connection though in an- 
other generation. The theory, however, is doubtful. There is no certainty 
that Lawrence of Tring was a clergyman, and Mr. Waters does not explain 
■'■by the sons of a rector of Purleigh, Essex, from 1632 to 1643, should he 
born at Tring, Herts, in 1034 and 1035. And these were young, in 1657, to 
*• *ve families. There were several Lawrence Washingtons of that generation, 
-4 it is not easy to identify the one at Tring, but Mr. Waters has shown 
I robabilities that it is in that region we are likely to discover further traces 
' • the brothers who migrated to Virginia. It may be hoped that Mr. Waters 
* ill find some seal at Tring to compare with that just found at Wakefn Id. 


garded as of the "minor gentry.'' The archives of Maryland 
(Hist. Mag. 2nd Series, I. p. 29) show that John Washing- 
ton, on his arrival, complained to Governor Fendall, of Mary- 
land, against Captain Prescott for having hung an alleged 
witch, Elizabeth Richardson, on the voyage. When the trial 
came on John excused to the Governor his non-attendance 
(30 Sept. 1659), "Because then, God willing, I intend to gett 
my young Sonne baptized. All ye Company and Gossips be- 
ing already invited." Col. John Washington's indignation 
against Prescott (who pleaded that he was not in command 
at the time, and that the crew were on the verge of mutiny) 
is some offset against his ferocity against the Indians, who 
called him Conotocarius, — town-destroyer, — a title which his 
famous grandson found fallen to himself when in youth he 
was sent on a peaceful mission to the Indians. The land 
which John occupied in Westmoreland is still called Indian 
Town. Washington village, Durham, was the place of the 
dragon which the Knight Lambton encountered, and John 
may have fancied he was fulfilling the tradition of his elders 
when he dragooned red men. John brought his first wife 
and two children with him from England. These having all 
died, he married Anne Pope of Pope's Creek, about 1600. 

About the same time the other immigrant, Lawrence, mar- 
ried Mildred Warner (second wife) and reciprocally named 
his first son after his brother John, — whose first American 
son was named Lawrence. 

These brothers were among the earliest settlers of West- 
moreland, Virginia, which is first mentioned in an act of July, 
1G53, as extending ''from Achoactoke river where Mr. Cole 
lives : And so upwards to the ffalls of the great river of Paw- 
tomake above the Necostius towne." (1 Ilening 3S1.) Nor- 
thumberland had been formed seven years earlier, and Stafford 
is first mentioned in 106(3. The brothers together held pat- 
ents for many acres, which they swiftly multiplied, — John 
on the Upper Potomac, Lawrence on the Rappahannock. 


Although Major John Washington was rebuked by Gov. 
Sir William Berkeley for his conduct towards Indians he was 
friendly among his neighbors. Mrs. Frances Peyton, widow 
of Col. Valentine Peyton did, on the 21 July 1665, ordain 
her " trusty and well beloved friend Major John Washing- 
ton " to be her attorney for all purposes. 

In General Washington's time the descendants of the im- 
migrant brothers do not appear to have known their degrees 
of relationship. In his letter to Sir Isaac Heard, Washington 
says the descendants of Lawrence were numerous, but that he 
is unable to give a satisfactory account of them ; and to two 
of them he leaves bequests with the words, " To the acquaint- 
ances and friends of my juvenile years, Lawrence Washington 
and Robert Washington, of Chotanek, I give, etc." By the 
assistance of Prof. Chapman Maupin (of the University 
School, Ellicotfc City, Md.), a descendant of this line, I am 
able to make the relationship clear. Lawrence (the immi- 
grant), a widower, married Jane (called Joyce) Flemming in 
Virginia.: their son John married Mary Townshend (1691- 
2) : of this last-named marriage the eldest son was John, who 
married Miss Massy, and the youngest Townshend, who mar- 
ried Elizabeth Lund. This last-named John had a son named 
Lawrence, and his brother Townshend a son named Robert ; 
and these first cousins were the two " acquaintances and 
friends" of Washington's juvenile years. A brother of 
Robert was Lund Washington, so long the manager of Mount 
Vernon, some of Washington's letters to whom are quoted in 

John, son of the immigrant, who married Mary Townshend, 
married a second wife (name not discovered). A grandson 
of this second marriage was Col. Bailey Washington, whose 
son William Augustine Washington was the hero of Cowpens. 
This Col. William Washington's admirable qualities won the 
esteem of General Washington, and there was even an in- 
timacy between them. 


For the following I am indebted to Dr. Toner of Washinsr- 

"Charleston S. C. Nov. 7 th 1790. 

"Your Excellency's favor of March 25 th accompanied with a 
Medal struck by order of the late Congress I have received. 

" This flattering mark of respect confered on me by the Represen- 
tatives of my Country will mako a indelible impression of gratitude 
on my mind. 

" The people of this State indulge themselves with the hope that 
your Excellency will pay them a visit the ensuing year, it will give 
me much pleasure if your Excellency and family will abide with me 
whilst in Charleston. 

" Mrs. Washington natters herself with the pleasure of your Lady's 


I am sir 

With the greatest respect and esteem 

Your Excellency's 

Very obedi' 1 Servt. 

W. Washington." 

Col. William, it is said, declined the title " General," say- 
ing " there can be but one General Washington in America." 
His military career in the revolution was cut short by capture 
and parole ; but in 1798, when Washington was again made 
Commander (on the prospect of war with France) he ap- 
pointed Col. William Washington to the command of North 
and South Carolina and Georgia, with the rank of Brigadier 
General. Col. Washington was then living at Charleston, S. 
G, where he had married (a Miss Elliot), and where his de- 
scendants are numerous. To one of these I am indebted 
for a letter written by Brig. Gen. William Washington to 
General Washington 19 Oct. 1798, the closing paragraphs of 
which are as follows : — 

" I had indulged the pleasiog hope that I had made a final retreat 
into the peaceful shades of retirement, but at this momentous crisis I 
shall not hesitate when I shall have my appointment officially an- 
nounced (at present I know nothing of it, except what appeal's in the 


XX ill 

• rtfrlic prints,) to obey the summons of my country, especially when I 
;,.:., >vr that the army is to be commanded by a chief for whom I have 
i. m) the highest! respect and veneration. 

"Please to make a tender of my best respects to Mrs. Washington* 
With the greatest respect and esteem, your very obedient servant." 

The well-known paternal ancestry of Washington may be 
omitted in order to give more space to his maternal genealogy. 
For this, Capt. George Washington Ball of Fauquier, great- 
l:- s rat-grandson of Mary Washington, has placed at my dis- 
posal his useful monograph on " The maternal ancestry and 
nearest of kin of Washington." The following is from an 
old MS. preserved in the Downman family of Virginia : 

f History of the Ball family of Barkham, comitatis Berks, taken from 
the Visitatio?i Booke of Jx>ndon i marked 0. 24 in the College of 
Arms : 

"William Ball, Lord of the Manor of Barkham, com. Berks, died 
in the year 1480. 

14 Itobert Ball, of Barkham, com. Berks, his son & heir, died in the 
year 1543. He left two sons, "William and Edward. To William lie 
^-ave his personal estate, and lie dwelt at Wokingham. Edward in- 
herited the landed estate. 

" William Ball died at Wokingham in 1550, and was succeeded by 
liis son John Ball, who married, first, Alice Haynes of Finchhamp- 
.-tead, by whom he had foui children, William, Bichard, Elizabeth. 
.Toane ; and, second, Agnes, daughter of Bichard Holloway of Baik- 
Itain, by whom he had four children, John, Robert, Thomas, and 
Rachel, and died in 1599. 

" He was succeeded by his son John Ball, who married Elizabeth, 
daughter of Thomas Webb of Bascombe, com. Berks. He died in 
1028 leaving five sons and six daughters, William, Thoma*, George, 
Bichard, & Samuel, Bachel, Elizabeth, Susan, Als, Dorothy, & Mary. 

"William Ball of Lincoln's Inn, and one of four attorneys in the 
Omco of Pleas in the Exchequer, was living in 1634. CK f . , • 

-.; His son,?CoL William Ball, emigrated to Virginia in the year 1(357, 
and settled at 'Millenbeck' (his plantation) on the Rappahannock 
river, Lancaster County. Parish of Saint Mary's, White Chapel. He 

i •■« 

i f f , 


married Hannah Athorald (Atherall ?) and died in 1C80, leaving two 
sons, William and Joseph, and one daughter, Hannah, who married 
David Fox. 

" Captain William Ball married Margaret, daughter of Rawleigb 
Downman, and resided at ' Millenbeck.' He died Sept. 30th 1694, 
leaving eight sons and one daughter, William, Ilichard, James, Joseph, 
George, David, Stretchley, and Samuel. The daughter, Margaret, 
married her first cousin Raleigh Downman. 

''Joseph Ball, second son of Col. William Ball, of 'Millenbeck,' 
lived at ' Epping Forest ' in Lancaster County, Va. He was married 
twice ; first to [several words illegible here, Miss Eogers is doubtless 
meant,] by whom he had one son, Joseph, and second to Mrs. Mary 
Johnson, by whom he had fire daughters : Hannah, who married Mr. 
Raleigh. Travers, of Stafford; Anne married Col. Edwin Conway; 
Esther married Mr. Raleigh Chinu ; Elizabeth married Rev'd Mr. 
Camagie ; and Mary who married Mr. Washington, and was the mother 
of Gen'l George Washington. 

" Joseph Ball died in June 1715 [1711] and is buried at ' Epping 
Forest,' [Va.] His son Joseph, by his first wife, was educated in Eng- 
land, became a Barrister at Law T , and married Fiances, daughter of 
Thomas liavenscroft of London. He returned to Virginia, and re- 
sided, for some years at ' Moratico,' in Lancaster County, but finally 
went back to England, and lived at Stratford-by-Bow, in Essex Co., 
where he died Jan. 10th 1760. He had only one child, Frances, who 
married Raleigh Downman. They returned to Virginia in 17G5, and 
lived at Moratico. They had three children : Joseph Ball Downman, 
Raleigh Wm. Downman, and Frances, who married James Ball of 
'Bewdly,' Lancaster Co., Va." 

This paper requires a correction : Mary was the only child 
of Col. Joseph Ball by liis second wife ; the others were 
children of his marriage with Miss Rogers. 

The Ball arms are in Burke : Lion rampant, sable, holding 
in the dexter paw a fireball ppr. Crest : out of a ducal cor- 
onet a hand and arm embossed in mail, grasping a fireball ppr. 
Motto: u Coel unique tueri." 

Concerning the widow Mary Johnson, Col. Joseph Ball's 
second wife, Washington's grandmother, history is siler.t. 
Capt. G. ~\Y. Ball, in his Monograph, prints the follow- 



iw* from a letter of Col. James Ball of Lewdly, 11 Sept. 

44 The death of old Mrs. Washington we had hoard of before the re- 
ceipt of yours. I have according to your request made inquiry into 
hor genealogy, but have gained very little satisfaction relativo to her 
mother's family. Old Mrs. Sherman her niece, of whom I expected 
most, knows nothing more than that her [Mary Washington's] mother 
was an Englishwoman." 

Mrs. Sherman's ignorance, even of the maiden name of 
Col. Ball's second wife, and some other circumstances, incline 
me to credit a rumor that the widow Alary Johnson had been 
a housekeeper in the family. Before the marriage her name 
appears as witness to the signature of CoL Joseph Ball, on a 
conveyance of land (12 Feb. 1703) to his son-in-law Chinn. 
( !oL Joseph Ball's will, dated June 5, and admitted to probate 
J\\ly 11, 1711, devised lands and slaves to his five children by 
his first wife, and bequeathed to his "loving wife Mary Ball, 
die feather-bed, bolsters, and all the furniture thereto belong- 
ing, whereon 1 now lie in my own lodging chamber, as it 
stands now and is used, and all the chairs in the house which 
are single nailed." He also devises to her land, slaves, crops, 
horses, cattle, stills, chaise and harness, and an " Irish woman, 
by the name of Ellen Grafton, for the time she has to serve/' 
To his daughter Mary he gives u 400 acres of land in Rich- 
mond County, in ye freshes of Rappahn. River." To his 
life's daughter, Eliza Johnson, he gives a hundred acres. 

Mary Ball was born in T70G ; her husband, Augustine 
Washington, was born in 1604. 

The estate on which George Washington was born, — some 
years subsequently called " Wakefield," — was a tract of 400 
acres bought by Lawrence Washington, grandfather of the 
General, from Robert, Thomas, and Dorothy Liston, of Bris- 
tol. Their agent was Lewis Markham, and it was in this 
very transaction that he used the Washington seal already 


described. Among the papers at Wakefield is a note of 
Lawrence Washington to Markham (dated 16 June 1695): 

" Sir, — I herewith deliver youe a Coppey of your convaanco of y- 
Liston's Land I bought ; and a Coppey of youre bond ; by which youe 
will see wh £ is to bee p d .for mee one your partt ; and when they make 
there assurances youe had best have your power Reiiued for acknowl- 
ed'g itfc & bring power from their wifes for dower ; & there bonds for 
defending y r titell & recording itt ; soe hope you will Actte as securely 
for me as your Selfe ; Well knowing y t a hunderd pound is a great 
deale of money to lay outt one a peace of Land without!, timber ; and 
houses tumbling downe. Nott doubting your Ceare, I wish youe a 
good voayge and subscribe your reayall freind. 

Law : Washington." 

The home of Washington, new known as Mount Yernon, 
is on a tract still earlier in possession of the family. In 1670 
a tract of 5000 acres above Dogue Run was granted jointly 
to John Washington of Westmoreland, Ya., and Nicholas 
Spencer (of Bedford, England) from Gov. Berkeley. John 
Washington's moiety was between Dogue Run and Little 
Hunting Creek. His will, dated at Bridge Creek, 26 Feb. 
1675, was proved 10 Jan. 1677. He bequeathed his "Hunt- 
ing Creek plantation " to his son Lawrence Washington. 
The will of this son (Lawrence) is dated 11 March 1697. In 
it he bequeathes to his son Augustine (the General's father) 
the estate afterwards called Wakefield, and to his daughter 
Mildred all his "land in Stafford Co. [which then included 
Mount Yernon] lying upon Hunting Creek where Mrs. Eliza 
Minton & Mrs. Williams now lives, by estimation 2500 
acres." But Mildred died in infancy, and the Hunting Creek 
estate (Mount Yernon) became the joint possession of the 
widow and two sons, until it fell to the survivor of them all. 
Augustine, about the year 1730. 1 

1 In his Will, Lawrence (the General's grandfather) desires burial beside 
his parents, brothers, sister, and children*, that his debts shall he "con- 
tented ; " a mourning ring to Win. Thompson, clerk, and Mrs. Sarah 



An Agreement, already referred to as in possession of Dr. 
Emmet, shows the General's father largely interested in the 
Spotswood iron enterprises of Virginia and Maryland, lie 
is described as "Captain Augustine Washington of Prince 
William County." This is in 1737; and I am indebted to 
Dr. Slaughter for the information that in the same year Au- 
gustine went to England, returning in July " with convicts/' 
On the voyage a passenger, Capt. Hugh French, died of "gaol 
distemper contracted on board," but ''Captain Washington" 
was reported in " good health." It appears probable that 
Augustine got- his title by commanding some ship for a time. 
At any rate he had a more adventurous career than has 
hitherto been supposed, — unless by the author of "Lacon," 
who says that an accident in Cheshire, England, threw Au- 
gustine Washington into the company of the lady who went 
to Virginia as his wife. It is possible that Joseph Ball, the 
London lawyer, was visited there by his fathers widow and 
her daughter, and that Captain Augustine, after the death 
of his first wife (Jane Butler) in 1728, met and married Mary 

Thompson, each, of 30/ price ; to his godson Law. Butler 2 cows ; to his 
4 " sister Ann Writt's children one man-servant apiece of 4 or 5 years to serve,'' 
3000 lbs. tobacco to purchase the same when they are 20 yrs. of age ; to his 
sister Lewis a mourning ring, 40/ ; to his cousin John Washington of Staf- 
ford all wearing apparel ; to cousin John's oldest son Lawrence, his godson, 
when 20 yrs. 3000 lbs. tobacco to purchase a man servant ; to godson Law. 
Hutler, and Lewis Nicholas tract of land, 225 acres, adjoining Meridah Ed- 
wards and David White ; to the upper and lower churches, Washington 
parish, pulpit covers and cushions ; for funeral sermon 3000 lbs. tobacco ; 
his personal property to be divided between, wife, daughter, and sons, Jno. 
and Aug. ; to Jno. tract he lives on and another from mouth of ]\lochodock 
Ck. to Round Hills; to Augustine the Liston laud, '"lying between my 
brother and Baldridge's, (400 acres) also land that was Richard Hill's, and 
Markham's when M's family are deceased (700 acres.)" Then follows be- 
quest of the Hunting Creek land in text. To John his water mill ; also 
"that land which I bought of my brother Francis and Wright, being 200 
acres near Stork's quarter." Executors: cousin Jno. Washington of Staf- 
ford, Sam'l Thompson and loving wife Mildred. Signed in presence of 
Holt. Readman, Geo. Weedon, Thos. Howes, and Jno. Rosier. Probate 30 
March 1698: Jas. Western, 0. C. 


Ball in England. There would be nothing in this to cast any 
doubt on George Washington's assertion that he himself was 
born in Virginia. 

There is no foundation for the statement that Wakefield 
was burned soon after the birth of Washington therein. The 
fire did not occur until 1770. Nor is the generally accepted 
account true, that Augustine's removal, in 1735, was to the 
farm in Xing George Co. near Fredericksburg. lie was from 
1735 to 1739, a resident of Prince William. This comity was 
formed from Stafford and King George in 1730. By this 
change the tract now known as Mount Vernon (in Fairfax) 
which had been successively in Westmoreland and in Stafford, 
became included in Prince William. The Truro Parish 
Vestry-Book — the invaluable possession of Dr. Slaughter, 
save one page with autographs of Washington, Mason and 
other great men which has found its way to the New York 
Historical Society, — bears witness to some surprising facts. 
Truro Parish (Prince William) was instituted in 1732, and 
Captain Augustine Washington was sworn a vestryman, IS 
Nov. 1735. On Jan. 17 of this year he lost his daughter 
(by the first wife) Jane. He also represented in the House 
of Burgesses, as Prince William, the same county his 
brilliant son Lawrence represented later as Fairfax. In 
August 173G Augustine signed the Parish "Minutes," and 
recommended Charles Green to the Bishop of London for 
orders. lie was present at a Vestry of 13 August 1737, at 
which Rev. Charles Green was elected Hector. He also at- 
tended the Vestry in October, 1737, between which date and 
October 1739, there is a gap in the Truro MS. 

Dr. McGuire, who married a granddaughter of Gen. Wash- 
ington's sister Betty, says that Augustine came to reside near 
Fredericksburg in 1739. This is confirmed by the fact that in 
1740 he conveyed to his son Lawrence the 2500 acres which 
the latter afterwards named Mount Vernon. This deed, re- 
corded in the General Court Office, 23 Oct. 1740, was burned 



•luring the Civil War. The Will of Augustine, who died L2 
April 1743, confirmed this gift. It was recorded in King 
tu'urgo County, May 1743. From Lawrence the estate 
passed to George Washington. 

It appears clear that Mount Vernon, on which Washington 
lavished his devotion, was a heritage from his first ancestor in 
Virginia, and the homestead of his own earliest recollections. 

The hopeless loss of the Truro Registers may account for 
the absence of data concerning the children of Capt. Augus- 
tine and Mary Washington beyond the meagre entries of 
their Bible, — in which have been inserted some particulars 
concerning George, evidently after his celebrity. 

" Augustine Washington and Mary Ball was married the Sixtli of 
March 17^. 

" George Washington Son to Augustine & Mary his Wife was Born 
y- 11 th Day of February 1731/2 (about 10 in the Morning & was Bap- 
tiz'd the 3 tU of April following M r Beverley Whiting & Cap' Christo- 
pher Brooks Godfathers and M rs Mildred Gregory Godmother. 

" Betty Washington born 20 [ h June 1733 about G in y 9 Mornin. De- 
parted this life the 31st of March 1797 at 4 o'clock. 

"Samuel Washington was born y 9 1G of Nov. 1734 about 3 in y 6 

*■ John Augustine Washington was born V s 13 th of Jany about 2 in 
y* Morn 1735/G. 

"Charles Washington borne y e 2 day of May about 3 in y* Morne 

" Mildred Washington was Bora y* 21st of June 1739 about 9 at 

" Mildred Washington departed this Life Oct r y 5 23 J 1740 being 
Thursday abt 12 a Clock at Noon, aged 1 year & 4 months." 

An interesting inquiry is suggested by Capt. Augustine 
Washington's importation of " convicts." Tradition says 
that George Washington was taught in childhood by a sexton 
named Hobby ; but the only contemporary statement is that 
<>f Eev. Jonathan Boucher, teacher of Jacky Custis, who says 
Washington was < ; taught by a convict servant whom his 


father bought for a schoolmaster/' The sexton of Truro 
Parish in 1747 was a "convict'' — William Grove. It may 
be that " Hobby" was this man's nickname, and that he had 
previously taught the Washington children; or " Hobby*' 
may have been another of the " convicts" — probably political. 

Dr Slaughter's researches have led him, as he tells me, to 
the conclusion that " Hobby " was sexton of the church at 
Falmouth, and that the Washington children went to school 
there. Falmouth was founded, as a military station, in 1.GT5. 
In 1732 the House of Burgesses ordered the erection of a 
church "in the new parish of Brunswick," "in the town of 
Falmouth." Fredericksburg was founded in 1727, and the 
church edifice there (St. George's) was not completed until 
sixteen years later. Education being in clerical hands, it may 
be assumed that between 1730 and 1743 (the year of Augus- 
tine's death) the nearest school was at Falmouth, two miles 
above the Washington farm, on the same 'side of the river. 

The "Little Falls" farm on the Bappahannock, often men- 
tioned in Washington's diaries, was the maiden property of 
Mary Ball, — the 400 acres devised, as we liave seen, by Col. 
Joseph Ball. It was contiguous with the estate of her 
brother, Joseph, the London lawyer, and when bequeathed 
(1711) was in Richmond County. "Sherwood Forest," Jo- 
seph's portion, seems to have been a dowry of his daughter 
Frances Downman, and passed to Henry Fitzhugh, who 
married a Downman. The Ball homestead was "Traveller's 
Best," so long occupied by Col. Burgess Ball, — possibly 
handed down from his great-grandmother, Col. Joseph Bali's 
daughter Anne (Conway), Mary Washington's half-sister. 
In the Will of John Augustine (date 19 Xov. 178-1, probate 
in Westmoreland 31 July 1787) we find : "Item, to my son 
Bnshrod . . . my Land in Stafford County conveyed to 
me by my mother Mrs. Mary "Washington adjoining the lands 
of Downman's estate and Col. Burgis Ball in Rappahannock 
and containing 400 acres." 



The Will of Capt. Augustine Washington, and its record, 
/■ q.peared during the Civil War, but I have made out the 
f Jlowing bequests. Augustine, probably his oldest son, re- 
.v-ived the homestead in Westmoreland ; Lawrence the Fair- 
fax land, then in a wilderness; John Augustine was given 
** BushfieM" Westmoreland ; Samuel, Chotanck, Stafford (533 
acres, which it cost his half-brother Augustine £000 to 
free from a claim) : he divided his iron shares between them : 
lie gave his widow her own inheritance, 400 acres, and some 
land near the furnace on Accokeek (the furnace shares going 
to Lawrence,) also a bit on Deep Run, — near another iron 
forge (twenty miles above Falmouth on the Bappahannock) 
whose ruins remain.' The daughter was excluded from the 
distribution of negroes. Although Mary Washington dwelt 
near her daughter, and depended on her unfailing devotion, 
Betty received by her Will only her horse and phaeton. 
Having given her farm down the river to her son John, she 
bequeathed in her Will (dated 20 May 17SS) her remaining 
lands to the General, — swelling the forty thousand acres he 
already owned. It does not appear to have occurred to any 
«>ne that there was injustice in this, except that a letter else- 
where quoted shows the GeneraFs surprise that Betty should 
not have had a child's portion of her father's negroes. 

George Washington's inheritance of land, when he should 
come of age, is called in his Diary the " Upper Place." It 
was 2S0 acres, purchased by his father, 3 Nov. 1738, from 
Margaret Grant, executrix of William Strother. The Cap- 
tain may have added to the property, or he may have deemed 
its proximity to the new town as an equalization with the be- 
quests to the other sons by his second wife. But he seems to 
have been conscious of some meagrcness in his bequest to 
George, since he devised Mount Yernon to him if Lawrence 
should be without issue. The value of George's inheritance 
tnay be inferred from a letter to his mother, four years after 
her husband's death, from her half-brother Joseph in Lon- 


don. He warns her against sending George to sea, as "a 
planter that has three or four hundred acres of land and three 
or four slaves/ 7 may do better. It is probable, however, that 
Capt. Augustine knew that his wife would give the larger of 
her farms (that on the Accokeek) to George, as she did. Its 
size may be estimated by the fact that the General paid, in 
1760, quit-rents for 1250 acres in that region. (Worth ingt on 
Ford, in The Nation, 19 Sep. 1880). This included the Ac- 
cokeek lands, his own " Upper Place," opposite Fredericks- 
burg, and his mother's " Little Falls," two miles lower. 

The topography has points of interest. George, writing 
from his mother's home, 5 May 1749, to his half-brother 
Lawrence (in the House of Bur£resses\ savs : 

" As roy mother's term of years is out at the place at Bridge Creek, 
she designs to settle a [Negro] quarter on the piece at Deep Bud, but 
seems backward in doing it till the right is made good for fear of 
accident. — It is reported here that Mr. Spotswood intends to put down 
the ferry at the wharf where lie now lives, and that Major Francis 
Taliaferro intends to petition the Assembly to have it kept from his 
house over against my mother's quarter, and through the very heart 
and best of the land. Whereas he can have no other view in it, than 
for the convenience of a small mill which he has on the water-side, 
that will not grind above three mouths in the twelve, and on account 
of the great inconvenience and prejudice it will be to us, I hope it 
will not be granted. Besides, I do not see where he can possibly 
have a landing-place on his side, that will ever be sufficient for a 
lawful landing, by reason of the steepness of the banks. I think we 
sutler enough from the free ferry, without being troubled with such 
an unjust and iniquitous petition as that ; but I hope, as it is only a 
flying report, that he will consider better of it, and drop his pre- 

By the assistance of Judge Wellford of Richmond, whose 
ancestors belonged to the' region, and William A. Little of 
Fredericksburg, I have made out the following facts. The 
Ferry alluded to by Washington is described in G Honing p. 
IS as "from the wharf above the mouth of Massaponax Creek 


t > the opposite landing upon Mr. Ball's land." The wharf on 
Spotswood'.s place "Nottingham" was fully four miles below 
Fredericksburg, and Taliaferro's (" Epsom") just above that, 
-both on the Spottsylvania side. The "Ball's Land" 
(*• Traveller's Rest") contained 600 acres; Downman's 
r Sherwood Forest") north of it 900 acres ; next these being 
M.;ry Washington's " Little Falls," between which and the 
Wahsington Farm came the Strother Farm. Mr. A. K. 
Phillips, of Fredericksburg, writes : " I remember when the 
Washington Farm contained between 600 and 800 acres, and 
belonged to Col. Hugh Mercer, son of the General, but it has 
been sold off to different parties. My father told me that 
when he removed to Fredericksburg in 1S06 the Washington 
hmise was standing. It was a plain wooden structure of 
moderate size, and painted a dark red color. The Strother 
farm a few miles below the Farm is known as ' Albion.' It 
is thought that long years ago the Washington Farm was a 
part of the Strother Farm, because there was found on the 
Washington tract a stone inscribed : * John Strother, Gentle- 
man,' — no doubt placed there by the old gentleman as a boun- 
dary mark. The Strother farm at present contains about TOO 

Iu the Will of Mary (of which a facsimile appears in the 
2[a>g. Am. Hist., March 1SS7) she bequeathes the General her 
" lauds on Accokeek Bun in Stafford County." These I have 
identified as part of a tract now called "Furnace, 3 ' on which 
are still traceable cinders of the old iron- works in which Cap- 
tain Augustine Washington speculated so largely. It was 
one of five forges in Virginia and Maryland, which appear, 
by the Will of his son Lawrence, to be still bringing some 
profits in 1752. But Captain Augustine Washington might 
have made more by his ventures had he not died prematurely 
(aged 49). At any rate his widow and her five children were 
left poor. The half-brothers, who had been left the main 
properties, acted handsomely. Augustine took George, now 


twelve years, to the old Lome in Westmoreland, and there 
sent him to school, — it is said to a Mr. Williams. There, 
however, he seems to have become restless, and probably re- 
turned to his mother in the summer of 1745. The winter's 
schooling was probably in Fredericksburg. It is certain that 
the summer of 1740 was passed at Mount Vernon, then re- 
cently built by his half-brother Lawrence, whose young wife 
was Anne, daughter of William Fairfax by his first wife, 
Sarah Walker. 1 This William Fairfax, kinsman and agent of 
Lord Fairfax, had married as his second wife Deborah Clarke, 
of Salem, Mass., with whom he settled in Westmoreland, Va., 
in 1734. Lie and Capt. Augustine Washington had migrated 
to the upper Potomac about the same time, 1735, — Fairfax 
fixing his abode at Bel-voir (which some called Beaver, i.e. 
Beauvoir). In the said summer (174G) George passed a happy 
week at Bel voir. A letter from Air. Fairfax to Lawrence 
mentioning the visit, and saying that George had promised to 
be " steady," suggests that there had been some youthful de- 
claration of independence. George returned home and con- 
tinued at school in Fredericksburg. 

Fredericksburg was mainly settled by relatives of the Wash- 
ingtons. Col. Harry Willis, chief founder of the town, rn. 
first George's aunt. 2d. his cousin, — both christened Mildred 
Washington. This aunt had first m. Roger Gregory, their 
three daughters having in. three brothers Thornton in the 
neighborhood. Another founder of the town, John Lewis, 
was descended from Augustine Warner, whose daughter was 

1 " The family of Fairfax's in Virginia, of whom you speak, are also re- 
lated to me by several intermarriages before it came into this country (as I 
am informed) and since.'' — Washington to the Earl of BucJian, 22 April 
1793. (Mar/. Am. Hist. Feb. 188S.) That all parties concerned were 
rather late in discovering this relationship (if it existed) may be supposed 
from the tenor of Joseph Rail's letter from London (1747) to his half-sisti r, 
Mary Washington, advising her not to send George to sea. He could not 
hope to be more than a common sailor, every higher post, being sought for 
there (in England) by " those who have interest, and 7/c [George] has 



lien. Washington paternal grandmother. Thus at fifteen 
< uwge was schoolmate of many cousins. The newly built 
rhurch, St. George's, was under charge of a brilliant Frencli 
Huguenot, — Rev. James Marye, — who had taken orders in 
London. He would naturally have charge of the first school 
also, and probably taught it. Dr. Toner, in his excellent 
edition of the "Rules of Civility," found in Washington's 
hoyisli writing, with the date 1745, shows probabilities that 
they were mainly his own composition. Some of the 
" Kules/ 1 however, resemble those in the Latin work (of the 
Jesuit Mussipontarius) " Communis VUcb inter homines scita 
urbanitas" Leonard Perm's translation of this book (1617) 
passed through several editions, and from it the Rev. James 
Marye may have instructed the boys of Fredericksburg in 
those rules of civility of which the school children of our own 
time arc unfortunately left ignorant. On such basis the pre- 
cocious bov may have built his "Rules; " for, though we 
must not forget that we are here under Old Style, according 
to which Washington was born in 1731, and in 1745 was four- 
teen, — he certainly was precocious. Major Byrd Willis, — 
whose towering form was a striking figure in the Fredericks- 
burg of my boyhood, — grandson of Col. Harry Willis and 
Washington's aunt Mildred, says in a MS. (owned by his 
granddaughter Mrs. Tayloe of Fredericksburg) : " My father, 
Lewis Willis, was a schoolmate of General Washington, his 
cousin, who was two years his senior. He spoke of the Gen- 
eral's industry and assiduity at school as very remarkable. 
Whilst his brother and other boys at playtime were at bandy 
or other games he was behind the door ciphering. But one 
youthful ebullition is handed down while at that school, and 
that was romping with one of the largest girls ; this was so 
unusual that it excited no little comment among the other 

Perhaps this romp was with Jane Strother, in whom and 
her sister Alice (daughters of William) the Washington chil- 


dren had found their best playmates across the river. Jane 
married Hon. Thomas Lewis of Augusta Co., and Alice 
Robert Washington of Chotanck. Other neighbors were 
the Fitzhughs and the Alexanders. It may have been to one 
of the latter family that George wrote his boyish acrostic : 

"From your bright sparkling eyes I -was undone ; 
Rays you have more transparent than the Sun 
Amidst its glory in the rising Day, 
None can you equal in your bright array : 
Constant in your calm and unspotted mind ; 
Equal to all, but will to none Prove kind, 
So knowing seldom one so young you'll find. 
Ah, woe's me that I should love and conceal 
Long have I wished but never dare reveal, 
Eveu though severely Love's Pain I feel ; 
Xerxes that great wan't free from Cupid's dart, 
And all the greatest Heroes felt the smart." 

"Alexa," however, was the abbreviation of Alexandria, and 
possibly the acrostic may be on some fair Fanny of that town. 
Various young ladies have been traditionally named as objects 
of George Washington's youthful love, but I can discover no 
evidence of any early passion save for his " Lowland Beauty ;" 
and it is tolerably certain that this was either " Francis 
Alexa " of the acrostic, or Betsy Fanntleroy. The youthful 
letters which have raised so many fair claimants to the honor 
of having rejected "Washington are known only in their 
writer's drafts. They are without date but bear indications 
of early 1749 (A. S.) when Washington was near seventeen. 
The similar phrases and allusions in the three letters prove 
them written about the same date. The Mrs. Fairfax al- 
luded to was the Sally Gary, whose legendary love-affair 
with Washington is thus shown to have been impossible be- 
fore her marriage, which occurred 17 Dec. 174$. Another 
hypothesis, that her sister Mary (who m. Edward Ambler in 
1752) was the " Lowland Beauty," is disproved by the refer- 


ence to her in the very letter containing that famous phrase-, 
—the letter to "Dear Robin." The letter preceding this 
may have been to John, the son of Townshend Washington 
of "Greenhill" (now "Panorama," near the head of Cho- 
tanck Creek), grandson of Lawrence the immigrant. The 
Lawrence alluded to in it may have been John's twin brother, 
but more probably his (John's) first cousin Lawrence of Cho- 
tanck, mentioned in Washington's will as a friend of his 
juvenile years. The entire rough draft is given. 

" Dear Friend John, 

"As it is the greatest mark of friendship and esteem yon can show- 
to an absent Friend In often writing to him so hope youl not den)- me 
that Favour as its so ardently wish't and desired by me. its the great- 
est pleasure I can yet forsee of having in fairfax to hear from my 
friends Particularly yourself was my affections disengaged I might 
perhaps form some pleasures in the conversasion of an agreeable young 
Lady as theres one now lives in the same house with me [crossed out : 
but as that oiily serves to make me more dull by putting me oftener 
in remembrance of the other] but as that's only nourishment to my 
former affec' for by often seeing her brings the other into my remem- 
brance whereas perhaps was she not often (unavoidably) presenting 
herself to my view I might in some measure deviate my sorrows by 
burying the other in the grave of oblivion I am well convinced my 
heart stands in defiance of all others but only she thats given it 
[crossed oat : too much] cause enough to dread a second assault and 
from a different Quarter tho I well know let it have as many attacks 
as it will from others they cant bo more fierce than it has been I could 
wish to know whether you have taken your intended trip downwards 
or not if you with what success as also to know how my friend Law- 
rence drives on in the art of courtship as I fancy you both nearly 
guess how it will respectively go with each of you." 

The next letter is addressed to "Dear friend Robin," — 
probably Robert "Washington, of Chotanck, remembered in 
Washington's Will. 

"My place of residence," he writes, "is at present at his lordship's, 
whore I might, was my heart disengaged, pass my time very pleasantly 
as there's a very agreeable young lady lives in the same house (Col. 


George Fairfax's wife's sister.) But as that's only adding fuel to fire, 
it makes me the more uneasy, for by often and unavoidably being in 
company with her revives my former passion for your Lowland beauty ; 
whereas, was I to live more retired from young women, I might devi- 
ate in some measure my sorrows by burying that chaste and trouble- 
some passion in the grave of oblivion or etcarnall forgetfulness, for as 
I am very well assured, that's the only antidote or remedy that I ever 
shall be relieved by or only recess that can administer any cure or 
help to me, as I am well convinced, was I ever to attempt anything, 
I should only get a denial which would be only adding grief to un- 

The next letter is to a female confidant, — who may have 
been, Rev. Horace E. Hay den writes me, either of his young 
contemporaries and relatives, Sarah Ball, Sarah (Ball) Jones, 
or Sarah. Conway (niece of Col. Edwin Conway, who married 
Mary Ball's half-sister). The fair alluded to was probably 
that of June, though there was also an annual October fair in 
Fredericksburg. The entire draft is here given. 

" Dear Sally 

"This comes to Fredericksburg fair in hopes of meeting with a 
speedy Passage to you if your not there which hope youl get shortly 
altho I am almost discouraged from writing to you as this is my 
fourth to you since I receivd any from yourself. I hope youl not 
make the Old Proverb good out of sight out of Mind as its one of the 
greatest Pleasures I can yet foresee of having in Fairfax in often hear- 
ing from you hope you'l not deny it me. 

"I pass the time of much more agrcable than what I imagined I 
should as there's a very agreeable young Lady lives in the said house 
where I reside (Col°. George Fairfax's wife's sister) which in a great 
measure ehears my sorrow and dejectedness tho' not so as to chaw my 
thoughts altogether from your Parts I could wish to be with you 
down there with all my heart but as it is a thing almost lmpractakable 
shall rest myself where I am with hopes of shortly having some 
Minutes of your transactions in your Parts which will be very wel- 
comely receiv'd by your " 

We have, however, a letter of Washington in which is 
found the only name with which his youthful affections can 



be »afely associated. It is addressed to " William Fauntleroy 
Sr. in Richmond," (i.e. Richmond County, in which was 
Baylor's Hold, seat of the Fauntleroys). 

" May 20, 1752. 
" Sra, 

"I should have been down long before this, but my business in 
Frederick detained ine somewhat longer than I expected, and immedi- 
ately upon my return from thence I was taken with a violent pleurise 
which has reduced me very low ; but purpose as soon as I recover my 
strength, to wait on Miss Betsy, in hopes of a revocation of the former 
cruel sentence, and see if I cannot obtain an alteration in my favor. 
I have enclosed a letter to her, which should be much obliged to you 
for the delivery of it. I have nothing to add but my Lest respects to 
your good lady and family, and that I am, Sir, 

<f Y'r most ob'd't humble servant, 

«G. Washington." 

The first courtship of Betsy Fauntleroy, to whose grand- 
father this letter was written and sent (the original was once 
owned by Gov. Fltzhugh Lee) must have occurred before 2S 
Sept. 1751, when Washington accompanied his invalid brother 
Lawrence to the Barbadoes, — from which he returned in 
1752, reaching Wakefield March 1, his mother the 5th ; (jour- 
neying next day to Mount Vernon to bear Lawrence's wife 
tidings of her husband, and, it would appear, going to Fred- 
erick soon after to see after Lawrence's estates there). It will 
be seen then that having courted and been rejected by Miss 
Betsy when he was little over nineteen, if not earlier, there is 
good reason to identify her with the "Lowland Beauty" be- 
loved at seventeen. 

Betsy Fauntleroy, great-granddaughter of the famous cava- 
lier Moore Fauntleroy, of Baylor's Hold, was in every re- 
spect a " Lowland Beauty." She married an Adams, and be- 
came the mother of the Hon. Thomas Adams. It is said 
that when, after her marriage, she saw her rejected lover, — 
now master of Mount Vernon and a famous Colonel, — riding 
into Williamsburg, — she fainted. But there is no reason to 


suppose that she ever regretted her choice. To this disap- 
pointment we may ascribe the other sonnet by Washington : 

" Oh Yo Gods why should my Poor resistless Heart 

Stand to oppose thy might and Power 
At last surrender to Cupid's feather'd Dart 

And now lays bleeding every Hour 
For her that's Pityless of my grief and Woes, 

And will not on me Pity take. 
I'll sleep among my most inveterate Foes 

And with gladness never wish to wake, 
In deluding sleepings let my Eyelids close 

That in an enraptured dream I may 
In a rapt lulling sleep and gentle repose 

Possess those joys denied by Day." 

The little poem was written by a poor youth, uneducated 
as compared with the Fauntleroys, who were graduated in 
Scottish universities. George Washington had been com- 
pelled to leave school at sixteen and earn his living. In this 
same pathetic little book is his first entry of a survey, "March 
11, 1747/8." Then we have such notes as these: — 

" March y° 15, 1717/8. Survey 'd for George Fairfax Esq r a Tract 
of Land lying on Gate's Marsh and Long Marsh." 
" Bead to the Eeign of K : John." 
" In the Spectator Eead to 113." 

" Memorandum of what clothes I Carry into Fairfax. Razor. 
7 Blurts 2 D> Gai'f by Mr. Thornton 

6 Linnen Waistcoats 
1 Cloth Do 

G Bands 

4 Nock Cloths 

7 Caps." 

11 M. The regulator of my watch now is 1 m : and over the fifth 
from the Slow end." 

" Twas perfect Love before ) •„ „ „, . „ 

- - T , VS. loung M : A." 

But now I do adore j 

" Whats the noblest Passion of the Mind. Qy." 


Tradition has made Washington's mother a " belle " in carl v 
|j.fe, And a saint in later years. President Jackson, who dedi- 
cated her monument at Fredericksburg (May, 1833), had 
received from "Washington himself and others ample informa- 
tion. " She acquired and maintained," he said, "a wonder- 
ful ascendency over those around her. This true character- 
istic of genius attended her through life; and even in its 
decline, after her son had led his country to independence, he 
approached her with the same reverence she taught him to 
exhibit in early life. This course of maternal discipline no 
duiibt restrained the natural ardor of his temperament and 
conferred upon him that power of self-command which was 
one of the remarkable traits of his character." Mary Wash- 
ington hated to display any of her emotions. George Iviger, 
well remembered by the present writer, used to relate how he 
galloped a long way to bear a letter from Washington to his 
mother, in the latter part of the revolution. He found her 
in her garden in her usual short yellow gown, occupied with 
her vegetables, Kiger waited, but the old lady went on with 
her work, without opening the letter. At length the youth 
exclaimed, " Madam, this whole community is interested in 
that letter." Thereupon she opened the despatch, which an- 
nounced a victory; but all the news she vouchsafed the mes- 
senger was the smiling remark, " George generally carries 
lb rough anything he undertakes." The anecdote recalls one 
concerning the General, who had just begun a sitting for his 
portrait when despatches were brought. He glanced at them, 
and continued the sitting without remark. The despatches 
announced the capture of Burgoyne. 

Historians, by the way, have overlooked a remarkable in- 
stance of Washington's self-command. When Cornwall is 
surrendered Washington saved him the humiliation of per- 
sonally delivering up his sword ; but Gen. O'Hara, who per- 
formed this task, repaid the magnanimity by offering the 
sword to Ptochambeau, who stood at the head of a rile of 


French soldiers on the left, while Washington headed the 
Americans on the right. The Frenchman promptly refused 
to touch the sword, and O.'Hara then offered it to Washington, 

who did not touch it, hut said coldly, " Pass on." O'llara 
was compelled to pass on between files of angry soldiers and 
deliver up the sword to a distant subaltern. 

Local traditions say that Mary Washington could never 
think of George as other than " her bov," and that he either 
felt the same or humored her. On one occasion her servant 
told her that " Mars' George " had put up at the tavern. 
" Go and tell George to come here instantly ! " she cried. The 
General presently appeared with his baggage, meek before 
her reproach, explaining that he could not feel certain that his 
sojourn with her would bo convenient. Her small house in 
Fredericksburg could not accommodate Washington's family, 
and it had no stables ; but he was careful, on proper occasions, 
to alight with his wife at his mother's door, the chariot being 
quietly taken around to Kenmore (the Lewis residence) where 
they also lodged. 

An instance of his mother's habit of domestic dependence 
on Washington is shown in his letter to her from the camp at 
Will's Creek, in June 1755, while on the great Braddock 
campaign (printed by E. E. Hale): 

" Hon'd Madam," ho writes, "I was favored with your letter, by 
Mr. Dick, and am sorry it is not in my power to provide you with a 
Dutch servant, or the butter, agreeably to your desire. TYe are quite 
out of the part of the country where either is to be had, there being 
few or no inhabitants where we now lie encamped, and butter cannot 
be had here to supply the wants of the army." "I hope," he also 
says, "you will spend the chief part of your time at Mount Ternon, as 
you have proposed to do, where I am certain every thing will be or- 
dered as much to your satisfaction as possible, in the situation we 
are in there." 

In a letter to her brother Joseph, in London, 20 July 1759, 
the mother writes : " There was no end to my troubles while 



! i< orgc was in the army, but he has now given it up/' (Am. 
f/i&L Mag., i. p. 413.) Another letter to the same (loaned me 
t»v Dr. Emmet) contains interesting items. 

"July the 2, 17G0. 
" Dear Brother, this Coins by Gap* Nickelson You Seein to blam 
me for not -writing to you butt I doe a Shour you it is Note for wante 
of a very great Regard for you & the family butt as I Dont Ship tobacco 
the Captius Never Calls one me Soe that I Never knows when tha Come 
or when tha goe. I believe you have got a very good overseer at this 
quarter now Cap 1 Newton has taken a large peace of grownd from you 
which I dear say if you had been hear your Self it had not been Don 
. Mr. Danial & his wife & family is well Cozen Hannah has been married 
& Lost her husband She has one Child a boy pray give my Love to 
Sister Ball & Mr. Downman [Joseph Ball's son-in law] & his Lady & am 
Dear Brother 

Your Loving Sister 

Mary Washington." 

The " Mr. Danial " alluded to in the above note was Mr. 
Peter Daniel, a magistrate of Stafford County, who resigned 
rather than enforce the Stamp Act ; he married the daughter 
of Hannah (Ball) Travers, Mary Washington's half-sister. 
The " Newton Farm " is still known in the neighborhood. 

The next letter was sent me by my late brother, Richard 
H. Conway. It is without date, and addressed to her son 
•John Augustine Washington, Bushfield, Westmoreland, Va. 

" Dear Johnne, — I am glad to hear you and all the family is well, 
and should be glad if I could write you the same. I am a going fast, 
and it, the time, is hard. I am borrowing a little Cornn — no Cornn 
in the Cornn house. I never lived soe poore in my life. Was it not 
for Mr. French and your sister Lewis I should be almost starved, but 
I am like an old almanack quite out of date. Give my love to Mrs. 
Washington — all the family. I am dear Johnne your loving and af- 
fectionate Mother. 

"P.S. I should be glad to see you as I dont expect to hold out 


Dr. Toner, on my account of this letter, suggests that it 
was written in the troubled year preceding the revolution. 
before her children persuaded her to move into Fredericks- 
burg. I have not been able to trace her on the farm across 
the river later than 1772, but she certainly remained there 
long after her children had left, and despite their desire that 
she should dwell with them. 1 In the smimblin^ letter is 
reflected her horror of dependence. The house in Fred- 
ericksburg, still standing, is small but preserves traces of 
the neat home arranged for her. The lot adjoins Ivenmore. 
As the place is not mentioned in her Will it probably be- 
longed to Col. Fielding Lewis or the General. A chariot, 
phaeton, three horses, and six negroes were among her be- 

A few hundred yards from Kenmore Mary Washington 
was buried. It is a picturesque place, with a cluster of trees 
shading gravestones, chiefly of the Gordons, who so long oc- 
cupied Ivenmore. Tradition points out a rock overlooking 
the vale as the spot where the aged mother of Washington 
was wont to repair for meditation. Near this stands her 
monument, whose unfinished condition gave rise to a maga- 
zine romance which some have taken seriously. It is said 
that a maiden of Fredericksburg plighted her troth on con- 
dition that her suitor should build a monument over her 
relative, the Mother of Washington ; but before it was com- 
pleted her lover was jilted' and the work stopped. As a 
matter of fact the work was generously undertaken by Mr. 
Burroughs, a citizen of New York, whose failure in business 
caused the cessation of work. The monument stood in a 

1 By his first wife, Jane Butler, Augustine Washington had children : 1. 
Butler (d. infant); 2. Augustine (m. Anne Aylett) ; 3. Lawrence (m. Anne 
Fairfax) ; 4. Jane (d. infant). Of the issue by Mary Ball, Geoige m. Martha 
Dandridge Custis ; Betty m. Col. Fielding Lewis; Samuel in. successively 
Jane Champe, Mildred Thornton, Lucy Chapman, Anne Steptoe, Mrs. 
Perrin, —dying in 1781, aged 47; Jho. Augustine in. Hannah Bushrod ; 
Charles in, Mildred Thornton ;■— the 6th child, Mildred, d. infant. 


.viitre of the battles whicli raged in and around Fredericks- 
burs*, daring tlie Civil War; it is of pretty design, and strik- 
i?j - in the distance, but scarred with shot and shell, — a dismal 
memorial indeed. Beside it lies the long marble spire which 
in May 1333 a procession, headed by President Jackson, fol- 
! »wed to the spot "with patriotic rejoicings. 

It may be that from his mother and plebeian grandmother 
'■(as I suppose) the Widow Johnson, Washington derived a 
certain strain of blood which, at the first gun of indepen- 
dence, was strong enough to bid farewell to his aristocratic 
friends at Belvoir and Williamsburg palace, and take the side 
of the people. 

Mary Washington has been suspected of " Toryism " be- 
cause she hated war; declared "this fighting and killing" a 
had business, and wished that " George would come home 
and attend to his plantation." The spirit which animated her 
crude utterances was Washington's best inheritance from his 
mother. It is a line omen on the new world's horizon that 
its great commander was a man of peace. An arbitrator of 
.the playground in boyhood, his first commissions were for 
peaceful negotiations with the Indians and the French. There 
was, indeed, a spirit of adventure in him ; but it found satis- 
faction in the chase, and in exploring the wilderness. Miss 
Jessie Stabler, of Sandy Spring Md., sends me an extract 
from the letter-book of her great-great-grandfather, Edward 
Stabler, a leading Quaker at Petersburg Ya. in the last cen- 
tury. Under date of "12 mo: 20th. 1756," he writes to 
English Friends: 


"In the Spring there was an Act made for Drafting the Militia by 
Lot, in which Friends were not exempted but on whomsoever the Lot 
fell upon were obliged to go as Soldiers or par £10 to hire another 
mau in their stead, & I am sorry to say the generality of Friends 
complyed with it. Except seven young men who would not comply 
t > go nor hire another in their stead, & so were taken by Force & 
carried over the Mountains to the Armv, & after they had been there 


some time I understood they were like to meet with cruel usage if 
they did not comply to bear arms & tho' most Friends acknowledged it 
would be right for some to visit them yet none seemed forward to go 
as it appeared dangerous to travail over the Mountains at that time 
the Indians having done much mischief in them parts yet I could not 
be easy in my own mind without going myself, & use what endeavoui s 
I was capable of for their release out of Prison where they had been 
kept close confined for about 10 weeks, I had several good oppor- 
tunities with Coll. Washington to open our principles to him <fc rea- 
sons why we could not be active in the carrying on of War. he 
seemed very moderate before we parted <fc inclined to favor them, bul 
said as they were sent to him by the Government he could not release 
them and had ree'd orders from the Gov. r to have them Whipped 
every day 'till they would comply. I requested him to omit putting 
the Gov 1 "' 3 orders in execution 'till I could go & speak with him (w. ch 
was upward of 250 miles part of the way through an uninhabited 
country & over very high Mountains) k four more Friends accom- 
panied me to the Gov. r we had a great deal of Discourse w th him'& 
he promised us he would write to Coll. "Washington to be favourable 
to them, w. ch he did — I got them releas'd out of Prison when I was 
there, & to have liberty to go to some Friends Houses that liv'd about 
5 or 6 miles distant upon being bound for their appearance there when 
the Coll. ree'd other orders from the Gov/ but they were not called 
upon afterwards nor anything required of them." 

In fending the above Miss Jessie Stabler adds : 

"I heard Mr. Henry Stabler of this neighborhood tell another story 
of Washington and the Friends. Warner Mifflin was on a committee 
to remonstrate with President Washington about War, and during the 
conversation, remarked that the advantages gained by War do not 
compensate for the loss of life and limb. Washington thought for 
some minutes and then said, 'Mr. Mifflin, there is more in that than 
most people are willing to admit.' " 

When Washington and his wife met, the days of romance 
were perhaps over for both of them, but they grew togetl 
At her " Six Chimney House," Williamsburg, where th 
honeymoon passed, Martha planted a Yew which remains, 
and is a fair svmbol of her never-failing loyalty and devotion. 



•A most amiable woman," wrote' S. Johnston to James 
| ? , ;rll (1T0O); "if I live much longer I shall at last be rec- 

ueiled to the company of old women for her sake." Her 
husband's frank admirations excited no jealousy. The Hon. 
,J:i>per Yates writes to his wife: "Mr. Washington once told 
rne, on a charge which I once made against the President at 
his own table, that the admiration he warmly professed for 
Mrs. Hartley was a proof of his Homage to the worthy part 
of the Sex, and highly respectful to his wife." But she was, 
in the old sense homely as she was comely. While following 
her husband to the field she longed, even amid plaudits, for 
home. She writes to her brother from Philadelphia (2 Kov. 

"I am very uneasy at this time — I have some reason to think that I 
shall take another trip to the northward — the poor General is not 
likely to come to see us, from what I can hear. I expect to hear cer- 
tainly by the next Post. If I doe I shall write to inform you and my 
friends. If I am soe happy as to stay at home I shall hope to see you 
with my sisters as soon as you are at leisure. Please to give Patty a 
kiss for me. I have sent her a pair of shoes. There wasn't a doll to 
be got in the city of Philadelphia or I would have sent her one." 

Mr. Ferdinand Dreer of Philadelphia has a letter of Mar- 
tha Washington (it appeared in Harpers Magazine, April 
1880,) written, the year after her marriage, to her sister 
Anna (Mrs. Burwell Bassett) congratulating her on the birth 
of a girl — " I wish I could say boy as I know how much one 
of that sex was desired by you all" — she adds : " I think my- 
self in a better state of helth than I have been in for a long 
time and dont dout but I shall present you a fine healthy girl 
again when I come doun in the Fall which is as soon as Mr. 
W — — ns business will suffer him to leave home.'' 

This longing for a daughter at the moment of desiring for 
her sister a son is pathetically suggestive. The great soldier 
loved to have little Patsv and Kelly nestling at his side, and 


the unsatisfied paternal longing of his great heart was keenly 
felt by his wife. 1 

The following was written to Mrs. Fanny Washington, 
then keeping house at Mount Yernon : 

New York Oct. the 22d 17S0 
" My Deak Fanny, — I have by Mrs. Sirn-s sent you a watch ; it is one 
of the cargoe that I have so long mentioned to you, that was expected, 
I hope is such a one as will please you — it is of the newest fashion, if 
that has any influence on your fast, the chain is of Mr. Lears choosing 
and such as Mrs. Adams the Vico presidents lady and those in the 
polite circle wear. 

" Mrs. Sims will give you a better account of the fashions than I can — 
I live a very dull life hear and know nothing that passes in the town — 
I never goe to any public place — indeed I think I am more like a State 
prisoner than anything else ; there is certain bounds set for me which 
I must not depart from — and as I cannot doe as I like, I am obstinate 
and stay at home a great deal. 

" The President set out this day week on a tour to the eastward ; Mr. 
Lear and Major Jackson attended him. — my dear children has had 
very bad colds but thank god they are getting better. My love and 

1 Washington's tenderness towards children is traceable in many a flower 
along the track of war. One instance which lias not been published I have 
found among the papers of Gen. Artemas Ward, in the possession of his de- 
scendant Mr. Alfred Dix of New York. At a time when the British in Bos- 
ton were using non-combatants to convey correspondence to abettors outside, 
Washington made a rigid order that none should enter or come out of the 
city. But one day an appeal came to Cambridge that a little child might be 
taken into Boston to receive medical care. The order was returned : " His 
Excellency desires that when Mr. boring's child is brought in order to go 
into Boston that you will have its cloaths examined lest there should be 
letters concealed in them." The poet who so long wrote hymns of peace in 
Craigie House, where Washington gave that order, would have left us a 
lyric of the incident, had he known it. Washington was known to have 
gone out of his way to warn children, eager to gaze at the soldiers, that they 
were in danger, — generally patting them kindly on the head. In the biog- 
raphy of Judge Phillips of Andover, it is related that when Washington 
breakfasted in that town (5 Nov. 1789), "he asked the little daughter of 
Deacon Abbot to mend, his riding-glove for him; and when she had done 
it, took her upon his knee and gave her a kiss; which so elated Miss Tri- 
cilla that she would not allow her face to be washed again for a week." 
But a similar story, glove included, is recorded of his visit to Haverhill! 



.. .J wishes attend yon and all with yon — remember me to Mr. and 
Mrs L. Wd [Lnnd Washington] how is the poof child — kiss Marie I 
t -:ul lier two little handkerchiefs to wipe her nose. Adue." 

The Lewis family, so intimately connected with Washing- 
ton, is not of any known relationship to the Lewises who 
founded Augusta Co. Ta. Its ancestor in Virginia was Gen. 
Uoberfc Lewis, of Brecon, Wales, who in 1650 obtained a 
u'rant in Gloucester Co. Ya. of 33,333^- acres. His son John, 
educated in England, married Elizabeth (daughter of Augus- 
tine and Mildred) Warner, and built " Warner Hall" — the 
threat mansion of twenty-six rooms in Gloucester. Major 
John Lewis, eldest son of John of "Warner Hall," m. Frances 
Fielding (supposed surname) wdio d. 1731 ; her husband 
lived until 1754. This Major John Lewis was the lawyer 
with whom Chancellor Wythe studied, and a member of 
Council. He was the "John Lewis, Gentleman," who, with 
Col. Harry Willis, laid out the site of Fredericksburg in 1727. 
Major John and Frances (Fielding) Lewis had four sons : 
Warner, b. 7 Oct. 1720; John, I. 1723 ; Fielding, I. 7 July 
1725; Charles, I. 25 Feb. 1729. 

Col, Fielding Lewis of " Kenmore," third son of Major John, became 
an active citizen of Fredericksburg in its early days, and is said in its 
official annals to have owned nearly half of the tow T n. In 171G he m. 
Catharine Washington, — great-granddaughter of the above-named 
Augustine Warner, his (Fielding's) great-grandfather. (Lawrence 
Washington, the General's grandfather, m. Mildred Warner.) Issue 
of Col. Fielding and Catharine (Washington) Lewis : 

1. John, b. 22 June 1717 ; his uncle John Lewis and Charles Dick, 
Godfathers j and Mrs. Mary Washington and Mrs. Lee, Godmothers. 
He m. five times,— 1st (176S) and 2nd (1770) widows named Thornton, 
bis cousins ; 3, (1773) a daughter of the eminent lawyer Gabriel and 
Margaret (Strother) Jones ; 1, (17S5) Mrs. Armistead, nee Fountaine ; 
5i Mrs. Mercer dau. of Landon Carter. By three of these wives he 
had families, and his descendants are numerous, especially in Ken- 
tucky, where he settled.— Col. Fielding and Catharine (Washington) 
Lewis had 2. Frances, b. 25 Nov. 17-1S ; Fielding Lewis and George 


Washington, Godfathers ; Miss Hannah Washington and Mrs. Jacksoi 
Godmothers. Without issue. 3. Warner, b. 29 Nov. 1710; his uncle 
John Lewis and Gapt. Bagley Seaton, Godfathers ; Mrs. Mildred Sea- 
ton, Godmother. Died 5 Dec. 1740. 

Some entries in the Lewis Family Bible at Marmion were made 
after the adoption of New Style (1752), and this must be borne in run. 1 
to avoid confusion. Thus, Catharine Lewis d. 19 Feb. 1710-50; but 
on 7 May 1750, Col. Fielding Lewis 711. hi3 second wufe, Betty Wash- 
ington. A year must be added to that and the birth dates of the nex: 
two children. Issue : 1. Fielding, b. 14 Feb. 1751 ; George Washinc- 
ton and Robert Jackson, Godfathers ; Mrs. Mary Washington and Mrs. 
Frances Thornton, Godmothers. Married in Fairfax settled in Fred- 
erick Co., Va. ; his son G. W. Lewis mentioned in Washington's diary 
as visiting Mount Yernon 1787. 2. Augustin, b. 22 Jan. 1752 ; his 
uncles Charles Lewis and Charles Yuishington, Godfathers ; his aur.t 
Lucy Lewis, and Mrs Mary Taliaferro, Godmothers. Died infant. 3. 
Warner, b. 24 June 1755 ; his uncle Charles Washington and Col. 
John Thornton, Godfathers ; Mrs. Mildred Willis and Mrs. Mary 
Willis, Godmothers. Died infant. 4. George, b. 14 March 1757 ; 
Charles Yates and Lewis Willis, Godfathers ; Mrs. Mary Dick and his 
mother, Godmothers. He married (1779) Catharine Daingerfield of 
Spottsylvania, was distinguished as a soldier, and was bequeathed o::-- 
of Washington's swords, now in the possession of his grandson, Cant. 
Henry Howell Lewis of Baltimore. Mr. Byrd Lewis, an eminent 
lawyer of Washington, is his great-grandson. 5. Mary, b. 22 April 
1759; Samuel Washington and Lawrence Washington, Godfathers; 
Mrs. Washington and Miss Mary Thornton, Godmothers. Died in- 
fant. G. Charles, b. 3 Oct. 1760; Gen. George Washington and Roger 
Dixon, Godfathers ; Mrs. Maiy Washington and Mrs. Lucy Dixon. 
Godmothers. 7. Samuel, b. 14 May 17G3 ; Rev. Mnsgrave Daws on 
and Judge Joseph Jones, Godfathers; Mrs. Dawson and Mrs. Jones, 
Godmothers. Died infant. 8. Betty, b. 23 Feb. 17G5 ; Bev. Thorns 
Kice and Warner Washington, Godfathers ; Mrs. Hannah Washington 
and Miss Frances Lewis, Godmothers. Married Charles Carter <. i 
Culpeper Co. 9. Lawrence, I. 4 April 17G7 ; Charles Washington and 
Francis Thornton, Godfathers ; Mrs. Mary Dick, Godmother. Mar- 
ried Nelly Custis. His descendants live chiefly at "Audley," dark 
Co., Va., the Hon. Edward P. C. Lewis, late Minister to Portugal, 
being his grandson. 10. Robert, b. 25 June 1700 ; George Thornt ■• 
and Peter Marye, Godfathers; Miss Mildred Willis and Mrs. Ann 
Lewis, Godmothers. See, in this Yolume, pp. 53, 305. He died ii 

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1*29, the 4th year of his mayoralty of Fredericksburg, during tvbich 
, ffice he welcomed Lafayette (Mag. Am. Hist., Jan. 18S8). 11. How- 
,.]), h. 12 Dec. 1771; Judges Joseph Jones and James Mercer, God- 
fathers ; Miss Mary and Miss Milly Dick, Godmothers. See, in this 
volume, pp 10, 293. 

It is one of the many curiosities of "Washington portraiture 
that the portrait of Betty Lewis at " Marmion " (probably by 
Woolaston) should be going about tlie world as that of 
Martha, General Washington's wife ! There are portraits 
representing Martha Washington at all ages, and it appears 
inconceiyable that any one could discoyer a resemblance be- 
tween her and the portrait published as hers in Sparks (i. p. 
IOC), in the " Republican Court," and eyen in the centennial 
Century Magazine^ April, 1S89. How this delusion origi- 
nated one can hardly conjecture. I have- asked several artists 
whether they could imagine the Martha Washington in the 
last volume of Sparks identical at any period of her life with 
her so called in the first, and they have declared it unimagin- 
able. The accompanying copy of the misnamed picture in 
Sparks bears an inscription from the late Col. Lewis W. 
Washington, written in the home and in the presence of my 
friend Frederick McGuire of Washington. In 1S55 Col. 
Lewis Washington made a special study of the family por- 
traits, and his judgment as well as his information are trust- 
worthy. He corresponded with many members of the Wash- 
ington and Lewns families then living and comparatively 
near to the sources of information ; among others with G. 
W. Parke Custis, who has been supposed, no doubt erro- 
neously, to be responsible for the mistake of Sparks. In one 
of his letters (i Aug. 1S55) Mr. Custis says : " Mrs. Lewis, 
the only sister, whom I very well remember, was the most 
majestic and imposing-looking female I ever beheld, and she 
was very dearly beloved by the great man. * There is a good 
portrait of her." The portrait alluded to is certainly that 
copied in this volume. The original at Marmion (the Lewis 


homestead in King George), is beside its companion -picture, 
that of Col. Fielding Lewis. Fine copies of both are in the 
possession of Captain Williams of Xew York, a descendant 
of the family. Another copy of Betty Lewis's portrait, now 
at Mount Yernon, is probably that alluded to by Col. Lewis 
Washington as in his possession, — placed there, I believe, by 
his widow, Mrs. Ella Bassett Washington, a vice-Regent of 
Mount Yernon. 

In another letter (4 March 1857) to Col. Lewis Washing- 
ton, Mr. Custis tells the following anecdote : 

""When in 1781 the Chief, accompanied by the Count de Rochain- 
beau, was en route for New York, following close upon the rear of the 
French army, he halted in Fredericksburg, and, having consigned the 
Count to the best hotel of the village, the Commander-in-Chief hast- 
ened to the residence of his sister. The lady had gone out to visit a 
neighbor. Judge of her surprise when, on her return, she saw that 
her pleasant mansion and the area around it — the abode of peace, do- 
mestic happiness, and liberal hospitality — had suddenly assumed 'the 
pomp and circumstance of glorious war.' She entered the mansion, 
where her servants, struck dumb with amazement, could only point to 
her chamber door. She rushed in, and there discovered her beloved 
brother stretched upon her bed and asleep. She uttered a wild ex- 
clamation of surprise and joy." 

In 1773 Col. Fielding Lewis was chosen a member of the 
House of Burgesses. The defect in his eye prevented his 
entering the field in the Revolution. His title "Colonel" 
was probably earned by his activity in the manufacture of 
arms at the " Gunnery" established by the Assembly in his 
town, whose patriotic ladies made cartridges while their 
male relatives were in the field. Col. Lewis freely advanced 
his means in this work and was never repaid except in depre- 
ciated paper. However he.had large lands in the West. He died 
in Jan. 1781, and was buried in the vestibule of St. George's 
Church, of which he was a vestryman. Washington's diaries 
and letters show his affection for this brother-in-law, and con- 



j ce in his judgment. The portrait of Col. Fielding Lewis 
:• M inuiori, a companion to that of his wife, shows that his 
, , . K»ity would not allow the artist to omit the defective eye. 
\ le was an able man, and his descendants, known in every 
I jrt <>f this country, are generally persons of character and 

For most of tlie following letters of Washington and the 
I,« wises I am indebted to Luther Kountze, Esq. The letters 
<•£ Col. Fielding Lewis are both to Washington. In the first 
\C March 1776), he says : 

" Our nine Begements are nearly compleat and our people seem to 
1 <■ fond of entring into' the service. Col [Patrick] Henry has resigned 
his Oommis n which I believe most people are well pleased with, as 
las acquaintance in the military service was little. Clinton has been 
here with his men, stay'd a few Days, & is gone it's said to S° Carolina 
k uken some of the Kings Ships that were here with him. We ex- 
pect Lord Dunmore is recalled as he has offer'd his service and request 
to be sent home as a mediator. Our Committee of Safety are too 
well acquainted with his Lordships abilitys and friendship for this 
Colony to intrust a matter of so much importance to one of his insig- 
nificancy, nor would they were his Ability ever so great take a stej3 of 
that sort without the sanction of Congress. ISTorfold is totally dis- 
t roved not one House remaining. Gosport Mr. Sprowls seat has 
shared the same fate. Portsmouth is safe ; we have men at the great 
Bridge & Kemps Landing, little for them to do. The opinion for in- 
dependentcy seems to be gaining ground ; indeed most of those who 
liave read the Pamphlet Common Sense say it's unanswerable. Our 
Manufactory has not yet made one Musquet ; the Hands have been 
ijn ployed in repairing the old Gunns from the Magazine which L d 
Ihmmore took the Locks from, and repairing the Gunns belonging to 
the several Companys that have passed thro' this Town. "We have a 
neat many Barrells ready forged which we are now preparing for the 
dockers ; our men had the business to learn, begin to be expert at 
Lock making about Thirty of which pr week we now make that are 
equal to the English ; and what Barrells are ready I think are better. 
'Hie Tory Factors are leaving of us daily, few will remain in a month, 
or two. Mrs. Lewis joins me in our Love to Mrs. AYa-diington k the 
Pumily. I am Dear Sir your most Affectionate &c. 


" In my last I requested you would furnish George with any Cloths 
&c. he may have occasion for and yr. order should he paid for the 
amount on sight." [His son Major Geo. Lewis wa3 in the army.] 

In connection with the following letter one of Washington 
(owned by the jST. Y. Hist. Soc, published in Mag. Am. Hist., 
August 1S79), Morristown 5 May 17S0 will be found interest- 
ing. In it he writes Col. Fielding Lewis of a letter received 
from Col. Fairfax, who had heard his property was confis- 
cated, which "Washington pronounces, if true, " a cruel pro- 
ceeding as the uniform tenor of his conduct has been friendly 
to the rights of this country — his going to England the result 
of necessity and before hostilities either commenced or were 
thought of, and his return with his family in a manner im- 

The letter of Col. F. Lewis is dated 4 April 17S0. 

"I wrote you about eight Days since before I rec d yours of the 1st 
<fc 2d March which came by the Post last Fryday. You judged right 
with regard to our paper Currency, as I find by a late resolution of 
Congress that it's reduced to one fortieth part of it's nominal value. 
This regulation I suppose was necessary, however unjust it may appear 
to the world ; after the assurances lately given by Congress in their 
publication, I did not expect so great a discont as forty for one would 
have so soon taken place, altho' I expected something of the sort 
must have happened for the preservation of the Landed Interest which 
never could have paid the enormous debt we now are involved in & 
daily increasing. I cannot say but I shall be among the sufferers on 
this occasion, alltho' I have in some manner lessen'd it by the purchase 
of Thirty T.hous d Acres Land to the westward where my son John now 
is, in order to locate and secure it for me. 1 have some thoughts of 
purchasing Twenty Thous' 1 acres more before our Assembly meets, 
alltho' I am apprehensive that Warrants have allready issued sufficient 
to secure allmost the whole of the valuable Lands in that Country 
from Pittsburg to the Green River. I suppose five million of acres 
are allready granted ; never was so fine a Country sold for so trifling 
a sum as those Lands will bring into the Treasury, beside the great 
injury this State will sustain by the great numbers of our most active 
men going those who should have remained here for the defence of 


tlio State and assisted in the present dispute with G. Britain. We 
h:ive a report here that a vessel is just arrived from the Havanna the 
Cap' of v.' ch reports that six days before he sailed a Fleet with 4000 
Soldiers had sailed from thence either for Pens] cola or S. Carolina, 
we have no late news from the Southward. 

" I wish it was in my power to render any service to Col ,J Fairfax by 
snperintending his business ; my bad state of health prevents my pay- 
ing that attention to my own that it requires, therefore cannot under- 
take his, as it would not be in my power to do him any tolerable jus- 
tice. I believe little has been done for the Colonel since he left the 
State, and I am fearful that it will be a difficult matter getting that 
Estate under good management ; from the Candor of Mr. Francis 
Whiting (who managed Mr. Fitzhughs Est. at Kavensworth) if he will 
undertake the matter I think that Estate would soon be brought under 
better management ; and Col° Fairfax paying a generous price for 
such service will be for his advantage. I do not know another man 
that I think will answer the purpose so well if he will undertake it, 
being a good judge of those matters. If I can be of any service in 
prevailing on Mr. Whiting or any other person that you, or 1 may 
think capable of serving Col Fairfax I will cheerfully undertake the 
matter ; at present I don't know but it may be necessary to change 
those who have at present the direction of that business, if it can be 
done at this late season for another Crop. Mrs. Lewis joins me in 
our Love to you & Mrs. Washington ; she is obliged to Mrs. Wash- 
ington for the trouble in sending her muslin to Bethlehem." 

The next letter is from Betty Lewis to her brother, at the 
time when he was recovering from a carbuncle. It appears 
that their mother — who died a month after this letter was 
written — suffered something of the same kind. The address 
on the letter is: "George Washington. President of the 
United States. New York.— Fav'd by Mr. C. Urquhart." 

"July 2-1: 1780. 
" My Dear Brother 

" We have been extreamly concern'd at hearing of your late ill- 
ness, but the arrival of Roberts last letter brought us the agreable 
information that the Doctors had Pronounc'd you would shortly be 
able to ride out.— When I had last the Pleasure of seeing you I 


observ'd your fondness for Honey ; I have got a large Pot of very fine 
in the comb, which I shall send by the first opportunity. 

" I am sorry to inform you My Mother's Breast still continues bad. 
God only knows how it will end ; I dread the Consequence ; she is 
sensible of it & is Perfectly resign'd — wishes for nothing more than to 
keep it easy,— She wishes to hear from you ; she will not believe you 
are well till she has it from under your hand. — The Doctors think if 
thay could get some Hemloc it would be of Service to her Breast; if 
you Could Precure som there Mr. Urquhart will bring it for her, there 
is none to be got hear. — Your Relations all join me in love and good 
wishes to you and Sister Washington & believe me Your AfTe ct Sister 

Betty Lewis." 

" New York, Oct. 12 th 1789 
" My Dear Sister, 

" Your letter of the first of this month came duly to hand. — I believe 
Bushrod is right with respect to the distribution of the negroes — 
When I gave my opinion that you were entitled to a child's part it did 
not occur to me that my Mother held them under the Will of my 
Father who had made a distribution of them after her death. — If this 
is the case, and I believe it is, you do not come in for any part of 

"I thought I had desired in my former letter that all personal prop- 
erty not specifically disposed of by the will had better be sold. This is 
my opinion as it is from the Crops and personal Estate that the Debts 
must be paid. — The surplus, bo it more or less, is divided among her 
children ; and this I presume had better be .done in money than in 
Stock, old furniture or any other troublesome articles which might be 
inconvenient to remove, but in one or the other of these ways they 
must be disposed of, as they are not given by the Will. — If there is 
anything coming to the estate it ought to be collected. — In a word, 
all the property except Lands and negroes is considered as personal, 
and after the Debts are discharged is to be equally divided into five 
parts one of which five you are entitled to. 

" A sort of epidemical cold has seized every [illegible] under it — hith- 
erto I have escaped and propose in two or three days to set out for 
Boston by way of relaxation from business and re-establishment of 
my health after the long and tedeous complaint with which I have 
been afflicted, and from which it is not more than ten days I have been 
recovered, that is since the incision which was made by the Doctors 
for this imposthume on my thigh has been cured. 


"Mr*. Washington joins me in every good wish for you and our 
i Hi} r relations in Fredericksburg. And I am 
My dear Sister 

Your most affectionate Brother 

G°. Washington." 

The next letter Las been sent me by Capt. George Wash- 
ington Ball. Both of the gentlemen to whom it was written 
Lid married nieces of Washington : Col. Burgess Ball m. 
dau. of Charles Washington ; Charles Carter, Jr., m. dan. of 
Betty Lewis. 

"New Haven 18 th Oct, 1789 
11 Dear Sirs : 

" Having set out on a tour through the Eastern States, it was at this 
place your letter of the 8 th inst. over-took me. 

"Not having my father's will to recur to, when I wrote to my sister, 
nor any recollection of the Devises in it, I supposed she was entitled 
to a child's part of the negros, but, if they were otherwise disposed of, 
by that Will (as I believe is the case) she is certainly excluded, and 
the sons only and their representatives come in. — In this manner the 
division must be made. — 

"Every thing of personal property not specifically disposed of by my 
Mother's Will, had better bo sold — with the proceeds of which, and 
the crops, the Debts must be paid. The surplus, if any, must be di- 
vided among the heirs. 

"Being well convinced that the Gentlemen who were so obliging as 
to examine and set a value upon my Lots, acted from their best judg- 
ment, I am perfectly satisfied with their decision, and beg my thanks 
may be presented to them for the trouble they have had in this busi- 

"If they are not already sold, I am willing to allow three, instead of 
two years credit for the payment of the purchase money, Interest be- 
ing paid. In a word, as I do not want to tenant them, I should be 
glad to sell them on any reasonable terms : as that kind of property, at 
a distance, is always troublesome, and rarely productive. 

" I did not mean to give Mr. Mercer the trouble of stating any formal 
opinion—All I had in view was to know if the formalities of the law, 
with respect to Inventorying, appraising &c. could be dispensed with. 
—H it could, I was sure no other difficulty would arise, as I knew my 


Mother's dealings were small, and the business consequently easily 

" I am exceedingly sorry to hear of the loss the Country has sus- 
tained from frost. The crops of corn in this State (Connecticut), 
along the road I have travelled, are abundantly groat. 

"I offer my best thanks to you for your kind services — and my best 
wishes to my nieces, and your families, — and, with sincere esteem and 

I am your most obed c and a£Fect te H bl8 servt. 

G : "Washington." 

Although it was necessary that Washington, as his moth- 
er's executor, should recognize the fact that his sister had 
been somewhat left in the cold by their parents' "Wills, he 
gave her the only assistance she needed — namely, a helping 
hand to her sons. To Mr. Howell L. Lovell, Covington, 
Ivy., a great-grandson of Betty Lewis, I am indebted for the 
following letter to her youngest son, — Howell, then just 
entered on his twenty -first year : 

"Philadelphia April 8 th , 1792. 
"My Dear Sister, 

" If your son Howell is living with you, and not usefully employed in 
your own affairs; — and should incline to spend a few months with me, 
as a writer in my office (if he is fit for it) I will allow him at the rate 
of Three hundred dollars a year, provided he is diligent in discharg- 
ing the duties of it from breakfast until dinner—Sundays excepted. — 
This sum will be punctually paid him and I am particular in declar- 
ing beforehand what I require, and what he may expect, that there 
may be no disappointment, or false expectations on either side. — He 
will live in the family in the same manner his brother Robert did. — If 
the offer is acceptable he must hold himself in readiness to come on 
immediately upon my giving him notice. — I take it for granted that 
he writes a fair and legible hand, otherwise he would not answer my 
purpose ; as it is for recording letters, and other papers I want him. — 
That I may be enabled to judge of his fitness let him acknowledge the 
receipt of this letter with his own hand, and say whether he will ac- 
cept the offer here made him, or not. — If he does, and I find him 
qualified from the specimen he gives in his letter I will immediately 
desire him to come on which he must do without a moments delay, 
or I shall be obliged to provide another instead of him. 


" M" Washington unites with me in best wishes, and love for von 
4 ;jJ yours and 

I am — My dear Sister 

Your mo^t affecte Brother 

O Washington." 

"21st November, 1798 
• 4 1 believe you have been informed of my wish to have some appoint- 
ment in the army — young in the art of war, my views are by no means 
ambitions ; to you I submit it, to place me in any situation, that in 
your judgment shall be best. Should I be fortunate enough to obtain 
an appointment ; I can affirm a full determination of doing my dutv, 
for by so doing only, can a Officer expect to gain respect. My health 
is much as it was when you left us, every now and then having a re- 
turn of the ague which prevents my gaining ilesh or strength tho I 
cm happy to inform you I am nearly restored to the perfect use of 
my eye. 
"The family joins me in best wishes for your health, and safe returne. 
I am dear Uncle your affectionate nephew 

Lawrence Lewis." 

The next letter of Lawrence to Washington is dated 10 
Jan. 1799 at Charlestown, — which was founded by Charles 

" I have this day been to see my Uncle Charles and family ; was 
happy to find his health much better than it had been represented to 
me on the Rode up, lie has been very unwell ever since the Winter 
commenced, but at present is as well as his mode of living will ad- 
mit. My Aunt is in good health ; and with my Uncle desires to be 
remembered to you and my Aunt. 

" As I now flatter myself, no objection as to the state of health can be 
made to my union with Miss Eleanor on the 2'2nd of Feb r > - (the day 
first fixt on by us) that my dear uncle's concurrence will not be want- 
ing as to the time proposed and that he will excuse my appearance 
one week sooner at Mount Vernon, than the time which was thought 
necessary for my journey." 

Lawrence's desire to be married on the General's birthday 
was fulfilled. 


The next letter was written to Robert Lewis while he was 
at Mount Vernon, date Philadelphia 7 March 1793. 

"I would not have you seek (at least apparently) Major Harrison ; 
but if yon should, or could conveniently fall in with him soon, and 
without forcing the conversation, talk to him again on the subject of 
his land adjoining me, and extract anything farther from him on the 
subject thereof that might be useful to me, I should be glad to know 
it. The enclosed letter to Mr. (?) from Mr. Chichester, the only per- 
son (except Thomson Mason, his son in law, who also has poor ten- 
anted land adjoining Harrisons) that can in my opinion step forward 
as a competitor, shows his ideas of the value of it ; — but altho' this may 
be the intrinsic worth, yet, circumstances considered, I would give 
more for it, if it is unincumbered with leases, than the sum therein 
ment d or would give by way of Exchange lands in Kentucky for it. 

"I expect to be at home before the 5 tb of April — and shall probably 
take Fairfax Court (which I think is on the 15 th of that month) on my 
way back to this city — between these dates if Mr. Harrison would call 
upon me at Mount Vemon with his Papers the bargain if made at 
all might be concluded. I cannot, as I expect to take the meeting of 
the Comm rs of the Federal District at George Town (about the first 
cf Apr 1 ) will be at home before the 5 th , nor will x^iblic business 
allow me to stay there longer than the 15 th ; The last being necessary 
on ace 1 of the Will of my dec d Nephew Major Washington which I 
expect will be proved at that time. I shall come home alone, for 
these purposes and to look into some matters of my own which re- 
quire attention." 

After leaving Mount Yernon Robert Lewis resided in Fau- 
quier, and was Washington's financial agent and collector. 
The following is an extract from one of Washington's letter? 
to him : 

"Mount Vernon 7 th Oct r 1705 

"As land has risen so much, and so suddenly in its price, and my 
rents bear no proportion thereto; I shall insist, and beg that you will 
see, not only that the rents are punctually paid, but that all the cove- 
nants in the leases, with respect to buildings, planting orchards, mak- 
ing meadows, reserving certain proportions of the land in wood &c. 
&c. are strictly complied with— and I further desire that in cases of 
life leasee where the occupant can give yc-u no satisfactory evidence 


: iLkj existence of the lives of the persons therein named, that ejectm' 

. iv be brought in order to make them come forward with their proofs ; 

. - r it these leases will never expire if vague information is received & 

■?-lited, of the lessees being in Kentucky, or the lord knows where. 

— Another thing too I would have minutely looked into, and that is, 

where there has been a change in the occupants from the original 

Lessees to know by what authority it has happened ; for if I recollect 

v tonus of my Leases there can be no alienation of the property 

arithout the consent of the landlord under his hand (and I believe) 


When her youngest son Howell, against her wishes, insisted 
•:i going to the Kanawha, Betty Lewis gave him a box on the 
ear with her right hand and a well-filled purse with the other. 
She was alone at 63, and went to reside with her daughter 
Betty (Mrs. Charles Carter) at " Western Yiew," Culpeper. 
" 1 am persuaded," Washington wrote her (7 April 1796) 
you will enjoy more ease and quiet, and meet with fewer 
vexations where you are now than where you did live. It is 
my sincere desire that you should do so and that your days 
should be happy. In this Mrs. Washington joins." I am 
informed by Capt. H. Howell Lewis of Baltimore, her great- 
grandson, that Betty Lewis, while superintending some work 
on a mill, one stormy day, contracted a cold, and died 31 
March 1797. Her grave is at Western Yiew. Her daughter 
Carter died in 1S29 at " Audley," residence of her brother 
Lawrence Lewis. 

The Old Yirginia gentleman was driven by a hunger for 
land difficult of modern comprehension. It was a time in 
which estates voted, rather than men. Washington was 
brought up under the influences that stimulated the passion 
for land. The marriage of his half-brother, Lawrence, with 
a Fairfax brought him in contact with the grand estate of 
the landed proprietary of the Northern Keck. While sur- 
veyor of Lord Fairfax he made acquaintance of the finest 
buds, many of which he ultimately owned. 

Lawrence, son of Capt. Augustine Washington, married iu 


the year of his father's death. Tie (Lawrence) d. 1752 leav- 
ing a wife and child (dau.), the latter dying soon after. In 
accordance with Capt. Augustine's Will the estate thus passed 
to George, but the widow of Lawrence, who presently m. 
Geo. Lee, Clerk of Westmoreland, had a life-interest in it. 
She d. 1761. In Liber C, p. S22, of the Land Record Books 
of Fairfax Co., Ya., is recorded a Deed dated IT Dec. 1754 
between Geo. Lee and Ann his wife, and Geo. "Washington 
of King George County. 

"We parties of the first part grant to the party of the second part 
the life interest of Ann Lee, -widow of Lawrence Washington, in two 
parcels of land, one situate on Little Hunting Creek, the other on 
Dogue Creek in Fairfax, of which Lawrence Washington died seized, 
also one Water Grist Mill, also certain Slaves — in consideration that 
Geo Washington during the natural life of Ann Lee, do each year pay 
to her husband, Geo Lee — on the 25th December the sum or cpran- 
tity of fifteen thousand pounds of tobacco in fifteen hogsheads, to be 
delivered at one or some of the Warehouses in the Co of Fairfax, or 
as much current money of Virginia in lieu thereoff as will be equal 
thereto at twelve (12) shillings & six pence current money, for every 
hundred weight of tobacco. At the election of the said Geo. Wash- 
ington, his heirs or assigns (the first rent to grow due 25 Dec.) " 
Then follows a provision for reduction in case any of the negroes die. 

This drain of nearly a hundred pounds, during the first 
seven years of his occupancy, helped to keep Washington's 
purse low, notwithstanding the fortune brought him by the 
widow Custis in 1759. This has been estimated at 8100,000, 
and was certainly large, yet Washington writes (1763) that his 
expenses had swallowed up "all the money I got by marriage, 
nay more, brought me in debt, and I believe I may appeal to 
your own knowledge of my circumstances before.'' 

This letter (printed in Ford's " Writings of Washington''; 
is written to Robert Stewart to explain his inability to raise 
.£400. In the Nation (19 Sep. 1SS9) Mr. Ford shows that 
in 1760 Washington paid quit-rents on 6,431 acres in the 
Northern Neck, and in 1769 on 12,260. But at this time 


I M n 

Washington himself could hardly have told what his "Western 
hinds amounted to. At his death he possessed 41,523 acres, 
«; lots in Washington City, and others in Alexandria, Win- 
chester, and the Berkeley Springs. His lands lay in Virginia, 
Kentucky, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Xew York; 
these with his town lots, are estimated in his will at 8480,105. 
Washington's supposed wealth, and his reputation for sagacity 
as a purchaser, became inconvenient. He had only to inquire 
the price of a piece of land to enhance its price. He was 
driven to stratagems. " Upon the whole," he writes to his 
brother Charles, "as you are situated in a good place for see- 
ing many of the Officers at different times I should be glad if 
you would (in a joking way rather that in earnest, at first) see 
what value they set on their lands/'' These lands were those 
donated by Gov. Dinwiddie to officers who had served against 
the French and Indians, — 200,000 acres. Washington's por- 
tion was 15,000 acres, on the Kanawha, and he purchased as 
much more from fellow-claimants. The claims were, indeed, 
of doubtful value, and even their validity was in suspense 
when the revolution broke out. For some years before the 
trouble began, Washington was anxious to sell some of his 
lands. In 1773, when the scheme for a trans-Allegheny em- 
pire was afloat, he advertised for sale 20,000 acres on the 
Ohio and the Kanawha, recommending them on account of 


"their contiguity to the seat of government which, it is more 

than probable, will be fixed at the mouth of the Great Ka- 

It was at a later period that Washington came into posses- 
sion of his 5,000 acres in Green County, Kentucky. Writing 
in 1795, he speaks of the deeds having issued "several years 
ago." Both there and on the Kanawha his claims were some- 
times disputed and involved lawsuits, — one of these being 
with Col. Cresap, whose family always maintained that the 
famous speech of the Indian chief Logan, charging Cresap 
with the massacre of his family, was invented to prejudice 


the case. To his nephew and agent in that region, Major 
George Lewis, he writes (27 July 1795) concerning a rumor 
that somebody had sold a piece of his land : 

"Mine I shall relinquish but for the full value of the land ; and if 
that value would be increased by the purchase of the 300 acres be- 
longing to Mr. Wodron I hereby authorise you to make purchase 
upon the best terms you can." 

It is interesting to note that Washington, conjointly with 
his friend Andrew Lewis, owned the first natural gas issue 

" It is," Mr. Hale (Charleston, W. Va.) writes me, "on the line of a 
geological anticlinal axis, which crosses the river (Kanawha) and the 
valley at that point. All along the break in the strata, on this anticli- 
nal, the gas issued in larger or smaller quantities through the soil in 
the bottoms, and up through the river, and in Burning Spring Creek. 
It could be set afire and burn on the surface of the water. The Burn- 
ing Spring was the largest of any single issue of gas." 

Washington and Andrew Lewis bought the tract (250 
acres) on account of this curiosity. Traditions of his earls- 
visit to that region are still vivid there, — where indeed a num- 
ber of his near relatives settled and have left descendants. 

There is at Berkeley Springs, W. Va., a White Elm, of 
21 ft. G in. circumference, — the survivor of two said to have 
been planted by Washington. Mr. E. B. Pendleton of that 
place writes me : 

" The Berkeley Springs were granted by Lord Fairfax to Virginia 
about 1765, and some ten years later a town was laid out. A nurnbor 
of persons of note, among them Washington, purchased lots and built 
upon them. My own house is built upon the exact spot on which 
stood the house of Charles Carroll, and the Washington lot is imme- 
diately across the street, — within my recollection a portion of the 
chimney was standing. Washington visited the Springs many sum- 
mers, coming in a coach-and-four, and with his servants. My two 
grandfathers, one of whom was an original trustee named in the Act 
of Assembly as to the Springs, also my father, visited the Springs 


X v 

v—'i:il!v. They knew Washington in daily life. I am now seventy, 
I ,1 from infancy was brought every year to the Springs— so I am not 
• > very far from the shadows of those days." 

At a later period of life Washington's early visions of 
Westward empire abated somewhat, and he was only willing 
u> purchase land near Mount Yernon. This estate of 2,500 
acres grew under him to 10,000 acres, with a river front of 
10 miles. 

The saying that Washington was denied children that the 
nation might call him Father has far-reaching significance. 
From the. hour in which he took command of the Colonial 
armies at Cambridge a paternal sentiment towards his soldiers 
is discoverable, and to his officers, as if all belonged to the 
circle of his Aids which he called "My Family.'' But for 
the personal sympathy with his soldiers in their grievances, 
while he repressed their rebellions, the revolution might have 
recoiled on itself. lie thanks Col. Return Jonathan Meigs 
(26 May 1780) for suppressing a meeting of soldiers, but 
adds : 

"Meeting, as you very properly observe, cannot in any case bo 
justified, but still, if the Commissaries, by a partiality of issues, have 
in any degree given ground of complaint, they shall be called to an 
account, and made to answer for it." 

Another letter loaned me by John Meigs Esq. was in reply 
to a request from Col. Meigs for leave of absence, which 
was for the purpose of marriage, though that was not stated 
in the request. It is dated at Peek's Kill, 4 Aug. 1780. 

" I have received Your letter of this date and am exceedingly sorry 
that any events should occur to require you to be absent from the 
Army. I am convinced that those on. which you have founded your 
request are of a delicate and interesting nature, or that yon would 
not have made it. In this view I cannot but consent to your going 
home, and I will not undertake to limit the day of your return. T am 
persuaded it will be as soon as circumstances will admit and I have 


only to add my wishes, that you my find that to be such, as to justify 
it immediately?" 

Nothing can exceed the delicacy of these notes, and the 
personal sentiment playing between the sentences. Long after 
the revolution was over Washington cherished the intimate 
relations established with his comrades, consulting them in 
domestic matters, and manifesting personal gratitude to them. 
Among these was Col. Tench Til;dmian, several of Washing- 
ton's letters to whom are in the memoir of that officer (Al- 
bany : J. MunkoII. 1876). A letter of Washington to his 
brother, Jno. Augustine, loaned me by Walter R. Benjamin 
of Xew York, (ouches his friendship with Col. Tilghman, and 
other matters jiml persons mentioned in this volume. It is 
from Mount Vernon 30 June 1784, and relates to his brothers 
wish to have his son Co-ruin enter on mercantile life. 

" On Sunday last I received an annwer from Mr. Morris to the letter 
I wrote him whilst you were here. Enclosed is an extract of it with 
a copy of the letter referred to. [Damaged, J Whether New York would 
be equally agreeable to you as Philadelphia— and whether the terms 
of Mr. Constable are usual and pleasing, in with you to determine,— 
and the sooner you can do this the bettor. Had Mr. Morris carried 
on business in the manner I expected, ami as ho formerly did, the ad- 
vantage of entering your son with hinj most undoubtedly would have 
been great, because his mercantile Jmov/ledge and connections really 
exceed that of any other person's upon thj.-j Continent. . . There 
is a Gentleman there, [in Maryland] uhf, connected with Mr. Morris in 
Trade, at Baltimore, who I know to be w\ worthy a man in every point 
of view as any that lives ; but whether he hi moving upon a large scale 
or a small one— whether he has an op* ning that would admit a youth 
—and upon what terms, I am ignorant The Gentleman I mean is 
Lieut, CoK Tilghman who was in my family as an Aid do Camp and 
Secretary the whole War; and in the mercantile line many years be- 
fore it.— If he can oblige me, with any kind of convenience to himself. 
I am sure he would ; and if you approve it, and I should upon enquiry, 
find he is not in a piddling way (which can scarcely be presumed from 
his connection with Mr. Morris) I would write to him on the subject 
and shall be sure ei* a candid decision, 


•*Mv family, at present, are all well but our intermittent months 
;-,♦ cot vet arrived. — I have come to a determination if not prevented 
• r unforeseen events to make a visit to my Lands on the western 
a -iters this Fall, and for that purpose shall leave home the first of 
v ptember. — Many are hinting their wishes and others making direct 
amplications to be. of the party, but as I neither [a clause illegible] 
i :hers to follow me in these pursuits — nor satisfaction to myself to be 
s ; company with those who would soon get tired and embarrass my 
movements, besides rendering them inconvenient. — Thus much in 
(.-,:. oral— but if Bushrod's health will permit, and it does not interfere 
with his studies, or plan of settlement for the practice of the Law, I 
wonltl take him with rne with pleasure — Only Dr. Craik besides, will 
eo with me. — He would require only a Servant and a Blanket or two 
—everything else I shall provide unless he should chuse to cany a Gun 
f r liis amusement as he would more than probably see abundance of 

The lands to which Bushrod accompanied his uncle — Dr. 
Craik and his son William being also of the party — were 
those on the Kanawha and Ohio. The journey is vividly de- 
scribed in Washington's Diary. lie parted from his company 
several times, and several times lost his way. The following 
entries will be found interestino- : 


17S4. Oct. 2. I set of very early from Mr. Lewis's who accompanied 
me to the foot of the blew ridge at Swift run gap, 10 miles, where I 
bated and proceeded over the mountain — dined at a pitiful house 1-1 
miles farther where the roads to Fredericksburg (by Orange C 1 
House) and that to Culpeper Court House fork. — took the latter, 
tho in my judgment Culpeper Court Ilouse was too much upon my 
ri .;ht for a direct course. — Lodged at a widow Yearly' 3 12 miles fur- 
ther where I was hospitably entertained. 3d. Left Quarters before 
•lay and breakfasted at Culpeper Court house which was estimated 21 
miles, but by bad direction I must have travelled 25, at least. Crosse d 
N'ormans ford 10 miles from the Court H° and lodged at Capt n Ashby's. 
4th. Having Capt u Ashby for a guide thro' the intricate part of the 
ftoa<] (which ought tho' I missed it to have been by Prince William 
Old Court H.) I arrived at Colchester, 30 miles, to Dinner, and reached 
home before sundown •; having travelled on the same hordes since the 
*JS*st day of September by the computed distances 6S0 miles. 


"The widow Yearly' 1 spoken of in this Diary is probably 
of the same family with Gen. Early. Concerning this dis- 
mal journey of Washington the story is told that he was com- 
pelled by the rain and darkness to ask shelter of the first 
house he reached. Its owner said they had no room, " but " 
lie added, "you will find a doggery two miles farther." 
But just after the General had started on, the inhospitable 
forester caught sight of the servant, " What's your master's 
name ? " he asked. " General Washington." " Good God ! " 
cried the man, and bounding after Washington he entreated 
him to return. " You shall have my own room," he urged. 
" I'd rather go on to the doggery," was the reply. But he 
concluded to try an alternative of the doggery, and some 
miles farther knocked at a cottage. A maiden answered that 
their home was small, but she and her mother would do 
what they could. The travellers were made comfortable, 
"Washington made himself- entertaining, but not until morn- 
ing did he reveal his name. He then gave the young lady a 
gold guinea. Miss Early married in the West, where she 
was murdered for her ear-rings, which were made of Wash- 
ington's guinea. 

The love of Yv r ashington for Mount Yernon recalls ro- 
mances of Charlemagne's attachment to his home at Aix-la- 
Chapelle, which was explained by the talisman given his 
Queen to attract his love, and after her death lost in his park. 
The fervor of a disappointed love seems to have transferred 
itself to this home of his childhood. On G Jan. 1759 he 
married the widow of Daniel Parke Custis, and daughter of 
John Dandridge. In reply to an invitation from Richard 
Washington to visit England he replies (20 Sept. 1759) : " I 
am now I believe fixd at this seat with an agreable Consort 
for Life. And hope to find more happiness in retirement 
than 1 ever experienced amidst a wide bustling world." He 
entered with ardor into agriculture ; he invented a new 
plough ; he rode about his woods with a hatchet, not to cut 



,]owh trees but to mark such as appeared graceful euougb to 
jv planted near Mount Yernon mansion. His diary of 1760 
- charming: Mrs. Washington with tlie measles, doctored bv 
thu Kev. Charles Green (the same that Augustine had nomi- 
. atctl rector of Truro in 1737) ; the disorderly oystermen ; 
his carpenter, " Itichd. Stephens" found actually at work — 
*• very extraordinary this ! " the ' f Bread and Butter ball at 
Alexandria " ; the young woman " whose name was unknown 
to any body in this family " dining there ; his pretty regu- 
lar attendances at church, but never any remark on the ser- 
mons ; " my Young peach trees were wed according to 
under " ; — every sentence is alive ! 

When he is dragged away by war from his beloved home 
hi§ heart still roams there. lie still hopes to drive about the 
uld roads, and in a good American chariot, — the gilded Eng- 
lish one of 176S having proved an imposition, — and to have 
his paper money all turned to gold. So he, and his wife 
dream in the dark days at Morristown, whence (15 April 
1 760) he writes to his dear Lund : 

" I have ordered a chariot to be made in Phil*. — The price £210 in 
specie, or Paper equivalent — have you any ways or means of coming 
at the former by your traffic with Mr. Hooe or other ? The difference 
1 etween specie and Paper in Phil a some little time ago was 00 or 70 — 
I have heard it is now 50, but if you could engage the first, that is 
i't eie, by your produce I should think it much more eligible than to 
<To it with Paper — not only because the latter is so fluctuating but 
1 •<e;mse it must (in the nature of things) grow better if it continues 
'" pass. . . , Things in this quarter are nearly in the situation as 
» hon I last wrote. Mrs. Washington joins me in best wishes to you 

and yrs." 

The " Old Brick Barn " at Mount Yernon is traditionally, 
; '-*id no doubt truly, of an antiquity beyond 150 years. It 
way even have been built by the General's grandfather. 
Where his father dwelt it is difficult now to conjecture, as the 
General would allow no dilapidated buildings to remain. An 


old Louse stood where Washington built his greenhouse in 
which possibly the four years of his childhood there were 
passed. The central part of the mansion was built by Law- 
rence, his half -brother (1743-4) for his bride, Anne Fairfax. 
In 17S4 the General began his reconstructions, — in the inter- 
est of beauty mainly. His respect for solid things sometimes 
checked his aesthetic sentiment, as is shown in a letter (sent 
me by Prof. Maupin), dated 15 Jan. 1781, to Bushrod Wash- 

""When I came to examine the Chimney pieces in this House, I 
found them so interwoven with the other parts of the Work, and so 
good of their kind, as to induce me to lay aside all thoughts of taking 
any of them down— for the only room which remains unfinished 1 am 
not yet fixed in my own mind, but believe I shall place a marble one 
there. — at any rate I shall suspend the purchase of any of those men- 
tioned in your letter, and would not wish Mr. Roberts to hold either 
of them, in expectation of it." 

Mrs, Broadwell, Vice-Regent of Mount Vernon for Ohio, 
lias had copied for me a neat drawing made by Washington 
of the piazza floor, with indication of the tiles needing repair. 
He was pained by any article that was not beautiful. When 
entertaining at Princeton the president of Congress and other 
eminent guests in his marquee, after the tidings of peace, 
the wine was served in cups. Some one remarked that the 
maker of the cups had turned Quaker preacher : Washington 
regretted that he had not turned Quaker preacher before he 
made the cups. From sheer taste Washington took under 
his own charge the costuming of the family, the china, the 
furniture. A. letter to Gen. Robert Ridgway (in the Wo- 
burn Mass. Library), written from Princeton 12 Sep. 1783, 
just after using the ugly cups, goes minutely into particular 
kinds of wine glasses, finger glasses, decanters, butter-boats, 
tureens, and other wares desired for Mount Vernon. 

But Washington loved to have these small objects around 
him significant in a sense. I remarked on the cuff-but- 


tons engraved for his inauguration only twelve stars. Prob- 
ably when they were ordered he supposed that only Rhode 
Island, and not Xorth Carolina also, would be out of the con- 
stitutional galaxy. Mr. Dreer showed me a note to Col. 
Tench Tilghman, Baltimore, desiring him to meet an in- 
coming ship (from China) and buy for him dishes, bowls, 
muslin, handkerchiefs, to each of which is added an asterisk, 
and the words, " With the badge of the Society of the Cin- 
cinnati — if to be had." A good many small objects were 
presents, of course, such as the button ,vv"ith " G. W." at the 
centre of thirteen rings, and the motto " Long live the Presi- 
dent ! " preserved, with his draped funeral candles, in the 
Masonic Temple, Alexandria. Washington sought far and 
near for new things, — new ploughs, vegetables, trees, pigs, — 
and nothing that might adorn Mount Yernon escaped his far- 
reaching eye. He writes to his dear Gen. Knox (28 Feb. 
17S5 :) 

" In the course of your literary disputes at Boston (on the one sido 
to drink tea in company and to be social and gay, on the other to im- 
pose restraints which at no time even were agreeable and in these days 
of more liberty and indulgence never will be submitted to) I perceived 
and was most interested by something which was said respecting the 
composition for a public walk, which also appears to be one of the 
exceptionable things." 

lie makes minute inquiries about this composition, being 
on the lookout for something of the kind, with the probable 
result that the " Lovers Walk" of Boston Common was an- 
ticipated at Mount Vernon. 

During all the improvements Mount Yernon appears to 
have had room for guests. There was a steady invasion 
of Mount Yernon by the English, after the Revolution, 
and among these were literary visitors whom Washington 
always welcomed. "Mrs. Macaulcy Graham and Mr. Gra- 
ham and others have just left this after a stay of about ten 
♦lays. A visit from a. lady so celebrated in the literary 


world could not but be very satisfactory to inc.*' (To Gen. 
Knox IS June 1785.) From the defects of early education 
Washington, with his genius for writing, set the highest 
value on literature. This led to his friendship with Jon- 
athan Boucher, and made him hold the Harvard tutor of 
the Custis children (Tobias Lear) as equal of the most 
eminent guest, — introducing him to Arthur Young as one 
for whom he had " a particular friendship/' In this di- 
rection Mount Yernon was ahead of other grand mansions. 
It is probable that the honor most valued by Washington 
was his Chancellorship of William and Mary College in 1TTS, 
— the year in which a student of his name (k>ushrod Washing- 
ton) for the first time appeared on the catalogue. Apart 
from the momentous matter of Slavery Washington was re- 
markably advanced in his social ethics. In his contempt for 
duelling, his exaltation of the educator, a fear of formalism 
(insomuch that grace was not said at his table), a taste for 
elegance in dress and decoration, and in his cosmopolitan 
ideas generally, Washington was all the more singular because 
of the association of these things in him with a just appreci- 
ation of etiquette, dislike of finery, and religious reverence. 
His conservatism outside of his mental habitat, — for instance 
in politics, — has caused him to he misjudged. Otherwise he 
had little sympathy with those who, as he wrote Landon Car- 
ter, were content to tread the path their fathers trod. One 
thing should be mentioned as an anticipation of higher civil- 
ization : the Mount Yernon Doctor gained nothing by his 
patients — he was salaried. His cosmopolitan ideas are repre- 
sented in many letters, among them in one to Dr. Priestlcy 
(1-i April 1V0G) in which he expresses the opinion that the 
Act of 1703 "to promote the progress of useful arts" should 
be altered so as to extend equal advantages to foreigners. 

The following selections from Washington's Diaries convey 
an idea of his Mount Yernon life, and have bearing on the 
persons and places elsewhere mentioned in this volume. 



1700. Jan. 5. Mrs. Washington appeared to be something better 

Mr. Green, however, came to see her abt. 11 o'clock, and in an hour 
^Irs. Fairfax arrived. [This physician was that same Rev. Mr. Green 
who was made Rector of Truro on the nomination of Washington's 
father, as already related, remaining such from 1737 to 1765.] 

12th. Set out with Mrs. Bassett on her journey to Port Royal. . . . 
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. 

[The Diary shows Washington leaving Mrs. Bassett with her hus- 
band at Port Royal, then setting out with the Rev. Mr. Gibourne, 
who married a Fauntleroy, dining at Col. Carter's, lodging at Col. 

16th. I parted with Mr. Gibourne, leaving Col. Champes before the 
Family was stirring, and abt 10 reachd my mothr. where I break- 
fasted and then went- to Fredericksburg with my brother Sam who I 
found there. . . . was disappointed of seeing my sister Lewis. 
. . . returned in ye Evening to Mother's ; all alone with her. 

25th. [at Mount Vernon] Wrote to my old servant Bishop to return 
to me again. [This was the man confided by Braddock to Washing- 

Feb. 15. 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 dis- 
tinguish from hot water Sweetened. I shall therefore distinguish this 
ball by the stile and title of the Bread & Butter Ball. 

April -i. Made another plow the same as my former [one of his own 
invention] excepting that it has two eyes and the other one. 

April 9. Doctr Laurie came here, I may add drunk. [Dr. L. at- 
tended Washington's hands for £15 per annum.] 

10. Mrs. Washington was blooded by Doctr Laurie who stay'd all 

17G3. March 21. Grafted 40 cherrys, viz. 12 Bullock Hearts (a largo 
black May Cherry), 18 very fine May Cherry, 10 Cornation. Also 
grafted 12 Magnum Bonum Plums. Also planted 4 Nuts of the Med- 
iterranean Pame in the Pen where the Chesnut grows — sticks by East. 
Note, the Cherrys and Plums came from Coll Mason's Nuts from Mr. 
Or Teen's.] Set out 55 cuttings of the Madeira Grape. . . . These 
from Mr. Green's. [Other entries are of the grafting or planting of 
Spanish Pears, Butter Pears, Black Pear of Worcester, " Bergamy 


Pears," New Town Pippins, —from Col. Mason who had them ' ' from 
Mr. Presid 1 Blair,"— and " grapes from Mr. Digges,"] 

1770. Aug. 2 [Fredericksburg.] Met the officers of the first Virg." 
Troops at Cap 1 Weedon's, where we dined, and did not finish till 
about sunset. Mrs. Washington and Patsy dined at Col. Lewis's 
where we lodged. 

4. Dined at the Barbecue with a great deal of Company and stay'd 
there till sunset. [On another occasion he spends "ye evening at 
Weedons at y ,J Club," in Fredericksburg.] 

1772. Sep. 14. Set out for Fredericksburg about 7 o'clock. Dined 
and Fed my Horses at Peyton's on Acquia, and reach'd Fredericksburg 
abt Dusk. Lodged at my Mothers. 

15. Pvid to my two Plantations on the River [Itap'k] and returned to 
Mr. Lewis's to Dinner. Spent ye evening at 'Weedons. 1 

1785. Oct. Sunday 2. "Went with Fanny Bassefct, Burwell Bassett, 
Doct r Stuart, G : A. Washington, Mr. Shaw, & Nelly Gratis to Po- 
hick Church ; to hear a Mr. Thompson preach, who returned home 
with us to Dinner, where I found the Bev d Mr. Jones, formerly a 
Chaplain in one of the Pennsylvania Regiments. After we were in 
Bed (about eleven o'clock in the Evening) Mr. Houdon, sent from 
Paris by Doct r . Franklin and Mr. Jefferson to take my Bust, in behalf 
of the State of Virginia, with three young men assistants, introduced 
by a Mr. Parin a French Gentleman of Alexandria, arrived here by 
water from the latter place." 

[He observes and gives an extended description of Houdon's prep- 
aration of the ' Plaister of Paris.' Houdon finished his work and left 
on the 19th.] 2 

26th. Having received by the last Northern Mail advice of the ar- 
rival at Boston of one of the Jack asses presented to me by His Cath- 

1 These entries of 1772 suggest that his mother was then residing in Fred- 

- An earlier bust, by Wright, is mentioned in the letter to Mrs. Wright 
referred to on p. xvii. "If the Bust which your son has modelled of me, 
should reach your hands and afford your celebrated Genii any employment, 
that can amuse Mrs. Wright, it must be an honor- done me. — and if your 
inclination to return to this Country should overcome other consideration? 
you will, no doubt, meet a welcome reception from your numerous friends : 
among whom, 1 should be proud to see a person so universally celebrated, 
and on whom nature has bestowed such rare and uncommon gifts." The 
wonderful bust by Eckstein, made late in Washington's life, is owned by 
Frederick McGuire, of Washington. 


> .lie Majesty, I sent my overseer John Fairfax to conduct him and his 
Kt < per, a Spaniard, home safe. 

Dec. X- Capi n . Sullivan, of a Ship at Alexandria, agreeably to my 
rtHjuest, came here to dinner to interpret between me and the Spaniard 
who had the care of the Jack ass sent me. My questions and his 
answers respecting the Jack are committed to writing. 

1755. Dec. 17. Went to Alexandria to meet the Trustees of the Acade- 
my in that place — and offered to Vest in the Lands of the said Trustees 
when they are permanently established by charter, the sum of one 
thousand pounds, the Interest of which only to be applied toward the 
establishment of a Charity School for the education of Orphans and 
other poor children. — which offer was accepted; returned again in the 
evening— Koads remarkably wet and bad. 

1756. March 19. (Sunday) A Gentleman calling himself the Count 
de Cheiza D'artignan Officer of the French Guards came here to din- 
ner; but bringing no letters of introduction, nor any authentic testi- 
monials of his being either ; I was at a loss how to receive or treat 
him. —he stayed dinner and the evening. 

Tuesday 21st. The Count de Cheiza D'artignan (so calling himself) 
was sent, with my horses, to-day, at his own request, to Alexand* . 

May 5. Surveyed 4 mile run tract accdg to a Plat made by Jno 
Hough 1766 in presence of Col. Carlyle & Jas Mercer. Staid night at 
Abingdon. [Trespassers on this tract are mentioned.] 

May 29. About 9 o'clock Mr. Tobias Lear, who had been previously 
engaged on a salary of 200 dollars, to live with me as a private Secre- 
tary & precepter for "Washington Custis a year came here from New 
Hampshire, at which place his friends reside. 

June -i. Sunday. Received from on board the Brig Ann, from Ire- 
land, two servant men for whom I agreed yesterday — viz — Thomas 
Ryan, a shoemaker, and Cavan Bowen a Tayler Redemptioners for 3 
years service by Indenture if they could not pay each the sum of £'12 
ster? which sums I agreed to pay 

Western Lands attended to by Major Freeman. 

Sept. 16. On my return home found the Attorney General [Ed- 
mund Randolph] his Lady and two children ; and Mr. Charles Lee 
here.— the last returned to Alexandria after dinner under a promise to 
come down to dinner tomorrow and that he would ask Mr. Herbert, 
Col' Fitzgerald & others to dine here also. [The Randolphs left on 
the 18th.] 

Nov. 11. [Learns of arrival at Baltimore of 3 asses and some Chinese 
pheasants and French partridges from France sent by Lafayette.] 


25. Bought the time of a Dutch family, consisting of a man by pro- 
fession a Ditcher, mower &c a — a Woman his wife a Spinner, washer, 
milker, and their child — names : Daniel Overdursh, Margaret Over- 
dursh, Anna, Overdursh. 

1787. Jan. 10. I received by express the ace 1 of the sudden death 
(by a fit of the Gout in the head) of my beloved Brother Col° Jno. 
Aug 6 Washington. At home all day. 

March 3. The Rev. M. Weems and y* Doct r Craik who came here 
yesterday in the afternoon left this about Noon for Port Tob c . 

March 6. On my return home found Col° [Burgess] Ball here — and 
soon after dinner Mr. G. W. Lewis son to Mr. Fielding Lewis of 
Frederick came in. 

April 24. Major G. Y> T ashington's Child which had been sick since 
Sunday, and appearing to be very ill occasioned the sending for the 
Rev. Mr. Massey to christen it who arriving about 5 o'clock performed 
the ceremony. 25. The Major's child dying betw n 7 k 8 o'clock a.m. 
Mr. Massey stayed to bury it. 

26. Receiving an express between 4 & 5 o'clock this afternoon in- 
forming me of the extreme illness of my Mother and Sister Lewis's 
I resolved to set out for Fredericksburgh by daylight in the morning. 

27. About sunrise I commenced my journey as intended — Bated at 
Dumfries, and reached Fredericksburg before two o'clock and found 
both my mother and sister better than I expected — the latter out of 
danger as is supposed, but the extreme low state in w ch the former 
was left little hope of her recovery as she was exceedingly reduced 
and much debilitated by age and the disorder. Dined and lodged at 
my Sister's. 

28. Dined at Mrs. Lewis's and Drank Tea at Judge Morcers ; — : 
Gen 1 Weedon, Col. Ch s Carter, Judge Mercer, and Mr. Jno. Lewis 
and his wife dined with me at my Sister's. 

Sunday, 20th. Dined at Col Charles Carter's— and drank tea at Mr. 
John Lewis's. 

30th. Set out about sunrise on my return home. 

[In Washington's Journal while attending the Constitutional Con- 
vention the only extended entries relate to agricultural observations 
in the neighborhood of Philadelphia, and a machine of Dr. Franklin's, 
excepting an entry on the close of the Convention.] 

17S8 June 9. Capt" Barney, in the Miniature ship Federalist— as a 
present from the merchants of Baltimore to me arrived here to Break- 
fast with her and stayed all day & night. Remained at home all 



Jtine 10. Between 9 and 10 o'clock set out for Fredericksburgh ac- 

c'-ii j anied by Mrs. Washington on a visit to my Mother— Made a 
jiiwit to Mr. and Mrs. Thompson in Colchester— & reached Col 5 Black- 
barns to dinner, where we lodged — he was from home — the next 
morning, about sunrise we continued our journey — breakfasted at 
Stafford Court House and intended to have dined at Mr. Fitzhugh's 
of Chatham but he & Lady being from home we proceeded to Fred- 
ericksburgh — alighted at my Mothers and sent the Carriage and horses 
to my Sister Lewis's — where we dined and lodged—as we also did the 
next day, the first in company with Mr. Fitzhugh, Col Carter, & Col 1 
Willis and their Ladies, it Gen 1 Weedon — The day following (Friday; 
we dined in a large Company at Mansfield (Mr. Man Page's) — on Satur- 
day we visited Gen 1 Spotswoods dined there and returned in the Even. 
iug to my sisters — On Sunday we went to Church — the Congregation 
being alarmed (without cause) and suppos? the Gallerys at the N° 
End was about to fall were thrown into the utmost confusion ; and in 
the precipitate retreat to the doors many got hurt. 1 — Dined in a large 
Company at Col Willis's — where, taking leave of my friends, we re- 
crossed the Ptiver, and spent the evening at Chatham — The next morn- 
ing before five o'clock we left it — travelled to Dumfries to breakfast — 
and reached home to a late dinner and found Capt' 1 Barney had left it 
about half an hour before for Alexandria to proceed in the Stage of 
Tomorrow for Baltimore. 

28. [Attends rejoicing at Alexandria on ratification of the Constitu- 
tion by Virginia and New Hampshire.] 

Nov. 14. [Engages a German gardener : beginning with £10, and 
adding a pound annually up to £15 ; house and food for himself and 
wife, — but no clothes.] 

Sept. 17. This day agreed with my overseer Powell at the lower 
Plantation on Eappa k to continue another year on the same lay as the 
last provided the number of hands are not Increased — but, if I should 
add a hand or two more, and let him (as I am to do at any rate) choose 
•"» of the best Horses at that Quarter & the upper one he is in that 
ease to receive only the S tu of what Corn, Wheat, & Tob° he makes on 
the Plantation. [The " Little Falls " farm. See p. xxxii.] 

'The gallery was new and one beam had not been properly fitted ; it 
fell into its place under weight of the crowd attracted by Washington, with 
a loud report. The late Judge Lomax remembered the calmness of Wash- 
ington, who remained seated ; tradition says that his quietness somewhat 
restrained the rush aud prevented further injuries. 


As some portions of Washington's letters to Pearce may 

suggest closeness in money matters, it should be stated that 
his charities were known to his agents. 

"I bad orders from Gen. Washington, 11 says Feake " to fill a corn- 
house every year, for the sole use of the poor in my neighborhood, to 
whom it was a most seasonable and precious relief, saving numbers of 
poor women and children from extreme want, and blessing them with 
plenty. . . . _ He owned several fishing stations on the Potomac, 
at which excellent herring were caught, and which, when salted, 
proved an important article of food to the poor. For their accommo- 
dation he appropriated a station — one of the best he had — and fur- 
nished it with all the necessary apparatus for taking 1 herring. Here 
the honest poor might fish free of expense, at any time, by only an 
application to the overseer ; and if at any time unequal to the labor of 
hauling the seine, assistance Was rendered by the order of the Gen- 

In the accounts of Robert Lewis, while his uncle's agent, 
(shown me by his grand-daughter Mrs. Ella B. Washington) 
strictness in demands is accompanied b} 7 considerate giving. 
On 22 Feb. 1705 he writes: 

" Mrs. Haynic should endeavour to do what she can for herself ; — 
this is the duty of every one. But you must not let her suffer, as she 
has thrown herself upon me ; your advances on tins account will be 
allowed always at settlement ; and I agree readily to furnish her with 
provisions ; and from, the good character yon give of her daughter, 
make the latter a present, in my name, of a handsome but not costly 
gown, and other things which she may stand mostly in need of. You 
may charge me also with the worth of your tenement on which she is 
placed; and where perhaps it is better she should be than at a greater 
distance from your attentions to her." 

On 20 June 1796 he writes from Mount Vernon : 

"lam sorry to hear of the death of Mrs. Haynie ; and will very 
cheerfully receive her daughter the moment 1 get settled at this 
place. Let her want for nothing that is decent and proper, and if she 
remains in your family, I wish for the girl's sake, as well as for the use 
she may be to your aunt, when she comes here, that Mrs. Lewis would 



fc, ep her industriously employed always, and instructed in the care 
and economy of housekeeping." 

This Mrs. Haynie and her daughter were, indeed, distant 
relatives of Washington, but his charity was felt by many 
not his kindred. 

It must be always borne in mind that extreme economy 
alone enabled Washington to meet the drain on his resources 
for cultivation of his estates, and for unstinted hospitalities 
which extended to the whole world. Moreover, though some- 
times impecunious Washington resolutely stood on his own 
logs. Judge Samuels of Virginia possesses a letter of Wash- 
ington to John F. Mercer soliciting a loan of $200, in order 
to pay a debt in JNew York. It was written in September 
17S6, when Washington was declining remuneration for his 
public services. In a letter to Warner Washington, 9 Xov. 
1TS7, (owned by Herbert Washington of Philadelphia) lie 
speaks of the "perplexed state" of his own affairs as pre- 
venting his acceptance of executorship under the will of Col. 
Fairfax. He borrowed money to go on to his first inaugura- 

On 15 March 1789 Washington answers an office-seeker : 

"If the Administration of the New Government should inevitably 
fall upon me that I will go into office totally free from pre-engage- 

ments of every nature whatsoever, and in recommendations to appoint- 
ments will make justice and the public good, my sole objects. Re- 
solving to pursue this rule invariably — I can add nothing more on the 
subject of your application until the time shall arrive when the merit 
and justice of every claim appears, when, so far as the matter depends 
upon me, the principles above mentioned shall to the best of my 
judgment have their full oi>eration." 

This note (owned by Frederick McGuire of Washington) 
was only made more cordial for friends and relatives. He 
helped his young relatives forward but with avoidance of 
nepotism. He made them private secretaries, paid out of his 
own purse, employed them on his estates, but took them in 


public service only for posts of danger. When the President 
went out to suppress the " Whiskey Rebellion " five nephews 
went with him : Major George Lewis, Commandant of the 
Cavalry ; Major Lawrence Lewis, Aid to Gen. Morgan ; How- 
ell Lewis, in Capt. Mercer's troop ; Samuel, son of Col. 
Charles Washington, and Lawrence, son of Col. Samuel 
Washington, being light horsemen. In the diary of Surgeon 
General Wellford, (sent me by his grandson, Judge Wellford 
of Richmond) occurs the following entry concerning an inci- 
dent at Bedford : 

" Sunday Oct. 19, 1794. The Cavalry this morning escorted the 
President about five miles from the Camp, when he requested his 
troops to return, and at taking leave spoke to Major George Lewis as 
follows: "George, you are the eldest of five nephews I have in the 
army ; let your conduct be an example to them, and do not turn your 
back until your are ordered." Major Lewis made a suitable reply ; 
but from this address of the President it was conjectured that the 
troops would not be entirely disbanded at the end of three months 

Washington's relation to his kindred was patriarchal, even 
beyond those" whom he may be said to have adopted, — 
namely his wife's two children and three grandchildren, and 
three children of his brother Samuel. The terms on which 
his nephews were with Washington are illustrated by many 
humorous anecdotes. 

The Rev. Dr. McGuirc reports the following in the words 
of his father-in-law (Robert Lewis, nephew of Washington.) 

" While acting as his agent I accidentally ascertained that he owned 
a tract of land in county, of which he had given me no ac- 
count. Some short time after the discoveiy, being on a visit to 
Mount Vernon, with my family, I mentioned the fact to him, at which 
he seemed to be at a loss, expressing his surprise that such a claim 
should have escaped him. When the conversation had ended, I re- 
marked, in a jocular tone, that I had had a singular dream about that 
land, a few nights before. He asked me what it was. I replied that 


I h;t>i dreamed he had made me a priesent of the tract. Ho smiled, 
a -id observed that my dreaming knack was a very convenient one, but 
vhv divl I not dream at once that he had given me Mount Vernon? 
\ few days after this, in setting out for my residence, the General ac- 
txmipanied myself and wife to the carriage, when, in taking leave of 
as, he put into my hands a small slip of paper, requesting me to ex- 
amine it at my leisure. Thinking it probably contained memoranda 
of some kind relating to my agency I put it into my pocket, and did 
not look at it for some time. When I did so, however, I was sur- 
prised to find that, in the space of six written lines, he had made me 
a conveyance of the land in — county. The tract contained up- 
ward of eleven hundred acres." 

Robert Lewis's grand-daughter, Mrs. Ella Bassett "Wash- 
ington, tells me that tills conveyance of six lines was kept 
framed, and often declared by lawyers as perfect a legal in- 
strument of its kind as could be written. 

Washington's characteristic humility made demonstrative 
homage painful to him. Caleb Bentley walked behind the 
General in a procession, and, on his return home, said " I 
felt as if in the presence of a God." This was told me by 
Mrs. .Richard Bentley, of Sandy Spring, Maryland, Caleb's 
daughter-in-law. I also heard that when Washington was 
riding through a village, where people had crowded to see 
him, he observed a little girl in distress because she could not 
get forward. lie stopped his horse, and asked that the child 
should be brought to him ; he held heron his saddle, and she 
exclaimed, " Why he's only a man after all ! " Of course 
tradition has invented the appropriate reply, " Yes, child, a 
very imperfect man after all ! " The story has variants, ami 
sounds like a fable of the humility and love of children ob- 
served in Washington. He would not claim any privileges. 
After he had retired from the presidency he was summoned 
for a petit jury in Fairfax, on an ordinary case, and served. 
The fact was not paraded, or noted, and is now, I believe, for 
the first time published. 

The reader will have remarked, in a letter to Gen. Knox 


{supra, p. lxxi), Washington's comment on the censors of 
gaiety in Boston. It is wonderful that a man so fond of 
sports, of games and dances, should be popularly regarded as 
habitually grave, if not grim. It is this notion which re- 
moved him so far from us. Miss Katherine "Wormeley told 
me that Washington had always been an un-mortal kind of 
being to her until she heard the aged Mrs. Lawrence Lewis 
(Nelly Custis) relate that once when she was sliding down 
the banisters he came out and " gave her a box on the 
cheek." That seemed to bring him closer. Nelly was his 
darling, he was paternally anxious lest she should be hurt, 
and the box was one of affection. In A\ r ashington's corre- 
spondence with Tie v. Jonathan Boucher (printed in Lipjpin- 
coU's Magazine, May 1SS9.) one may recognize the depriva- 
tions of his own early life in his anxiety that his adopted son 
John Custis shall be taught dancing, French, and all the 
polite accomplishments. The overmuch homespun of his 
boyhood is revealed in the fine costumes he orders from Lon- 
don for himself and others when he can afford it. He orders 
best house decorations, and a costly harpsichord for Nelly 
Custis. lie was a whist player, a fox-hunter, and sometimes 
in late years amused himself with the land surveys once made 
for livelihood. 

A valued correspondent, Dr. Cotton of Charleston, West. 
Va., whose wife is a gi'eat-sranddaiigliter of Augustine Wash- 
ington (the General's half-brother) permits me to print a let- 
ter of his (21 May 1SS9) though not written with that view. 
After stating that his wife's grandmother (Mrs. Fitzhugh) 
said it was spoken of at Mount Vernon as a popular error 
that Lawrence was the elder of Washington's half brothers. 
he writes: 

I give you cme of her reminiscences of Mt. Vernon. In her 12 ,b 
year she spent several weeks there in company with quite a number of 
young girls, her cousins, who with their mothers wero invited guests 
of Mrs. Washington. Every morning, precisely at eleven o'clock, 


hady Washington " would enter the drawing room, where all her 
t, sis young & old were expected to be present, waiting to receiye 
r. In the most formal and dignified manner she would pass 
,,-onnd the room shaking hands and addressing each one particularly ; 
ikon taking her seat would keep them just one hour on their good be- 
!. ivior. When the clock struck twelve she would arise, and bidding 
her guests good morning, ascend to her chamber, and again return, 
precisely at one, followed by a servant carrying an immense bowl of 
punch, of which each person was expected to partake before dinner. 
Now these young girls, curious to find out why her "Ladyship" in- 
variably retired to her chamber at this hour, secretly slipped out while 
she was entertaining their mothers, crept up stairs to her chamber, 
and hid under the bed. Presently Lady W. entered, and took her 
seat beside a large table in the centre of the room. Then came a 
•ij.ui-servant bringing a large empty bowl ; with it also lemons, sugar, 
apices, and rum ; with which her Ladyship immediately proceeded to 
prepare the delicious drink with her own hands. The young people 
under the bed could not contain themselves, and by giggles made 
known their presence; whereupon her Ladyship haughtily arose, in 
imperious tones demanded if their curiosity were fully satisfied, and 
ordered them out of the room. But they, retreating before her with 
backward steps, fell down the narrow, crooked, precipitous stairway, 
one of them breaking her arm. The impression left upon the mind 
of this young girl (afterward Mrs. Fitzhugh), never effaced up to her 
* * 1 * £ year, when she related this incident to her grandchildren, was 
that Mrs. Washington was too hard and overbearing to children, 
while, on the contrary, the General was always gentle with them, un- 
der the most trying circumstances. Often, when at their games in 
the drawing room at night, — perhaps romping, dancing and noisy — 
they would see the General watching their movements at some side 
door, enjoying their sport, and if at any time his presence seemed to 
check them, he would beg them not to mind him, but go on just as 
before, encouraging them in every possible way to continue their 
amusements to their hearts content. 

-Many letters show that Washington's young relatives con- 
sulted him on their intimate affairs. He was the confidant of 
their loves, and amid tremendous affairs of state found time 
to consider their romances. Here, for instance, is a note from 
his niece Harriot, whom lie had adopted after her father's 


(Samuel Washington's) death, and who was living with her 
aunt Betty Lewis at Fredericksburg. Harriot writes (24 
April, 1795) at the age of fifteen : 

" How shall I apologize to my dear & Honor'd for intruding on his 
goodness so soon again but being sensible of your kindness to mo 
which I shall ever remember with the most heartfelt gratitude in- 
duces me to make known my wants. — I have not had a pair of stays 
since I first came here if you could let me have a pair I should be 
very much obleiged to you and also a hat and a few other articles. I 
hope my dear Uncle will not think me extravagant for really I take as 
much care of my cloaths as I possibly can. I was very much pleased 
to hear by Mrs. Madison that you and Aunt Washington were perfect- 
ly well. I have been very sick lately with the ague and fever. Cou- 
sin Carter has been daingerously ill she was given out by the Doctors 
but is much better at present. Aunt Lewis joins me in love to you 
and Aunt Washington. 

I am my dear and Honored Uncle 

your affectionate Neice, 

Harriot Washington." 

An interesting correspondence between Washington and his 
sister concerning this young lady is given in the Mag. Am. 
Hist. Jan., 1SS4. When Harriot consulted Washington 
about her desire to marry Mr. Parks he made careful inqui- 
ries about the gentleman. He consented, but regretted in a 
letter to his sister that Harriot could not have waited until 
his presidency was over, when she would have lived at Mount 
Vernon and enlarged her circle of male acquaintances. 

Washington's camaraderie has already been mentioned. 
Masonic writers generally suppose that he was by distinction 
admitted to their Society before he was of age ; but the date, 
4 Xov. 1752, was pretty certainly in the following year (K. 
S.) There was also a Club in Fredericksburg, mentioned in 
Washington's Diary as early as 17G3, which met at " Wee- 
don's." Before the Revolution Dr. Smyth, an English trav- 
eller, stopped at George Weedon's inn (" The Rising Sun") 


• 1 found his host the head of a revolutionary circle. This 
i doubt was the Club. There "Washington may have met 
his time Gen. Hugh Mercer, Gen. Woodford, Gen. 
SVeedoB, Col. Win. Fitzhugh, Col. Monroe, Col. John Spots- 
v ood, Col. Fielding Lewis, Col. Burgess Ball, Major Charles 
hick, Major Willis, and the Stafford Mercers, Masons, and 
Washingtons ; he no doubt met there young Paul Jones. Of 
these a goodly number survived the Revolution. Gen. Hugh 
Mercer (1720-1777) who had fought at Culloden, and by 
Washington's side under Braddock, had fallen at Princeton ; 
but in his old home at Fredericksburg, "The Sentry Box" 
("yet standing) his brother-in-law, Gen. Weedon, gathered the 
old comrades every year for a banquet in celebration of the 
r.*pture of the Hessians. Gen. Hugh Mercers little son, 
adopted by the nation, was brought in to sing to the veterans, 
responding with chorus, a ballad of " Christmas Day of '76.'' 
Among those who greeted Washington with especial warmth 
was Dr. Robert Wellford (afterwards Surgeon-General) 
founder of an eminent race. When the Revolution began 
Dr. Wellford had just begun practice in London. A Cabinet 
Minister, thrown from his carriage at the young surgeon's 
door, was so skilfully treated that he offered Wellford a po- 
rtion with the army in America. He served with brilliant 
success in Philadelphia, during the British occupation of that 
city, but in consequence of orders he deemed inconsistent 
with his professional duties he resigned. Having saved the 
life of Col. John Spotswood he was persuaded to accompany 
iiim to Fredericksburg, — where he married. Thither he 
*" ; re letters of Washington with results indicated in a let- 
'' r before me, in which, on occasion of the Whiskey Re- 
bellion, Dr. Wellford offered gratuitous services — which were 

"Robert Wellford," says this letter, "can never forget a most re- 
spectful! regard for the President, nor can he relinquish but with 
memory itself his gratitude for those introductory letters (to the 


notice and friendship of Col. Fielding Lewis, Mr. Fifczhugh of Chat- 
ham, and other respectable characters) which settled him in life, and 
from which Las resulted a practice in surgery and medicine which 
now enables him to support an amiable wife, two lovely daughters, 
and the means of educating six sons, every one of which, he hopes, at 
a future day will prove themselves valuable members of the United 

Judge Wellford of Richmond has shown me one of these 
letters, introducing his grandfather (G July 1778) to William 
Fitzhugh ; it speaks of Wellford's "great humanity, care 
and tenderness to the sick and wounded of our army in cap- 

Another name too little known to fame is Captain Bernard 
Gallagher, of maternal descent from Chancellor [Nicholas 
Bacon. Disliking a parental plan for making him, the only 
son, a priest, he had escaped from Ballyshannon, Ireland, as 
a cabin boy, and when our revolution began, had. risen to the 
command of his vessel. Captured by an American cruiser lie 
adopted the cause of his captors. In 17S1 Capt. Gallagher, 
living at Dumfries, Prince William Co., Va., loaded a vessel 
at Alexandria with corn to provision Yorktown, dropped 
down the river, and was chased by a British cruiser, which 
signalled that the cargo would be paid for if surrendered. 
But while parleying, the captain and crew scuttled their own 
ship. While attempting escape in the yawl, Captain Gal- 
lagher was captured, and held in chains at Halifax two years, 
in the prison ships, until the peace. Thereafter Washington 
was sometimes a guest of the Gallaghers, at Dumfries, and at 
the request of Mrs. Gallagher, (nee Strother,) sat for his por- 

It is this portrait, painted by C. W. Peale, which the gal- 
lant Captain's grandson, Bev. Mason Gallagher of Brooklyn, 
enables me to present in this volume. It was painted when 
Washington was fifty-five, his mouth being not yet dis- 
tiinired by the monstrous artificial teeth now in the Dental 


Mu-.eum at Baltimore, by which the standard portraits are 

There were other old comrades in the neighborhood of 
Mount Vernon, — Dr. Craik, Col. Simms, Col. Fitzgerald, 
Col. Little, Lieut. Conway, and others who may be found in 
the Index of this work. 

What sentiment Washington felt towards old friends is 
dm wn in many letters. The following from Philadelphia, 
16 June 1793, is to William Fitzhugh Jr., and relates to his 
father, Col. William Fitzhugh of Chatham (known in the 
late Civil War as " Lacy's ")• 

" The China Bowl with which your good Father was so obliging as 
to present me came safe and I beg you to assure him that I shall es- 
teem it more as a memento of his friendship than from, its antiquity or 
size. — Not before the receipt of your letter, dated the 24th of last 
month, had I heard of the death of Mrs. Fitzhugh — on this melancholy 
event I pray you both to accept my sincere condolance. I also sin- 
cerely wish that the evening of his life although at present clouded de- 
prived of one of its greatest enjoyments, may be perfectly serene and 
happy : — that you will contribute all in your power to make it so I 
have no doubt. "With great esteem and regard." 2 

In the last years of Washington's life the family was rep- 
resented in Westmoreland chiefly by a son of his half-brother 
Augustine, — William Augustine Washington. Bushrod, son 
of his brother John Augustine, was a rising lawyer in Rich- 
mond City; and, since the separation from Edmund Ean- 

1 For the mask appended to this portrait the reader is indebted to Dr. 
Toner, by whom it was discovered while searching out a portrait for :i 
medal in commemoration of the national monument. The medal was never 
struck, and the mask is here first published. It wa? used by Clark Mills, 
and is in the possession of one of his workmen. While Mills was making 
his equestrian statue. John Augustine Washington, the owner of Mount 
Vernon, loaned him Houdon's bust ; whether this mask was molded from 
it, or, as I think with Dr. Toner, an original matrix by lloudon, is not de- 
termined; But it is certainly an impressive representation of Washington. 

'For this and the remaining letters used in this Introduction I am in- 
debted to Mr. Luther Kountze. 


dolph, had attended to his uncle's law affairs. The two let- 
ters following relate to the selection of an academy for Will- 
iam Augustine's sons. He writes from Philadelphia (IS 
Feb. 1795) recommending Andover. 

" There is a college at Carlisle in this State of which much is said 
but it is in much such a town as Fredericksburg, and liable, I presume 
to the objections you have made to the Academies in Virginia ; — that 
objection does not apply to the northern schools ; order, regularity 
and a proper regard to morals in and out of school is there very much 
attended to ; and besides Harvard College Boston is at hand for the 
completion of education if you should prefer it, and is, I am told, in 
high repute." 

Andover was chosen, and Washington encloses (21 April 
1795) letters of introduction to Hamilton and others. 

" Enclosed I send you a few letters of introduction to some ac- 
quaintances of mine both in Boston and New York. I have not done 
this to the Governors thereof but think it would be proper that you 
should pay both the respect of Calling upon them. To get introduced 
could not be difficult with the letters that are enclosed." 

Another letter from Mount Vernon (17 Dec. 1797) re- 
minds us painfully of alienations in the last years of Wash- 
ington's presidency. It was Mrs. Washington's letter to 
Mrs. Elizabeth Powell in Philadelphia, but every word of it is 
in her husband's handwriting, and evidently his composition. 

"It was indeed, with sympathetic concern, we heard of the late 
calamitous situation of Philadelphia, and indisposition of some of 
your friends : — These occurrences, however, are inflicted by an invis- 
ible hand, as trials of our Philosophy, resignation and patience ; all 
of which it becomes us to exercise. . . 

"Poor M rs Morris! I feel much .for her situation; and earnestly 
pray that M r Morris may, and soon, work through all his difficulties ; 
in which I am persuaded, that all who know him heartily join me ; as 
they do that their ease, quiet and domestic enjoyments, may be per- 
fectly restored. M r * Marshalls arrival must be a comfort to them all, 


however disappointed she herself may bo, in the apparent reverse of 
their situation, since she embarked for Europe. . . . 

M r Fitzhugh and family, have, within the last fortnight, become 
residents of Alex* and we should, 'ere this, have made them a con- 
gratulatory visit on the occasion, but the bad weather in which they 
travelled, has indisposed M rs Fitzhugh so much, as to confine her to 
her room with an inflammation, more troublesome than dangerous. 

" I am now, by desire of the General to add a few words on his be- 
half ; "which he desires may be expressed in the terms following, that 
is to say, — that despairing of hearing what may be said of him, if he 
should really go off in an apoplectic, or any other fit (for he thinks all 
fits that issue in death are worse than a love fit, a fit of laughter, and 
many other kinds which he could name) — he is glad to hear before- 
hand what will be said of him on that occasion ; — conceiving that 
nothing extra : will happen between this and then to make a change in 
his character for better, or for worse. — And besides, as he has entered 
into an engagement with M r Morris, and several other Gentlemen, not 
to quit the theatre of this world before the year 1800, it may be relied 
upon that no breach of contract shall be laid to him on that account, 
unless dire necessity should bring it about, inaugre all his exertions 
to the contrary.- — In that case, he shall hope they would do by him as 
he w*ould do by them — excuse it. At present there seems to be no 
danger of his giving them the slip, as neither his health nor spirits, 
were ever in greater flow, notwithstanding, he adds, he is descending, 
and has almost reached, the bottom of the hill; — or in other words, 
the shades below. — For your particular good wishes on this occasion 
he charges me to say that he feels highly obliged, and that he recip- 
rocates them with great cordiallity. 

"Nelly Custis (who has been a little indisposed with a swelling in her 
face) offers her thanks for the kind expressions of your letter in her 
behalf, and joins the General and myself in every good wish for your 
health and happiness. — I am my dear Madam with the greatest es- 

Your most affectionate 

Martha Washington." 

There is, alas, bitterness in this laughter. 

At this time Washington was deeply interested in the 
building up of Washington City. In a letter to his friend 
William Thornton, dated at Mount Vernon, 20 Dec. 1T98, he 


encloses a check on the Bank of Alexandria for five hundred 
dollars, " to enable Mr. Blagden by your draughts to proceed 
in hiving in materials for carrying on my buildings in the 
Federal City." He adds : 

"I saw a building in Philadelphia of about the same front and el- 
evation, that are to be given to my two houses, which pleases me. It 
consisted also of two houses united, — Doors in the centre — a pediment 
in the roof and donna window on each side of it in front — skylights in 
the rear. If this is not incongruous with rules of Architecture, I 
would be glad to have my two houses executed in this style. — Let me 
request the favor of you to know from Mr. Blagden what the addi- 
tional cost will be." 

A letter (5 April 1798) to Col. William A. Washington 
shows the farmer and the patriot both somewhat troubled. 

" I feel obliged by your endeavours to discover the genealogical 
descent from Lawrence "Washington, the younger brother of our an- 
cestor John; — and for your enquiries after flour barrel staves. — If 
any material information should be obtained relatively to the first 
matter, I shall be oblidged by the communication thereof. 

" At a crisis like the present, and enveloped as our foreign relations 
seem to be in clouds & darkness, it is not easy to decide on what to 
ask, or what to take, for the produce of our fields. — By the last ace 1 * 
from Paris, our Commissioners to that Republic had not been re- 
ceived, nor was it likely they would be ; and appearances, as far as it 
is to be infered from the Presid^ message to Congress on the 19th 
XTlt°, indicated nothing good, and afford no hope of redress for the in- 
juries we have received from violated Treaties, and the arbitrary and 
unjust measures of the French Directory. Under these circum- 
stances, and the present uncertain state of our political concerns, it 
would be hazardous to offer you any advice with respect to the dis- 
posal of your Com : but was I in your place, T should, I believe, 
be more inclined to take the best price I could obtain now than wait 
for a better market some time hence; — and I should be more solici- 
tous to secure the filiilment of the contract than to enhance the price 
of the article if credit is given, and without giving it, the sale will 
be dull : — such is the state of mercantile transactions, occasioned 
by the outrageous spoliations it has sustained, & the consequent dis- 


tresfees of those who have suffered by them. — Under this view of the 
subject, and upon these principles too, I have disposed of my Flour : 
— the only article I had for market. 

*' In speaking of corn, and knowing that you 3aise a quantity every 
year for sale, it has occurred to me to ask, if you would be inclined to 
contract for 500 barrels annually, for the term of five or seven years, 
and at what price. My lands are not congenial with this crop, and are 
much injured by the growth of it ; — having an under stratum of hard 
clay impervious to water, which penetrating that far and unable to 
descend lower, sweeps off the upper soil in the furrows — although the 
land is generally level — and runs it, in spite of all I can do to prevent 
it, into injurious and eye-sore gullies. — Nothing but the indispensable 
use of this food for my negros (and indeed for Hogs) has restrained 
me from discontinuing the growth of it altogether, or in small well 
improved lots only, but the uncertainty of obtaining a given quantity 
— at stated periods of the year — and from a person on whose ability & 
punctuality I could confidently rely." 

On 14 Feb. 1799 lie writes to ask if lie cannot obtain an 
additional 100 bushels of corn per annum. On 2G March lie 
wishes to know if he can exchange whiskey for Indian corn 
in Westmoreland. " Capt. Bowcock has delivered more corn 
than he received from you ; of which Mr. Anderson my 
manager will give you the a/c — as he will also do of the whis- 
key ; the barrel of fish you will please to accept. — My best 
respects and congratulations in which my wife joins me, are 
offered to Mrs. Washington and yourself on your marriage. 
We shall always be glad to see you at this place." In June 
(10th) he complains of slow payments from tenants in Wash- 
ington and Lafayette counties (Pa.) Instead of an expected 
§6,000, due June 1, but §1,700 were received. 

To this Ool. William Augustine Washington the General 
made various bequests, but he appears to have entirely for- 
gotten the terms of his half-brother Lawrence's Will. Law- 
rence provided that in the event that either of his brothers 
should die without issue his inheritance should " become the 
property and right of my brother Augustine and his heirs." 
The General bein<: without issue Mount Vernon would thus 


pass to Augustine's heir, — namely, to William Augustine 
Washington. The General bequeathed it to Bushrod 
nephew of his own brother, John Augustine. 

I learn on good authority that Washington's widow wrote 
to Col. William Augustine Washington asking him if he in- 
tended to break the will. He answered that although a 
wrong had been done he would not oppose the Will. He 
was given the first choice of swords under the Will. 

In the last letter printed in this volume Washington says 
to a relative who had informed him of his brother Charles's 
death, " I was the first, and am, now, the last of my father's 
children by the second marriage, who remain. When I shall 
be called ujpon to follow them is known only to the Giver of 
Life. When the summons comes I shall endeavor to obey it 
with a good grace." The hour came a few weeks later, and 
how the man met it is known to the world, though hardly 
recognized in its sublimity. Washington counting his pulses 
as they were beating his funeral march is only less sublime 
than Washington counting his mental pulses, so to say, and 
facing the fact of their decline. (See letter to Gov. Trum- 
bull, Life of SUliman, ii, 3S5.) When his friends, and par- 
tizans in dread of defeat, implored him to accept a third 
presidency, his patriotism,— the ruling passion strong amid 
other decline, — answered, " Although I have abundant cause 
to be thankful for the good health with which I am blessed, 
yet I am not insensible to my declination in other respects. 
It would be criminal, therefore, in me, although it should be 
the wish of my countrymen and I could be elected, to accept 
an office under this conviction which another would discharge 
with more ability." 

History has shown nothing more great in its lowliness than 
this answer of Washington, — noble enough to protect at last 
from genuine loyalty to himself the nation he had saved 
from superstitious loyalty to kings. 








To Willi am Pearce, at Hopewell. 1 
Sir, Philadelphia, Aug* 26 th 1793. 

I intended to have written to you somewhat sooner, but 
business of a public nature and pressing, prevented it until 
now. — 

Although I have conviction in my own mind, that a hun- 
dred guineas p r annum is more than my Mount Vernon Es- 
tate will enable me to give the Superintendent of it ; yet, the 
.satisfaction (when one is at a considerable distance from prop- 
erty they possess, under circumstances which does not allow 
much thought thereon) of having a person in whom confi- 
dence can be placed as a Manager, is such, as to dispose me 
to allow you that sum ; provided other matters can be ad- 
justed to the mutual convenience, and satisfaction of both 

As you were about to depart in the Stage when I saw you 
(and which I knew could not wait) I did not go so much into 

1 Eastern Shore of Maryland. Pearce was secured for Washington l»v bis 
friend (Judge) Wm. Tilghman, whose relative, Col. Oswald Tilghman, tells 
mo that a part of his estate at Easton, Talbot Co., is still known as 4 ' Hope- 
w«U. M (Appendix A.) 


detail as was necessary to place an agreement upon a basis to 
avoid mis-conception, and unpleasant disputes thereafter ; 
and besides, altko' you would be upon standing wages, which, 
in the opinion of some would make it immaterial (these being 
paid) what sort of an estate you overlooked ; yet my opinion 
of a sensible and discreet man is, that before he would finally 
engage, he would view the estate himself, and decide from 
that view, whether it possessed such advantages as would en- 
able him to acquire honor as well as profit from the manage- 
ment thereof; — whether he could make it profitable to his 
Employer from its local situation ; from the nature of its 
soil, and means of improving it ; — the plans proposed ; or the 
condition in which it might appear to him. Whether the 
part of the Country, the accomodations, the water, &c* were 
to his liking ; — with other considerations which will admit no 
evidence equal to that of one's own observation, to decide ul- 
timately on what to resolve. — 

Having stated a fact, and given my ideas of what I sup- 
pose would be most agreeable for you to do, I shall add, that 
if nothing more than I foresee at present should happen, I 
expect to be at Mount Yernon about the 20 th of next Month, 
for a stay of S or 10 days. — If then you are disposed to un- 
dertake my business, and wish to see the nature of it, and the 
present state of it ; I should be glad to see you there about 
that time, when every necessary arrangement may be made if 
we should finally agree. 

From Baltimore to Mount Yernon by the way of the Fed- 
eral City, George Town, and Alexandria, is 59 measured 
Miles ; — and from Annapolis to the same place, crossing Pot- 
omac at Alexandria, is 45 Miles; but it might be reduced to 
less than 40 if there was a ferry opposite to my house. — From 
Baltimore to Alexandria (through the above places) the regular 
Stages pass ; and set out every Monday, Wednesday and fri- 
day from the former, reaching the latter the same day ; from 
whence a horse could be hired without difficulty, I believe. 


M carry jou to my house, distant 9 miles. I mention these 
viincrs for your information, in case you should determine to 
go there. 

If vou resolve to meet me at Mount Vernon, give me no- 
tice thereof immediately ; and if business or any other cause 
should render it impracticable for me to be there, at the 
time, I will inform you, so as to prevent your setting out. — 

1 informed you at our meeting, that I had eight or ten 
Negro Carpenters under the care of a worthless White man, 
whom I had forborn to turn away on account of the peculiar 
circumstances attending his family ; — But I suffer so much 
from his negligence; — by his bad qualities; — and bad exam- 
ples ; that I find it indispensably necessary to get some other 
workman to supply his place. — If it should be your lot to su- 
perintend my affairs, your own ease, as well as my interest, 
would induce you to look out for a successor to him, against 
New Years day ; — if not, and you could recommend a proper 
character for this business, it would be rendering me an accept- 
able service to do it. I am Sir — 

Your IP 1 ' 1 Serv fc 

G° Washington. 


Mount A r ernon, Oct. r 6 th , 1793. 
Mr. Pk akce, 

Enclosed is a copy of our agreement with my signature to 
ir. — 

Since you were here, Mrs. Washington the Widow of my 
Nephew, 1 who formerly lived at this place, has resolved as 

: The widow of George Augustine Washington 'm. 15 Oct., 1783), el*e- 
v-here in these letters spoken of as Mrs. Fanny Washington. After her 
iuisband's death (Feb. 5, 1792; Washington invited her to make her home at 
Mount Vernon. She became the second wife of Washington's Secretary, 
' r "'»ia.s Lear. She was a daughter of Col. Burwell Bassett and Anna T>un- 
dridge (Mrs. George Washington's sister), of Eltham, New Kent Co.,Va. 
Appendix B.) 


soon as we leave it, to remove to her Brother's in the lower 
part of this State, and will not, I believe, return to reside at it 
again. — This will make it more convenient and agreeable, 
both for yourself and me, that you should live the Winter, 
at least, at my Mansion house ; as it will allow more time for 
my carpenters to provide for Mr. Crow, and to put the place 
he lives at in better repair than it now is for yourself, if there 
should be occasion for you to go there ; — and this too, under 
your own inspection. — 

The right wing to my dwelling house as you possibly may 
have noticed, and heard called the Hall, (being kept altogether 
for the use of Strangers) has two good rooms below (with tiled 
floors) and as many above, all with fire places. — This will ac- 
comodate your family (being a larger house) better than 
Crow's ; and by being here, you will have the use of my 
Kitchen, the Cook belonging thereto, Frank the House Ser- 
vant, a boy also in the House. — The Stable, Garden, tfec*, cfec*, 
without any additional expence tome; — at the same time that 
it will, by placing you in the centre of the business, ease you 
of much trouble ; for otherwise, the frequent calls from the. 
Farms, — from workmen of different descriptions for Tools. 
Xails, Iron, &c l , from the Store — and the particular attention 
which matters ab* the Mansion house will require, would have 
occasioned you many an inconvenient ride here, the necessity 
for which will be entirely superceded, as your mornings and 
evenings will, of course, be spent where your presence will 
be most wanting. — 

As I am never sparing (with proper reconomy) in furnish- 
ing my Farms with any, and every kind of Tool and imple- 
ment that is calculated to do good and neat work, I not only 
authorize you to bring the kind of ploughs you were speaking 
to me about, but any others, the utility of which you have 
proved from your own experience ; — particularly a kind of 
hand rake which Mr. Stuart tells me are used on the Eastern 
Shore of Maryland in lieu of Hoes for Corn at a certain stage 


of its growth — and a Scythe and Cradle different from those 
used with us, and with which the grain is laid much better. — 
la short I shall begrudge no reasonable expence that will con- 
tribute to the improvement and neatness of my Farms ; — for 
nothing pleases me better than to see them in good order, 
and every thing trim, handsome, and thriving about them ; — 
nor nothing hurts me more than to find them otherwise, and 
the tools and implements laying wherever they were last used, 
exposed to injuries from Rain, sun, && — 

I hope you will endeavor to arrange your own concerns in 
such a manner as to be here as much before the time agreed 
on as you conveniently can. — Great advantages to me will re- 
suit from this, by putting the business in a good train before 
the Fall operations are closed by the frosts of Winter, and all 
improvements are thereby at an end for that season. On the 
other hand, inconveniences to yourself may arise from delay 
on account of the Weather — Navigation, &e* ; there having 
been instances of this River's closing with Ice several days 
before Christmas which might prevent the removal of y r things 
in time. — That your living at the Mansion may be attended 
with no more expence to you than if you had gone to the 
other place (at which Crow now lives) on account of Gentle- 
men, who now and then call here out of curiosity — as they 
are passing through the Country — I shall lay in such things 
as will be necessary for this purpose, and the occasions (which 
are but rare) may require. — 

I expect to leave this place about the 2S th of the Month for 
Philadelphia, or the neighbourhood of it ; any letter therefore 
which shall arrive before that time will find me here — after- 
wards it will have to go to Philadelphia where it had better 
he directed. 1 

I am your friend and Servant 

G° Washington. 

1 The yellow fever was raping in Philadelphia, and it was not considered 
prudent that the President should resume his abode there. 



Mount Vernon, 27 th Oct. 1793. 
Mr. Peabce, 

Your letter of the 19 th came duly to hand. — Tomorrow I 
leave this for Philadelp* or the vicinity of it ; where, when 
you have occasion to write to me, direct vour letters. — 

As you seemed to he in doubt whether a proper character 
could be engaged in y e part of the Country you live in, to 
look after my Xegro Carpenters ; and (having much work to 
do in their way, and not being willing to leave matters at an 
uncertainty) I have engaged the person who superintends 
them at present to look after them another year. — He is a 
good workman himself, and can be active ; but has little 
authority (I ought to have said command, for I have given 
him full authority) over those who are entrusted to him — 
and as he is fond of drink, tho' somewhat reformed in this 
respect, I place no great confidence in him. — He has, how- 
ever, promised so to conduct himself, as that there shall be 
no cause for complaint — I thought it was better, therefore, 
to engage him, than to run any hazard. — I have engaged no 
person to look after the house People, Ditchers &c fc in place 
of the one now occupied in that business ; and unless a very 
active and spirited man could be had, it will scarcely be es- 
sential while you reside at the Mansion house yourself. — The 
old Man that is employed in this business is, I believe, hon- 
est, sober, well meaning, and in some things knowing ; but 
he wants activity and spirit ; — and from not being accus- 
tomed to Xegros, in addition thereto ; they are under no sort 
of awe of him — of course do as they please. — His wages arc 
low, Twenty pounds p r aim. only — under this statement of 
the case you may do as shall seem best to yourself. — If he is 
to go, he ought to know it seasonably : — his time is up at 
Christmas ; and nothing betw n us has past either as to his go- 
ing, or staying. 


I shall, before you remove, or by the time you may arrive 
at Mount Vernon, give you full directions, and my ideas 
upon the several points which may, between this and then, 
occur to me. — In all things else you must pursue your own 
judgment — having the great outlines of my business laid 
before you. 

After having lived the ensuing Winter at the Mansion 
house you will be better able to decide than at the present 
moment, how far your convenience, my interest, and indeed 
circumstances, may render your removal to the other place 
more eligable. — I shall readily agree to either. — Materials are 
now providing for building a house for Mr. Crow ; whose 
house it was first' proposed you should live in, for him to re- 
move to. — There are a great number of Negro children at the 
Quarters belonging to the house people ; but they have 
Always been forbid (except two or 3 young ones belonging to 
the Cook, and the Mulatto fellow Frank in the house, her 
husband ; both of whom live in the Kitchen) from coming 
within the Gates of the Inclosures of the Yards, Gardens 
&c*; that they may not be breaking the Shrubs, and doing 
other mischief ; but I believe they are often in there notwith- 
standing : — but if they could be broke of the practice it 
would be very agreeable to me, as they have no business 
within ; having their wood, Water, tSzc 1 at their own doors 
without. — 

The season has been remarkably sickly, generally, but my 
family, except a few slight touches of the intermit tan t fever 
— chiefly among the blacks — have shared less of it, than I 
find from report, lias been felt in most other places. — 

I am Your friend &c* 

G° Washington 1 . 



German Town, 24* Kov r 1793. 
Mr. Pearce, 

On my way to this place (about the last of Oct 1 ') I lodged 
a letter for you in the Post Office at Baltimore, which I hope 
got safe to your hands, although I have not heard from yon 

I shall begin, now, to throw upon Paper such general 
thoughts, and directions, as may be necessary for your gov- 
ernment when you get to Mount Vernon ; and for fear of 
accidents, if transmitted to you thro' any other channel, will 
deposit them in the hands of my ^Nephew, Mr. Howell Lewis, 
who will remain (though inconvenient to me) at that place 
until your arrival there; that he may put you in possession, 
and give you such information into matters as may be use- 
ful.— 1 

As my farms stand much in need of manure, and it is dif- 
ficult to raise a sufficiency of it on them ; and the Land be- 
sides requires something to loosen and ameliorate it, I mean 
to go largely (as you will perceive by what I shall hand to 
you through Mr. Lewis) upon Buck Wheat as a Green ma- 
nure (Plowed in, when full in blossom) — for this purpose 1 
have requested a Gentleman of my acquaintance in the 
County of Loudoun, above Mount Vernon, to send to that 
place in time 450, or 500 bushels of this article for seed. — 
And as I do not wish to go largely upon Corn, it is necessary 
I should sow a good many Oats ; — my calculation (allowing 
two bushels to the Acre) is about 400 bushels wanting. — Not 

1 Howell (1771-1822) was 11th, and youngest child of Washington's only 
sister, Betty, second wife of Col. Fielding Lewis, of Kenmore, Frederick* 
burg, lie was (1792) the President's Secretary. He married Ellen Hack- 
ley Pollard, of Richmond, Va., 1795. In 1812 he went to reside on a tract 
of 1300 acres on the Kanawha (Mason Co.) inherited under Washington'- 
will. (Appendix A.) 


re than the half of which can 1 calculate I have of my 
, un, for Seed next Spring, and therefore if yon could carry 
; -in! with you two hundred, or even 300 bushels to be cer- 
i ain ; of those which are good in quality, and free from 
« Jnious, I will readily pay for them and the accustomed 
freight. — That I may know whether to depend upon y r doing 
;l;is, or not, write me word ; that in case of failure with you, 
1 way try to obtain them through some other channel. — 
I am Your friend and Servant 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 18 t Decem r 1793. 
Mb. Peakce, 

The paper enclosed with this letter will give you my ideas, 
generally, of the course of Crops I wish to pursue. — I am 
sensible more might be made from the farms for a year or 
two — but my object is to recover the fields from the ex- 
hausted state into which they have fallen, by oppressive 
crops, and to restore them (if possible by any means in my 
power) to health and vigour. — But two ways will enable me 
to accomplish this. — The first is to cover them with as much 
manure as possible (winter and summer). — The 2 d a judicious 
succession of Crops. 

.Manure can not be had in the abundance the fields re- 
quire; for this reason, and to open the land which is hard 
hound by frequent cultivation and want of proper dressings. 
I have introduced Buck Wheat in the plentiful manner you 
will perceive by the Table, both as a manure, and as a sub- 
stitute for Indian Corn for horses ifcc 1 ; it being a great 
Ameliorate!' of the soil. — -How far the insufferable conduct of 
my Overseers, or the difficulty of getting Buck Wheat and 
< >.its for seed, will enable me to carry my plan into effect, 1 
am unable at this moment to decide. — You, possibly, will be 
better able to inform me sometime hence. — Col u Ball of 


Leeaburgii ' has promised to use his endeavours to procure 
and send the first to Mount Vernon ; but where to get as 
much of the latter as will answer my purposes (unless I send 
them from this city) I know not ; but before I can decide on 
the quantity it may be necessary for me to purchase, it is es- 
sential I should know the quantity grown on my own estate ; 
and which after I went to Virginia in September last I di- 
rected should no longer be fed away. — The common Oats 
which are brought from the Eastern Shore to Alexandria for 
sale, I would not sow — first, because they are not of a good 
quality — and 2' 1!y because they are rarely, if ever, free from 
Garlick and wild Onions: with which, unfortunately, many 
of my fields are already but too plentifully stocked from the 
source already mentioned ; and that too before I was aware 
of the evil. 

I have already said that the insufferable conduct of my 
Overseers may be one mean of frustrating my plan for the 
next year. — I. will now explain myself. — You will readily per- 
ceive by the rotation of Crops I have adopted, that a great 
deal of Fall plowing is indispensible. — Of this I informed 
every one of them, and pointed out the fields which were to 
be plowed at this season. — So anxious was I, that this work 
should be set about early, that I made an attempt soon after 
you were at Mount Vernon in September, to begin it ; and 
at several times afterwards repeated the operation in differ- 
ent fields at Pogue-ruu farm ; 3 — but the ground being exces- 
sively hard and dry, I found that to persevere would only de- 
stroy my horses without effecting the object, in the manner it 
ought to be, and therefore I quit it ; but left positive direc- 
tions that it should recommence at every farm as soon as ever 

1 Col. Burgess Ball, of the revolution, was, like Washington a great-grand- 
son of the immigrant, William Ball, who came to Virginia in IGoO. and died 
in 1(569. Col. Burgess Ball (son of Jeduthan Ball) married Trances, dau. 
of Washington's brother Charles. Appendix C. 

'-'More than H miles N. W. from Mount Vernon Mansion. 


•here -should come rain to mojsten the earth — and to stick 
constantly at it, except when the horses were employed in 
leading out "Wheat (which was a work I also desired might 
lo accomplished as soon as possible). — Instead of doing either 
vi these, as I ordered, I find by the reports, that M°Koy has, 
now and then, plowed a few days only as if it were for amuse- 
liient.— That Stuart ! has but just begun to do it. — And that 
neither Crow l nor Davy 2 at Muddy-hole, had put a plow into 
the ground so late as the 1 th of this month. — Can it be expect- 
ed then, that frosts, Snow and Hain will permit me to do much 
of this kind of work before March or April ? "When Corn 
planting, Oats sowing, and Buck Wh 1 for manure, ought to 
be going into the gr d , in a well prepared state, instead of 
having it to flush up at that season — and when a good deal 
vi Wheat is to be got out with the same horses. — Crow hav- 
ing got out none of his that was stacked in the Held, nor 
iStuart'and M c Ivo) rl much of theirs, which is in the same 
predicament ; — the excuse being, as far as it is communicated 
to me, that their whole time and force since the month of 
October has been employed in securing their Corn — When 
God knows little enough of that article will be made. 

I am the more particular on this head for two reasons — 
first to let you see how little dependence there is on such 
men when left to themselves (for under Mr. Lewis it was very 
little better) — and 2 dly to show you the necessity of keeping 
these Overseers strictly to their duty—that is — to keep them 
from running about, and to oblige them to remain constantly 
with their people; — and moreover, to see at what time they 
turn out of a morning— for I have strong suspicions that this, 
with some of them, is at a late hour, the consequence of which 
to the Xegroes is not difficult to foretell— All these Overseers 
as you will perceive by their agreements, which I herewith 
send, are on standing wages ; and this with men who are 

1 White overseers. /Colored overseer. 


not actuated by the principles of honor or honesty, and not 
very regardful of their characters, leads naturally to endul- 
gences — as their profits, whatever may be mine, are the same 
whether they are at a horse race or on the farm — whether 
they are entertaining company (which I believe is too much 
the case) in their own houses, or are in the field with the 

Having given you these ideas, I shall now add, that if you 
find any one of them inattentive to the duties which by the 
articles of agreement they are bound to perform, or such 
others as may reasonably be enjoined, — Admonish them in a 
calm, but firm maimer of the consequences. — If this proves 
ineffectual, discharge them, at any season of the year without 
scruple or hesitation, and do not pay them a copper ;— putting 
the non-compliance with their agreem* in bar. 

To treat them civilly is no more than what all men are en- 
titled to, but, my advice to you is, to keep them at a proper 
distance ; for they will grow upon familiarity, in proportion 
as you will sink in authority, if you do not. — Pass by no 
faults or neglects (especially at first) for overlooking one only 
serves to generate another, and it is more than probable that 
some of them (one in particular) will try, at first, what lengths 
he may go. — X steady and firm conduct, with an inquisitive 
inspection into, and a proper arrangement of everything on 
your part, will, though it may give more trouble at first, save 
a great deal in the end — and you may rest assured that in 
everything that is just, and proper to be done on your part, 
[you] shall meet with the fullest support on mine. — Nothing 
will contribute more to effect these desirable purposes than a 
good example — unhappily this was not set (from what I have 
learnt lately) by Mr. Whiting, who, it is said, drank freely — 
kept bad company at my house and in Alexandria — and was 
a very debauched person — wherever this is the case it is not 
easy for a man to throw the first stone for fear of having it 
returned to him ; — and this I take to be the true cause why 


3(r. Whiting did not look more scrupulously into the conduct 
,.f the Overseers, and more minutely into the smaller matters 
belonging to the Farms — which, though individually [they] 
may be trifling, are not found so in the agregate ; for there 
is no addage more true than an old Scotch one, that " many 
mickles make a muckle." 

I have had but little opportunity of forming a correct 
opinion of my white Overseers, but such observations as I 
have made I will give. 

Stuart appears to me to understand the business of a farm 
very well, and seems attentive to it. — lie is I believe a sober 
man, and according to his own account a very honest one. — 
As I never found him (at the hours I usually visited the farm) 
absent from some part or another of his people, I presume 
he is industrious, and seldom from home. — He is talkative, 
has a high opinion of his own skill and management— and 
seems to live in peace and harmony with the Negroes who 
are confided to his care. — lie speaks extremely well of them, 
and I have never heard any complaint of him. — His work 
however, has been behind hand all the year, owing he says, 
and as I believe, to his having too much plowing to do — and 
the last omission, of not plowing when he knew my motives 
for wishing it, has been extremely reprehensible — But upon 
the whole, if he stirs early, and works late, I have no other 
fault to find than the one I have just mentioned — His talk- 
ativeness and vanity may be humoured. 

Crow is an active man, and not deficient in judgment. — If 
kept strictly to his duty would, in many respects, make a good 
Overseer. — But I am much mistaken in his character, if he is 
not fond of visiting, and receiving visits. — This, of course, 
withdraws his attention from his business, and leaves his 
people too much to themselves ; which produces idleness, or 
slight work on one side, and flogging on the other — the last 
of which besides the dissatisfaction which it creates, has, in 
one or two instances been productive of serious consequences 


— I am not clear either, that he gives that due attention to 
his Plow horses and other stock which is necessary, although 
he is very fond of riding the former — not only to Alexandria 
(fee 1 but about the farm, which I did not forbid as his house 
was very inconvenient to the scene of his business. — 

M c Koy appears to me to be a sickly, slothful and stupid 
fellow. — lie had many more hands than were necessary merely 
for his Crop, and though not TO acres of Corn to cultivate, 
did nothing else. — In short to level a little dirt that was taken 
out of the Meadow ditch below his house seems to have com- 
posed the principal part of his Fall work; altho' no finer 
season could have happened for preparing the second lot of 
the Mill swamp for the purpose of laying it to grass. — If 
more exertion does not appear in him when he gets into better 
health he will be found an unfit person to overlook so im- 
portant a farm, especially as I have my doubts also of his 
care and attention to the horses tfcc*. 

As to Butler, you will soon bo a judge whether he will be 
of use to you or not. — He may mean well, and for ought J 
know to the contrary may, in some things have judgment ; 
but I am persuaded he has no more authority over the Ne- 
groes he is placed, than an old woman would have ; and is 
as nnable to get a proper day's Work done by them as she 
would, unless led to it by their own inclination w ch I know is 
not the case. — 

Davy at Muddy-hole 1 carries on his business as well as the 
White Overseers, and with more quietness than any of them. 
— With proper directions he will do very well ; and probably 
give you less trouble than any of them, except in attending 
to his care of the stock, of which I fear he is negligent ; as 
there are deaths too frequent among them. — 

Thomas Green (Overlooker of the Carpenters) will, I am 
persuaded, require your closest attention, without which I be- 

A farm about oGO poles X. of Mount Vernon mansion. 


,-ve it will be impossible to get any work done by my Kegro 
i "irpciiters — in the first place, because, it has not been in my 
l> »\ver, when I am away from home, to keep either him, or 
rhem to any settled work ; but they will be flying from one 
trilling thing to another, with no other design, I believe, than 
to have the better opportunity to be idle, or to be employed on 
their own business — and in the next place, because — although 
authority is given to him — he is too much upon a level with 
the Xegroes to exert it ; from which cause, if no other every 
one works, or not, as they please ; and carve out such jobs as 
they like. — I had no doubt when I left home the 2S th of Oct. 
hut that the house intended for Crow w d have been nearly 
finished; by this time, as in order to facilitate the execution I 
bought Scantling, Plank and Shingles for the building ; in- 
.-toad of this I do not perceive by his weekly report that a 
tool has yet been employed in it — nor can I find out by the 
*:iid report that the Barn at Dogue-run is in much greater 
forwardness than when I left it. 

To correct the abuses which have crept into all parts of my 
business — to arrange it properly, and to reduce things to sys- 
tem ; will require, I am sensible, a good deal of time and 
your utmost exertions ; — of the last, from the character you 
hear, I entertain no doubt ; the other, I am willing to allow, 
because I had rather you should probe things to the bottom, 
whatever time it may require to do it, than to decide hastily 
upon the first view of them ; as to establish good rules, and 
i regular system, is the life, and the soul of every kind of 
business. — 

These (rest of letter missing). 


' Philadelphia Dec r 1793. 
Mr. Pearce, 

The letter which I wrote to you on the IS 1 and the papers 
tuerein enclosed with the Plans of the several farms (which 


Mr. Lewis was directed to leave with you) were designed to 
give you a general view of the business entrusted to your 
care. — I shall now, as intimated in that letter, give you my 
sentiments on many other matters of a more particular nat- 
ure. — ■ 

Among the first things to be done after you are well fixed 
yourself, will be, I presume, that of taking an exact account. 
of the Stock of every species — Tools — and implements on 
each of the farms : — charging them therewith ; that a regular 
account thereof may be rendered whenever called for. — Buy 
in Alexandria a proper (bound) book for this purpose, and 
another to enter the w r eekly reports in. — The latter is re- 
quired not only for my present satisfaction, but that it may 
also, at any time hereafter shew in what manner the hands 
have been employed ; and the state of the Stock and other 
things at any past perioc] ; and it is my wish, as this is in- 
tended as a register of the proceedings on the farms, that they 
may be made with correctness; — always comparing the last, 
with the preceeding weeks report and all differences satis- 
factorily accounted for. — The Overseers are allowed paper 
for these Reports. Suffer no excuse therefore for their not, 
coming in to you every Saturday night, that you may be en- 
abled to forward a copy of them to me by the Wednesday's 
Post following. — And as it is not only satisfactory, but may 
be of real utility, to know the state of the weather as to heat 
and cold, but drought or moisture ; prefix, as usual, at the 
head of every Weeks report a Meteorological account of 
these ; — -The Thermometer which is at Mount Vernon will 
enable you to do the first. — 

The work essentially necessary to be done by my Carpen- 
ters, and which presses most — is — eompleating the Xew Barn 
at Dogue Bun, and the sheds there for horses <fec t — building 
the house for Crow — Repairing my house in Alexandria for 
Mrs. Fanny Washington — which must be done before the first 
of May — Inclosing the lot on which it stands for a Garden or 


Yard.— Repairing the Millers house. — Removing the larger 
kind of the Xegro quarters (the smaller ones or cabbins, I pre- 
Mime the people with a little assistance of Carts can do them- 
selves) to the ground marked out for them opposite to Crow's 
New house. — Repairing at a proper time those he will remove 
from. — Lending aid in drawing the houses at River farm into 
pome uniform shape, in a convenient place. — Repairing the 
Bam and Stables at Muddy-hole. — Compleating the Dormant 
Windows in the back of the Stable at Mansion house and 
putting two in the front of it agreeably to directions already 
given to Thomas Green — after which, and perhaps doing 
Borne other things which do not occur to me at this moment, 
my intention is to build a large Barn, and sheds for Stables 
upon the plan of that at Dogue Run (if, on trial it should be 
found to answer the expectation w ch is formed of it) at River 
Farm. — 

I give you this detail of Carpenters work, that by having 
the subject before you in a collected view, you may be the 
better able to direct the execution ; and to prevent Green 
from flying from one thing to another without order or sys- 
tem ; — and Then by judging whether he carries it on with 
that dispatch and judgment which is necessary. 

As you know my anxiety with respect to the substitution 
<>f live fences in place of dead ones (as soon, and as fast as 
the nature of things will admit) I should not again mention 
it, were it not that this is the season for saving the Haws of 
the thorn — Berries from the Cedar trees — and such things 
as are fit for the purpose of hedging ;— and to prevent trim- 
ming the Lombardy Poplar and Willows, that the cuttings 
may be applied to this use— for as these two last are of very 
<piick growth, I am of opinion fences might soon be raised 
by means of them, that will be competent against every thing 
but Hogs, whilst those of slower growth may be coining on 
to supply their places ; — and whether it is not better to raise 
Porke in styes, is a matter worthy of serious consideration— 


for I believe by the common mode I never get the half of 
what is raised by the Sows ; especially if they are kept in 
t^ood order; — to do which is attended with no small expenee, 
and to have them stolen afterw ds is vexations. 

"When 1 left home, Davy at Muddy hole had finished get- 
ting out his Wheat, and had nothing but the security of his 
Corn and some fencing, to employ his people about, daring 
the fall and Winter — I was induced from this consideration, 
and the anxious desire I have to reclaim, and lay to grass — 
my mill swamp, to order him to give all the aid he conld to 
McKoy in the accomplishment of this work but it really ap- 
pears to me that the fall, fine as it has proved, has actually 
been spent About I know not what. — What can be done with 
those swamps, must now be left to you — and the state the 
weather will put them in. — My hope, and expectation once, 
was, that the second lot might have been laid to o;rass next 
spring if not this Fall, and that the one above it, would have 
been ditched — grubbed — and planted in Corn — but as the 
matter now stands, you must be governed by circumstances 
and your own view of the case ; with this caution, not to 
undertake in this, or in any thing else, more than you can 
accomplish well; — recollecting always, that a thing but half 
done is never done ; — and well done, is, in a manner done for 
ever. — 

At Mclvoys, I staked out two Clover lots adjoining the 
Barn yard, and gave him and Tom Davis (who was present) 
my ideas respecting them. — The sooner these can be in- 
closed — especially that on the West side, next the Wood — 
the better; as it is my wish to plough it this fall, and plant 
Potatoes therein in the Spring. — Serving that on the East 
side of the Barn in like manner next year — and the spot 
which was in oats, adjoining 'thereto the year following. — It 
is my intention also, to run a lane from the first Gate you 
enter going into this Farm up to the Barn yard — and another 
lane from the Wood to N u 4 across the Meadow, and between 


tields N° 3 and 5. — I do not expect that all these things cim 
be accomplished in a moment — but having them in your 
■.jew at the same time you will know better how to pro- 
red. — As the Wood in N° 5 will be to be cleared when that 
field comes into Corn, it will be proper that all the Timber, 
Hails and Wood that is wanted on the farm, should be taken 
from hence as far as it will go — and cut with an eye to this 

One of the Grass lots at Muddy hole, the South western 
«>ne (pointed out to Davy) ought to be plowed up this fall, 
and planted with Potatoes in the Spring. — And at Union 
farm it is intended to take of four five acre lots from field 
X°2, directly in' front of the Barn as will appear more clearly 
by the sketch herewith enclosed — The lots marked 2s° 1 and 2 
in which, should be sowed in Feb. 7, or beginning of March 
with clover seed on the Wheat. — At the liiver farm 1 I. pro- 
pose three lots for Grass, South of the lane in front of the 
Darn, as you will perceive by another sketch also enclosed. — 
What will be done with the ground between the Barn at that 
place and N° 6 when the fence comes to be run there, is 
left to yourself to decide, after taking a full view of things 
and seeing what the force is competent to in fencing (of 
which much is wanting) etc* — Stuart wished much for an- 
other fellow at this place, and as that boy Cyrus, at Man- 
sion house, is now nearly a Man, and very unfit I believe 
to be entrusted with horses, whose feed, there is strong sus- 
picions he steals, I have no objection to your sending there — 
nor indeed have I any to your disposing of any of the others, 
differently from what they are, after you have taken time to 
consider what arrangements can be made for the best, ami 
'nest advantageous purposes. — Thomas Davis and Mucins 
must however be considered as among the tradesmen ; and 
when not employed in making and laying of Bricks and other 

1 Across Little Hunting Creek, and about 3G0 polos E. of Mount Vernon 
Mansion. Sketches, and rotation system, fellow these letters. 


job>3 in that way, may be aiding the Carpenters. — And the 
fellow called Muddy hole Will, as lie has for many years 
been a kind of Overseer, had better remain in his present 
station ; — with respect to the rest, I have no choice about 
them. — 

There is nothing which stands in greater need of regula- 
tion than the Waggons and Carts at the Mansion House, which 
always whilst I was at home appeared to me to be most 
wretchedly employed — first in never carrying half a load ; — 
2 d,y in flying from one thing to another ; — and thirdly in no 
person seeming to know what they really did ; and often times 
under pretence of doing this, that, and the other thing, did 
nothing at all ; — or what was tantamount to it. — that is — in- 
stead of bringing in, or carrying to any place, full loads, and 
so many of them in a day ; the Waggon, or a Cart, under 
pretence of drawing Wood, or carrying Staves to the Mill l 
w d go to the places from whence they were to be taken, and 
go to sleep perhaps ; and return with not more than half a 
load. — Frequently have I seen a Cart go from the Mansion 
house, or from the river side to the- new Barn with little or 
no more lime or sand in it, than a man would carry on his 
back — the consequence of this was that the Brick layers were 
half their time idle ; for it required no more time to make 
the trip with a full load than it did with half a load — of 
course, double the q* 7 would be transported under good reg- 

You will perceive by my agreem fc with Elder, the Gardener, 
that he and his wife were to eat of the Victuals that went 
from my Table (in the Cellar) instead of having it Cooked by 
his wife as had been the custom with them. — At the time 
that agreement was made I kept a Table for Mrs. Fanny 
Washington, but as she has resolved to live in Alexandria, 
this will no longer be kept up ; and therefore it would be best 

1 At the head of Dogue Creek (as distinguished from the " Run '') a mile 
N. W. of the Mansion, 


I should conceive, to let them return to their old mode and 
for the young Gardener to eat with them — but as the agree- 
ment is otherwise I would not force this upon them, unless 
it was their own choice — especially if Butler remains there, 
for in that case as Lucy (the Cook) must get Victuals for him, 
it will make but little difference whether she gets for one 
or more; you will therefore do what seems best, and most 
agreeable in this matter taking care that they have a suffi- 
ciency without waste, or misapplication — I am very willing; 
to allow them enough, and of such provisions, day by day, as 
is wholesome and good, but no more — they have, each of 
them been allowed a bottle of Beer a day — and this must be 
continued to them — that is a quart each, for when I am from 
home the Beer will not be bottled though it may be brewed 
as the occasion requires — The Gardener has too great a pro- 
pensity to drink, and behaves improperly when in liquor ; — 
admonish him against it as much as you can, as he behaves 
well when sober — -understands his business : — and I believe is 
not naturally idle — but only so when occasioned by drink — 
iiis wife has been put. in charge of the spinners — that is, to 
deliver out the Wool and flax, and receive the thread, yarn 
&c*, — she seems well disposed, but how far she is worthy of 
trust, or is capable of having the work done properly, you 
will be better able to judge after a while, than I am now. — 
Method, in all these things, is desirable, and after it is once 
adopted, and got into a proper train things will work easy. — 
Do not suffer the Quarter Xegro children to be in the 
Kitchen, or in the yards unless brought there on business— as 
besides the bad habit — they too frequently are breaking limbs, 
or twigs from, or doing other injury to my Shrubs — some of 
which at a considerable expence, have been propagated. 1 — 

1 "We viewed the gardens and walks, which are very elegant, abounding 
with many curiosities. Fi^-trees, raisins, limes, oranges, etc, large English 
mulberries, artichokes, etc." — Amariah Frost's narrative of a day at Mount 
Vernon, in 1797, privately printed by Hon. Hamilton B. Staples. 


From some complaints made by my Negroes, that they 
had not a sufficient allowance of meal, and from a willingness 
that tliev should have enough, the quantity was increased by 
Mr. Whiting so as to amount (by what I have learnt from 
Mr. Stuart) to profusion. — This is an error' again on the other 
side — My wish and desire is that they should have as much 
as they can eat without waste and no more. — Under these 
Ideas I request you would examine into this matter and regu- 
late their allowance upon just principles. — 1 always used to 
lay in a great quantity of Fish for them — and when we were 
at home Meat, fat, and other things were now and then given 
to them besides: — But it would seem (from their acc tP at 
least) that the Fish which were laid in for them last spring 
have disappeared without their deriving much benefit from 
them. — 

By this time I expect the Hogs that were put up for Porke, 
either are killed — or are fit to kill. — I request, after every 
person has had their allowance given to them, that the residue 
may be made into Bacon, and due attention given to it ; for 
all most every year, since we left home, half of it or more, 
has been spoilt — either for want of salt, or want of proper 
attention in smoking it ; if not spoiled in the pickle. — Davy 
at Muddy hole, has always had two or three hund d weight of 
Porke given to him at killing time, and I believe the Insidcs 
of the Hogs — that is — the Ilastlets, Guts (after the fat is 
stripped off) &c* is given among the other Negroes at the 
different places. — 

After the drilled Wheat at Union farm 1 is taken off, let 
particular care be used to prevent its being mixed with any 
other ; as, if it answers the character given of it, it will be a 
great acquisition. — That, and the drilled wheat at Stuarts are 
of the same kind, and were sown in drills that the ground 
might be worked whilst it was growing, and the most made 

140 poles W. of Mount Vernon mansion. 


of it that can be. — Whether to sow the ground which is at 
I'nion farm (in this Wheat) with Buck Wheat and grass 
Seeds immediately after harvest or with Buck Wheat alone 
to be plowed in for Manure and grass seeds afterwards J 
shall leave to you to decide. — I shall want all the ground 
within that Inclosure laid down with grass and leave the 
manner of doing it to you. — And as the other parts within 
the same Inclosure— as also in that of McKoys, was sown very 
late in the fall with grass seeds pray examine them atten- 
tively, from time to time, and if you shall be of opinion that 
the Seed is not come well, or is too thin, sprinkle as much 
more over it as you shall deem necessary, as I am very 
anxious to have them well taken, and without delay with 
grass. — The Wheat fields at Dogue-run are to be sown in the 
Month of February or March with grass Seeds — Xo. 3 with 
Clover alone — The other with Clover and Timothy or Clover 
and Orchard grass mixed, as it is intended to be laid to 
Grass. — 

It is indispensably necessary that the alteration marked 
out in the Mill Race should be accomplished as soon as pos- 
sible — 1 st because the waste of Water in the old part (which 
it avoids) is more than can be afforded except at times of the 
greatest plenty — and 2 dIy because I am at more expence and 
trouble in repairing (after every heavy rain) the breaches, in 
the part that will be thrown out, than in digging the new.-— 
There is another job that is essential ; and that is, to make 
the Post and Bail fence from the Millers house up to the 
trunnel fence which runs across the meadow, — or to the next 
cross fence, if that lot is cultivated next year of such stout 
and strong materials and of such a height as to hid defiance 
to trespassers of every kind, among w ch the worthless people 
who live near it are the worst as I am satisfied they give 
every aid in their power which can be done without discov- 
ery to let in their Hogs— The whole of this outer fence, will 
be, 1 am sure, to be done anew ; but it can only he accom- 


plished by degrees — but let that which is done, be coin- 
pleated effectually as well by a good and sufficient ditch as by 
a stout Post and rail fence — along which if a hedge of Honey 
locust could be got to grow entirely round it would form a 
sufficient barrier against bad neighbours as they would hardly 
attempt to cut them down to let their Stock in upon me 
which, I am sure is the case at present as without the aids 
some of them derive from my Inclosures and their connexion 
with my Negroes they would be unable to live upon the 
miserable land they occupy. — 

"Whenever the field X° 3 at Union farm is prepared for a 
Crop, which was intended to be the case next year — if the 
piece of \Vood within, is touched at all, let there be a hand- 
some clump of trees left at the further end of it — or more 
than one — according to the shape and growth of the "Wood. — 

I have, for years past, been urging the Superintendaut of 
my business at Mount Vernon to break a number of Steers to 
the yoke, that no set of oxen may be worked low — but do 
not believe it is yet done to the extent I wish. — My reasons 
for this measure are, that the oxen may never be worked 
after they are eight years of age, but then fatted for market ; 
— that by having a number of them, they may, by frequent 
shifting, always be in good order ; — and because, when they 
are only fed, when they do work— and at other times only 
partake of the fare which is allowed to the other cattle, — 
twenty yoke is not more expensive than five yoke. — 

The Potatoes which were made last year, except such as 
you may require for your own eating, which you are welcome 
to, must all be preserved for Seed ; and will be short enough, 
I fear, for the purposes they are intended. — It has been in- 
timated that several of the large stone Jugs which were sent 
to the different farms with spirits in them at Harvest has 
never yet been returned. — Call upon the several Overseers to 
give them in immediately, or they will have to pay for them. 
— Inclosed is an Inventory of the several articles which are 


in the Store house at Mansion house which I send for your 
information. — Take an account of what is delivered from 
thence — to whom — and for what purpose — that it may be 
known how things go. — 

There is one thing I wish to impress you pretty strongly 
with, that you may use every precaution in your power to 
guard against — and that is — suffering my horses to be rode 
at unseasonable hours of the night without your knowledge 
or that of the Overseers. — No doubt rests upon my mind that 
this is too much practiced and is one, if not the primary cause 
of my loosing a number of horses — the poverty of others — and 
the slinking of foals which happens so frequently that I make 
a miserable hand of breeding Mules. — It must be remembered 
in time, that the Jack and Stud horse are advertised for cov- 
ering the ensuing Season — February or beginning of March, 
however, will be in time. — 

I am told that the AYell by the Quarter is rendered useless 
for want of a proper rope. — It is sometime since I wrote to Mr. 
Lewis to get a hair one (for none other answers well) from 
the Hope Maker in Alexandria — but what he has done in it I 
know not. — He will be able to inform you ; and he, and the 
Gardeners wife, will let you know what Negroes have been 
cloathed and who are yet to Cloath, with the means of doing 

My Superfine, and fine flour always waits for directions 
from me, to be sold ; — but the midlings and Ship stuff you 
will dispose of whenever you can get a suitable price, and 
your want of money may require.— And this also may be 
done with Beeves, Mutton etc 6 ; after supplying the several 
demands upon the former, where it has not already been 
done. — The Miller and Thomas Green, I understand, have 
each had a Beef, the weights of which will, I presume be 
given to you by Mr. Lewis ; and as it will exceed their allow- 
ance of this article, they must account for it by lessening the 
quantity of Porke, or be charged the (Alexandria) market 


price for it. — And as Thomas Green has drawn in the course 
of last year more Meal from my Mill than his allowance let 
him be charged with the Overplus and It is necessary you 
should know that he is always craving money and other 
things but let him no more than his dues — for he is in debt 
I believe to every body and whatever is advanced beyond 
would probably be lost.- — 

I have directed Mr. Lewis to leave with you an acc fc of all 
the money he has paid, and what (if any) may remain in his 
hands. — And it is my request that you will pay no acc ts (not 
of your own contracting) without learning from him that 
they are due, or first sending them on to me ; for Mr. 
Whiting always paid as he went, and what was left unpaid 
either by him, or contracted after his death, was paid to the 
utmost farthing whilst I was at home. — So that I know of 
nothing remaining unpaid except the Overseers wages, and 
to the Weaver, but what has fallen under Mr. Lewis's man- 
agement since I left home and of course can be explained by 
him. — 

Send me an exact account of the quantity of Corn made at 
each farm and the yield of each field. — I directed Mr. Lewis 
to have a certain quantity, at each farm put into seperate 
Corn houses for the use thereof ; and the residue in other 
houses for the Mansion house, and other purposes — and I 
hope it has been done, but wish to be informed. — The Keys 
of the last mentioned houses I did not intend should be left in 
the care of the Overseers, but the doors well secured and, the 
keys remain in your own custody. — 

As your family may be the better accomodated by it, I 
wrote Mr. Lewis sometime ago that you might lodge, your- 
self, in the room which he now occupies ; and I repeat it to 
you, as I am willing to make vour situation as comfortable as 
may be. — 

It would be well to have the Seins overhauled immediately, 
that if new ones are wanting, or the old ones requiring much 


repair, they may be set about without loss of time ;— for if 
this work is delayed until the spring the Sein Ketters will be 
so much employed, as to disappoint you altogether and of 
course my people of Fish. — If twine is not to be had in Alex- 
andria let me know it, and I will, by the first vessel afterwards 
send it from hence. — 

If I recollect rightly, Thomas Green is allowed a certain 
quantity of Wood, by the agreement which lias been entered 
into between us (by the old one I know it was so) it would be 
well therefore to have the quantity carried to his house and 
corded up at once, otherwise he will be always complaining, 
and denying that the quantity (six cord I think it is) has been 
rec d by him. — • 

I shall write to you if nothing extraordinary prevents it, 
by every Mondays Post, and shall expect a copy of the Weekly 
Reports by the Mail which leaves Alexandria on Thursday if 
no change has taken place — by which means I shall write to 
you, and receive a letter from you every Week when the oc- 
currences (not contained in the reports) may be mentioned. — 
And now, having given you my sentiments upon all those 
points with which my recollection has furnished me I have 
only to add that the enclosed letters (which are sent open for 
you to peruse and then to put wafers in) will shew the person 
to whom they are directed what it is they have to expect, and 
the ground they stand upon. — Wishing you well I remain 

Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Jan 6 th 1791. 
Mr. Lewis — or 
Mr. Pearce, 

The Reports of the 28 th of December have been received, 
and Mr. Butlers ace* therewith — As I have no ace 1 against 
him, and Mr. Whiting only kept memorandums, instead of 


regular accounts, he must be paid according to his own 
statement. — for this, and other purposes, I send two bank 
notes for one hundred dollars each. 

It is very unlucky that the late spell of freezing weather 
should be suffered to pass away without filling the Ice house. 
— do not let this happen again ; but embrace the first freez- 
ing that happens to accomplish this work. 

Let me know what quantity of Oats have been threshed at 
the Mansion house, and what has been done with them ?-- 
By the time employed in getting them out there ought to be 
a good many of them. — I wish to know also what quantity 
Stuart has ? — These two parcels, together with those at 
Dogue Kun I directed to be reserved for seed — and when the 
whole quantity contained at the different places are known I 
shall be able to decide how much more to provide — or what 
further to do in the case. — 

There was Oats raised from a few r grains of a particular 
sort which I sent to my Gardener last Spring — get these 
from him, and make the most of them, by sowing them in 
drills the coming Spring. — By Mr. Jefferson, I sent a Bundle 
of Poccon or Illinois nut 1 and desired them to be left at the 
Post Office in Alexandria. — When they are rec d desire the 
Gardener to plant them in a nursery. — I shall send more by 
the first vessel, or other proper conveyance w ch shall offer. — 
I also gave the Gardener a few seed of East India hemp to 
raise from, enquire for the seed which has been saved, and 
make the most of it at the proper Season for sowing. 

What is the present appearance of the growing Wheat? — I 
am in a hurry and shall only add, that as soon as I hear of 
Mr. Pearce's being settled at Mount Vernon — I shall write 
more fully on some other matters. 

I am — &c* 

G° Washington. 

1 Pursh ("Flora of North America," 1S1G) calls the "Pecan" the "Il- 
linois Nut." Jefferson retired from the Cabinet at the close of 1793. 



Recollecting since writing the foregoing, that Mr. Whit- 
ing's Mem° Book was here I have desired Mr. Dandridge l to 
take a copy from it of the charges against Butler ; which he 
has done, and it is now enclosed— By this you will settle with 


Philadelphia 19 th Jan y 1794. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 14 th inst* came to my hands to-day, when 
the Post ought to have been in yesterday. 

Having been very full in my late letters to you, I shall 
have less to say in this. — The condition yon describe my 
btock to be in at Union farm, and at Dogue run, and want of 
shelter for them at those places ; is a fresh instance of the 
misconduct of Crow and AL°lvoy ; and of the necessity of 
watching their ways well. — As you have taken Butler again, 
you must make the most you can of him. — The man means 
well, but he wants activity and spirit to fit him for the Over- 
looker of Negroes. — You will rind him useful though in 
raising hedges, (fee 1 — and particularly so in cultivating 
the French furze. 2 — It was he that induced me to send for 
the seed of it, w ch will be sent to you by the first vessel to 
Alexandria — about 40 lbs. of it. — 

Let the most that can, be made of the pint of Oats which 
the Gardener raised last year, and of the Hemp seed ; but 
more especially of the St. Foin seed 3 which I desired him 

1 Bartholomew, son of Judge Dandridge (General Court of Va.) who had 
been a member of the Virginia Convention of 1770. He (Bartholomew) was 
thus a nephew of Mrs. George Washington. He succeeded Tobias Lear 
H Sep. 1793) as the President's Secretary, and was subsequently Secretary 
of Legation in London. He died in 1S02, while Consul at St. Domingo. 

' Ulcx Europe us. 

;| OnolrrycJris {i.e. what asses like to gnaw) satlra. Saintfoin (holy or 
wholesome hay) is a leguminous or bean like plant. 


to be particularly choice of; as I wish much to get into a 
stock of it. — The latter must not be sown where Hares can 
get to it, or they will cut it down as fast as it springs. — 

When M c Koy is getting out the Oats at Dogue-run, have a 
strict eye to him. — He told me he expected 150 Bush 18 From 
the stack, and if all the Oats which grew in what was called 
the new ground, went into it, there ought to be 200 at least — 
but what by waste, mismanagement, or something worse, 1 
have, of late, got very little from any of my Overseers; — 
what becomes of it is more difficult to determine. — 

If you should have another freezing spell, do not by any 
means omit to fill the Ice house with Ice, as the advantage of 
it for keeping fresh meat &C* is indiscribable ; but before 
you begin to put a weight on the floor let both it and the 
joice (or the Sleepers) be well examined, lest, by being rotten 
they may give way and destroy those who may be below 
pounding the Ice as it is thrown in. — If the floor is found un- 
safe take it away altogether — I do not know but that the Ice 
w r ill keep as well without, as with it. 

If on account of the springiness of the ground you cannot 
proceed in digging the Mill race, which is a tiling to be re- 
gretted, you might employ the Ditchers on the fence from 
the Millers, leading upwards, for the purpose of securing the 
Meadow lots if nothing more pressing calls for their labour. 
— Opening the Visto is not a work of necessity ; and it never 
was intended to be extended beyond Muddy-hole swamp ; to 
which I think it ought to have got before this time. — 

You may keep Isaac and the boy Joe, constantly employed 
about the Carts, Plows, Harrows etc 1 until they are in or- 
der. — Let stuff, however, be always in the Barn that the other 
Carpenters may work upon, when the weather will not per- 
mit them to be out. — What are M re Fanny Washington's 
Carpenters employed about, that they should (altho' hired by 
me) be withdrawn from mine so long. — All I know they had 
to do, was, out of the materials of an old Tobacco house, to 


make a shed for her plow horses — ask .Tayler what more 
than this they have done, and by whose authority ? 

The jMidlings and ship stuff may be sold whenever you 
lind the market good ; and the money applied to such uses 
as are proper. — If twine (for the Seins) is to be had in Alex- 
andria, it will be better to get it there than to depend upon 
having it sent from thence. — xVnd you have my full consent 
to give the Cattle as much Salt as you judge necessary, pre- 
venting waste. — 

I perceive by the Report from River farm that Stuart is 
plowing in Iv ' 7 (a field that was in wheat last year, and by 
the rotation which I have transmitted to yon, was intended 
to remain in pasture this year) — "What is the meaning of 
this? — ISI" 1, by the copy I have by me is intended for Buck 
Wheat as a Manure, and X° 3 for Corn ; but I do not recol- 
lect that any direction has ever been given for plowing !X° 
7.— If the case be otherwise I have fonrot it; and the design 
must be for Oats and Buck wheat for Crops ; and of course, 
if accomplished will require 120 bnsh ls of the first, and 00 of 
the latter more than I had calculated to seed the field ; the 
contents being 120 acres. — Let me know how this matter 
really stands. — How much of the field is already plowed — 
and whether you will be able to prepare the residue of it; 
and at the same time execute your other plowing well, and in 
season, with your present force of horses aided by Oxen ; 
which, in the Eastern states is almost the only teams they 

plow with, 

I am your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Jan* 26 th 1704. 
Me, Pearce, 

Your letter of the 22 d , and the Reports, came duly to hand 
by yesterdays Post. 

You will perceive by my rotation plan (with which you 


have been furnished — or rather by the notes annexed thereto) 
that if the fields allotted for Corn at the several farms were 
deemed inadequate to the consumption of this article, that 
such parts uf the fields as were designed for Buck Wheat, as 
a Croj), might be converted to this purpose, and I repeat it 
again here; leaving the proportion thereof to your own 
judgment, with a proviso, however, that there be Buck 
Wheat enough sown to raise a sufficiency of Seed for all the 
purposes of my rotation system another year; as it is cer- 
tainly a reflection upon a farmer to have his Seeds to buy. — 
The reason why I prefered increasing the quantity of Corn 
ground in these fields, is, that nothing might interrupt the 
manurings of one Jzeld, at each farm, every year with green 
manure; whilst the Cowpens, and dung from the farm yards, 
would do the like to the poor jxirts of a second field, an- 
nually. — By this means, and a judicious rotation, I am not 
without hope of bringing my land, in time, into a profitable 
state of cultivation ; — and unless some such practice as this 
prevails, my fields will be growing worse and worse every 
year, until the Crops will not defray the expence of the cult- 
ure of them. — 

By the report of the week before last, it appeared that 
Stuart was plowing in X° 7; but as that field, according to 
the rotation which I have by me, was to remain this year in 
Pasture I could not account for it, otherwise than as a mis- 
take in him, or a direction of mine which I had forgotten ; — 
the reason however of my mentioning the matter again, in 
this letter, is, that if that field is designed for Oats and Buck 
Wheat, the part, or such proportion thereof (as you like) 
which was designed for the latter, may go into Corn in like 
manner as is allowed at the other farms ; — but if it has not 
been touched, nor intended to be touched this year, (and 1 
again desire that you will not undertake more than you can 
execute well) then such part of Js" 1 as you may deem proper 
may be put into Corn : — or you may do what Stuart suggested 

-1 ^tro^K:ro 


I j mo before I left home — namely — to plant all the good 
i round in both N° 1 and X° 3 with Corn and sow all the 
roken and poor parts of them with Buck Wheat for 
r-.kimre;— -the same might be done at the other farms; — re- 
membering always, that these fields are to be sown with 
Wheat in the Months of August and September next agree- 
ibly to the plan of Rotation, which yon have. 

I will send by the first vessel going round to Alexandria 
1 i bush ls of Clover Seed, as I fear what you have (except of 
vour own growth) is bad ; and because I would not be sparing 
.-f Seed, either to the ground you have to sow, or that which 
Las been sown, and is now missing. — Of Timothy Seed I 
.-hall send more, as 10 bushels is sufficient I conceive to 
answer all your purposes; but it is to be feared that the 
Timothy and Orchard grass seeds have got mixed (as they 
are very much alike) for I am sure there was Orchard grass 
seed saved, and Butler and Old Jack ought to know what 
was done with it. — That you may know what dependence to 
place on the Clover seed which went from hence last year, 
and put into the Store mix it well together, and then promis- 
cuously take out a certain (precise) number of seeds and see 
what proportion of them will come up. — The Gardener can 
ascertain this or by putting them under a brick on the ground, 
in a warm place, you can do it yourself. — I shrewdly suspect 
that that seed was bad even last year, otherwise the clover 
lot at the Mansion, and the Meadows at Union and Dogue 
run farms, would not be so dificient now (the latter after 
twice sowing in some parts). 

Speaking of these Seeds, I must give you a hint of what I 
also very strongly suspect ; — and that is — that my Xegro 
Seedsmen take a considerable toll from every thing that 
goes into their hands — for this reason, make it an invariable 
rule before it is delivered to them, to mix in a bushel of Sand 
or well dried earth, as many pints of seed as you allow to an 
Acre, and let it be sown in this manner. — Two valuable pur- 


poses are answered thereby — 1 st in this State, the Seed is 
rendered unsaleable ; — and 2 dIy a person not skilled in sowing 
small seeds, will do it more regularly when thus mixed ; for 
being accustomed to sow a bushel of Wheat to the Acre, the 
same cost, and fill of the hand, does for the small seed when 
so mixed ; — in doing of which pains is to be taken that the 
mixture is perfect ; otherwise one part of the acre will have 
more sand and less seed than the other, and so vice versa. 

Give what Manure you can to the lot at Mansion house 
which is to be sown with Oats and grass seeds ; or to the one 
which is to be planted with Potatoes, as circumstances and 
your own judgment shall direct : — for both, I do not presume 
there is dung enough. — It is better to do one well than both 
by halves. — 

The Ground between K° 6 at River farm, and the Barn 
lane, you may apply to the purposes mentioned in your letter 
of the 22 d ; and let it remain under the fence which incloses 
X° 6 until a division fence can be run.— It may be worth 
some consideration whether Potatoes (if some part of the 
Clover lot in front of the Barn does not require to be broke 
up) ought not to be planted in part of it. — 

You may continue to eat of my meat, as the white people 
will take it after it goes from your table, until your family 
arrives, and afterwards also if it shall be found more conven- 
ient than to keep separate stocks, as I believe it will. — I per- 
ceive Thomas Green draws fine flour from the Mill when the 
Miller and others are content with Midlings ; and which I 
am sure is good enough for him. — Does his agreement in this 
respect differ from the others? — 

The thorn berries should be buried a year before they are 
sown, in order that they may pass through a state of fer- 
mentation ; — unless they do this they will not come up. 1 — 
Butler ought to be acquainted with the process, if he is the 

1 A crafATgvs about the District of Columbia, now called the "Washington 


• Tactical farmer lie pretends to be. — The Cedar berries should 
have all the easing of the Seed rubbed of [f] before they are 
s,,\vn, or they will not come up. — 

Mr. Dulany is right in his application, but when you pay 
him the hundred dollars (which is herein sent you) take his 
receipt for £150 pounds on acc fc of the Rent due to M rs French 
for the year 1T93 ; — and give him a receipt for £120 for the 
Kent he owes me, for the same year. 1 — 

There is part of the Wages for 1793 due to the Estate of 
Mr. Anthony Whiting ; but how much I am unable at this 
moment to say precisely. — They commenced the first of Jan y . 
and he died about the middle of June, but how much of my 
money which was in his hands he may have applied to his 
own use I cannot, without some investigation, decide. — If the 
Administrators have any thing which leads to this, obtain it 
from them, that the ace* may be closed ; as I do not want to 
keep them out of what is due, a day- — I remain 

Your friend tfec t 
G° Washington. 

Philadelphia Feb y 9 th 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Since writing you a few lines on the 3 d instant, I have re- 
ceived your letter of the 2S th of last month, and that of the 
third of the present. — 

If you are satisfied with Mr. Butlers conduct and exertions, 
1 shall be so. — lie has always appeared to me as a well dis- 
posed man, — obliging and sober, one who has seen better 
days — and must have had a good deal of practical knowledge 
in husbandry. — If you can make him active, and will support 

1 Benjamin, brother of Daniel Dulany, the eminent lawyer of Annapolis, 
married Miss French, heiress of Rose Hill, and resided at Shuter's Hill. 
near Alexandria. He had charge of the estate of his wife's mother, the 
widow of Daniel French. 


his authority, I do not see why he may not be more useful to 
you than a young man, who might have a greater propensity 
to be running about. — 

With respect to the French f urse, I shall leave it altogether 
to you and him, to manage it as you shall think best ; for in 
truth I know nothing of the nature of the Plant. — In the dis- 
posal of the seed, how 1 ", (where it is ultimately to remain) you 
cannot go amiss. — The best guide perhaps is to sow it in soil 
which is most congenial to it: — and if this could be found 
around the enclosures at the Mansion house, I should give it 
a preference ; — but in this also, do as shall appear best. — 

I am of opinion the Post and rail fence which runs from 
the Mill up to the tumbling dam, and so on, is too low and 
unsubstantial for an out r fence, against such neighbours as I 
have in that quarter; it was for this reason I proposed a more 
substantial one ; — especially, as the good posts and Pails in 
that fence would do very well for the inner and cross fences. 
— I conceive also, that the outside ditch ought to be widened, 
and deep[e]ned. — In a word, to make the whole of the ex- 
terior fence so formidable, and. the Pails so close together, as 
to prevent trespass even from pigs ; — without this I shall 
never enjoy the sole benefit of my Inclosures ; nor keep the 
Meadows along the Mill swamp from injury. — ■ 

The out fence at the Mansion house I am sensible stands 
in great need of repair, and I shall be much pleased by your 
repairing it, and well; as soon as circumstances will permit. — 
The idea of getting rails out of the dead, and decaying timber, 
I much approve ; for the waste which has been committed 
on my timber and Wood hitherto, has really been shameful 
— I have no doubt, if the trees which have been fallen in all 
parts of my land, and only a small part of them used, were 
corded for fire wood instead 'of lyinec to rot on the ground 
that they would sell for many hundreds of pounds. — You will 
find it necessary, I presume, whenever you undertake the 
Mansion house (out) fence, to get the rails tolerably con- 


r&mcrtt, on ace* of the Cartage. — It has always been my in- 
tention to clear, in the same manner the ground now is, in 
front of the house, from the white gates as the road goes to- 
wards Alexandria, up to the little old field ; and to extend 
the fence out to it whenever a convenient moment should be 
found for the purpose. — If there be, therefore, any stuff fit 
for 1 tails within that space, two purposes will be answered 
by using it; namely, fencing, and clearing the ground of its 
«TOwth; but I fear there are but few trees that will answer 
for the first, that is for rails. — 

If you will examine the little sketch of the lots at Union 
farm, which was enclosed in one of my former letters, you 
can be at no loss in laying them off — a slipe of K° 2, from the 
fence of 2\° 1 to the fence of X° 3, of the breadth mentioned 
in that sketch, gives you the four lots ; and dividing this slipe 
into four equal parts gives you the size of each lot. — The two 
next to field K° 1, are those which are to be sown with Clover 
on the wheat, because they have been cowpenned. — The other 
two must remain to succeed, in order, as have been mentioned 
in former letters. — • 

If I do not eonfine myself as nearly as circumstances will 
permit to my rotation system, this year, I never shall get into 
it at all ; for which reason, although I might find ground 
better adapted to Corn than what was intended for Buck 
Wheat (for a Crop). It is my desire that you will attend to, 
and pursue the course w ch has been mentioned in my letter of 
the 26 th of last Month ; or in the Oat gr d , if you sh d want Seed 

Let me know every now and then how the growing "Wheat 
and Barley looks, as a week or two may change the appear- 
ance of them materially. — 

What, or how much is done to the new race of the Mill ? 
and at which end did they begin ? — Is it got to its depth ? 
and carried on a level, what has been done ? — 

I have no chance to get honey locust seed this year ; — and 


as it is thought improper to sow the french furze for the pur- 
pose of transplanting, the ground prepared by the Gardener 
for these things will be useless; — But as I have got about a 
quart, or a little more of what is called White bent seed, 
which is given to me as a very valuable grass, 1 1 wisli you 
would prepare about a quarter of an Acre of gr d (for I would 
not chuse to put the seed in more than that) in one of the 
Xew Meadows at Dogue-run or Union farm, and sow it at 
the time mentioned in the enclosed letter. — If no opportunity 
offers of sending it by water with the Clover Seed &c t I will 
send it by Tost. — 

Let the Gardener know that the seed he wrote for shall 
also be sent at the same time, with some others which will 
require his particular skill and attention. — You have never 
informed me how much St. Foin and India Hemp seed he 
has saved. — 

If my Cattle and Sheep receive all the attention and care 
that is necessary, I can require no more, if they should die ; 
— but it shews how essensial it is to pick, cull, and sell off be- 
fore it is too late, and to provide well for the rest, and this I 
hope will be the case another year ; — and especially in at- 
tending to the breeding of them ; both as it respects the 
choice of the Males (particularly) and the seasons proper for 
their going to the females. — 

In a letter which has just been received from Mrs. Fanny 
Washington, she requests me to desire you, to rent her fish- 
ing landing at Taylors on the best terms you can obtain and 
make it a condition that the person so renting it, shall furnish 
for her own use two Barrels of Shad, and four of Herrings — 
aud as many of the latter as hath usually been put up for the 
use of the Xegros under his (Taylers) care; of which he can 
inform you. — It is my wish you should do this. — 

1 "A valuable gra^s" are the words applied by Asa Gray to this same 
agrastis alba, or White Bent — a pale green, distinguished from the "Hed- 
top. ** 


Col Ball must have the three shoats he applies for — a boar 
arid two sows. — I was in hopes the last spell of freezing 
v. outlier w d have enabled you to fill the Ice house. — It is very 
desirable it should be so, as the convenience on acc fc of fresh 
meat &c fc in the Summer is inconceivably great in the 
country. — 

It appears by Air. Lewis's accounts that Mr. Stuart has 
only rec d £15. 12. — The difference between that Sum and his 
wages, is yet due to him ; unless he has received money from 
Mr. Whiting of which, if the fact is so, he unquestionably 
knows, and will tell. — Crow's and M°Koy's wages are also 
due, and must be paid. — If you have not money, nor a pros- 
pect of raising it from the Middlings and Ship stuff in time 
for these purposes, let me know it, and I will send it from 
hence. — 

I have nothing to add at present but to beg you will make 
my people (about the Mansion house) be careful of the lire ; 
for it is no uncommon thing for them to be running from one 
house to another in cold windy nights with sparks of fire fly- 
ing, and dropping as they go along, without paying the least 
attention to the consequences. — 

You will remember in time that my house in Alexandria 
is got in order for Mrs. Fanny "Washington ; as I have pro- 
mised to do this by the time mentioned to you in former 
letters. — If my Carpenters could be prevailed upon to go on 
with their work as they ought to do, I intended to build 
Daries both at Union and Dogne-run farm ; to see if the 
Milk at each could not be turned to some account ; — but the 
lower part I should build of Brick like that in the Keek, 
where Stuart lives. — I remain 

Your friend etc* 

G° "Washington, 
P. S. 

If upon tryal, the Clover seed you have is found to be v 
£ood, it would be well to sow what you have upon the first 


Snow that covers the ground after this letter reaches you. — 
What I have here shall iro bv the first Vessel for Alexandria; 
but when this may happen is impossible to say, as the Navi- 
gation of the Delaware is interrupted by Ice. 

Y ra ifcc* G. W. 


Philadelphia 16 th of Feb y 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 11 th instant, covering the reports of the 
preceeding week, came regularly to hand, and gave me con- 
cern to hear of the death of Mr. Stuarts daughter. — "What 
was her complaint ? 

My intention, with respect to the repairs of my house in 
Alexandria, and inclosing the lot, was, that every particle of 
the work, except putting it together, should be prepared at 
Mount Yernon, and carried thither by Water ; for sure I am, 
if the whole was to be executed in Town that four faithful 
workmen would do more there in one week than any four of 
mine would do in a month. — I expected that Green, or some 
one that was a judge of work, would examine critically what 
was to be done, that the whole might be carried on in the 
manner I have just mentioned. — This, as far as the dwelling 
house is concerned, has been done already, but not I believe 
with the accuracy that is necessary to prevent mistakes. — In 
truth, the Man who lives in it, ought, by his agreement, to 
have kept the house ctc fc in perfect repair; for that is the 
only compensation he proposed (I believe) to make me for 
the use of it ; and when I saw him last, in October, he told me 
that he had made a new door, or doors, and some sashes; and 
was ocoins; on with the work. — It might be well therefore, 
the first time you go to town, to examine minutely into the 
matter — see what he has done — what he talks of doing — on 
what terms — and how far he may be depended upon for what 
he engages; — remembering always that the house must be in 


op lor by the time you have been informed of. — Whether this 
mail (that is the tenant) is a joiner, or house Carpenter liim- 
K»lf, or not, I am unable to say : If the former, and he is to 
be Depended upon, all you can get out of him, in time, by 
way of compensation for Kent, will be so much saved to me ; 
but nothing that is essential to the two houses, must be left 
to uncertainties. — Inclosing the lot in time is not quite so 
material; but let it be done in a very substantial manner 
whenever it is set about ; — with such Posts and Rails (close 
enough together) as will compleatly secure a garden, when- 
ever it is converted to that use, and not easily pulled down 
for firing. — You miidit — in order to know what the work can 
bo accomplished for, by hiring — get a respectable workman 
of Alexandria to examine the two houses carefully, set down 
everything wanting to them — and the lowest he will do it 
for. — I could, after receiving this, with your opinion there- 
upon, be better able to decide whether to hire or employ my 
own people. — This may also be done with respect to enclosing 
the lot; though I conceive there would be more propriety in 
doing the latter than the former, with my own Carpenters. — 
If large and stout Cedar Posts, and chesnut or Cyprus Pails 
could be bought reasonably it would be better than to get 
them of Oak, from my own land, and let the estimate of the 
workman, you may consult, be made on the supposition of 
their being so. — In w ch case, it might be better to employ 
him ; for otherwise they would, more than probably be to be 
brought from Alexandria to Mount Vernon and then to go 
back again, or my Carpenters must go there to dress — Mortise 
— and tenant them ; which, as I have observed before, I am 
sure would afford them the opportunity of being idle. — 

I am so well satisfied of Thomas Greens unfitness to look 
after my Carpenters, that nothing but the helpless situation 
in which you find his family, has prevailed on me to retain 
him 'till this time: but if you perceive more and more, as 
your opportunities encrease, that he is not to be entrusted, 


you had better be looking out in time to supply his place 
another year if there should not be cause to turn him sooner 

When he has compleated the JSTew Barn at Dogue run, let 
it be well cleaned out, and a good lock put upon the lower 
door — the Key of which either keep yourself, — or order 
M c Koy never to let it be out of his own locked Chest. — Then 
try how the treading floor will answer the purpose for which 
it was constructed. — 

I perceive my Overseers are beginning to report the in- 
crease of Lambs this year as they did last; by which I never 
know what they lose. — Let them know it is my expectation, 
that, every lamb that falls, and every one that dies in the 
week, and what are actually in being at the time, is to be 
precisely set down. — It is from hence only I can form a judg- 
ment of their care and attention to them. — According to 
their mode of rendering the account, I may, if an hundred 
Lambs fall in a week, and fifty of them die, have an increase 
of 50 only in the report; and although this is true in fact, it 
is by no means a fair — or a satisfactory state of the case. — 
The missing report of Mr. Stuart ought yet to come forward, 
otherwise there will be a gap, or break in them. — 

Whenever you shall have received the amount of Mr. 
Lewis's order on Mr. Ross, let me be informed of it ; because 
I shall then pay the money here. — 

Under cover with this letter you will receive, and I hope in 
good order, the White bent grass seeds mentioned in my last 
letter ; — half an ear of very early ripening Corn ; — the Gar- 
den seeds written for by Elder ; — and 4 kinds of seeds sent 
me by a Gentleman in England ; some (or I believe all) of 
which came from the East Indias. — In my last I gave direc- 
tions concerning the Bent grass, and therefore shall say noth- 
ing about it here : — If the Corn is not planted where it can 
be protected, it will all be eaten in its green state. — The Gar- 
dener will see by the prices annexed to the Seeds he sent for. 


how necessary it is for him to save his own Seeds, which I 
hope he will do hereafter ; — and I desire he will take partic- 
ular care of the other four sorts of foreign seeds; — two of 
which he will perceive must be sown in moist ground, or kept 
moist after it is sown. — Let him number the papers which 
contain these seeds, and drive stakes with corrisponding num- 
bers by each kind, when sown, that he may be at no loss to 
know them : — Putting the papers as is usual, in a split stick 
by them, is apt to be lost ; or so defaced by the weather as to 
become, after a while, unintelligable ; and then the name 
will be forgotten : — by the method I have proposed this can- 
not happen ; — on the papers too may be noted the places 

where they are sown. — 

I remain 

Your friend &c fc 

G° v\ r ASHrNGTOX. 


Philadelphia 24 th Feb y 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 17 th instant came safe. — Meeting your 
children at Baltimore is certainly necessary, and therefore I 
can have no objection to it. — 

My last letter being full, respecting the repairs of my 
house in Alexandria, I shall add nothing on that subject in 
this ; — and as Mr. Stuart has not, according to his declaration, 
received any money from Mr. "Whiting, let him be paid with 
the deduction only of that which he has rec d from Mr. Lewis, 
or yourself. 

In my last, I omitted, through mistake, the Seed which is 
now sent : — let it be given to the Gardener as part of that 
parcel ; — some early Colliflower seed was sent to him by Mrs. 
Washington (by a Gentleman of Alexandria of the name of 
Turner)— w ch I hope you will have got.- — 

I hope the Posts and rails you are now getting, will not be 


so unsubstantial as to be blown down by every puff of wind 
as the last arc ; — and I am sorry that the springeness of the 
ground, where you are digging the new race does not admit 
that work to go on to advantage, as it is essential it should be 
complcated before the water begins to fail ; but notwithstand- 
ing this, I would not have it proceed to a disadvantage, 
whilst the hands can be more benificially occupied in other 
things; — more force must be employed when the ground is 
in order, and this will be between the present wet, and the 
drought which generally succeeds ; and by which the soil 
binds, and becomes very hard. — The Miller had the mode of 
sloping the race particularly explained to him both by the 
Gentleman who laid it off, and myself ; his directions there- 
fore in this case, is to be observed and followed. — 

By the next Post, I will send you the copy of an advertise- 
ment of the terms on which the Jacks and Stud horse are to 
cover. — In the mean while, it may be said, the former will 
cover at Four pounds each ; — and the horse at 40/ — Pastur- 
age, Groom, &c fc as usual. — 

After culling my Sheep at Shearing time last year; and 
going over them a second time in the Summer ; the loss at 
Union farm (near, or quite twenty since Autumn) seems to 
be very extraordinary ; and. I fear it is too strong an evidence 
of Crow's inattention to my Stock ; as had been intimated to 
me before I left Mount Yernon in October. 

I am very glad to hear that the Gardener has saved so 
much of the St. Fpin seed, and that of the India Hemp. — 
Make the most you can of both, by sowing them again in 
drills. — Where to sow the first I am a little at a loss (as Hare? 
are very destructive to it) but think, as the Lucern which, was 
sown broad in the lnclosare by the Spring, has come to 
nothing ; — as the ground is good ; — and probably as free 
from Hares as any other place, it might as well be put there; 
as I am very desirous of getting into a full stock of seed as 
soon as possible. — Let the ground be well prepared, and the 


Seed (St. Foin) be sown in April. — The Hemp may be sown 
any where. — 

Enclosed you will find three Bank notes for one hundred 
dollars each ; out of which pay the Rev d Mr. Muir of Alex- 
andria Fifty pounds, and take his signature to the enclosed 
receipt ; l — and Mr. Hartshorne of the same place £33-6-8- 
being the dividend of my five shares in the Fotomack Com- 
pany. — Give me credit for these three hundred dollars, and 
cha: my account with the above payments. 

Xever suffer a Mare to be taken from the Jacks, or Horse, 
when they are once admitted to Pasture, until the whole that 
is due for them be paid ; for it has been found that after 
the Mares are gone, I have more trouble in collecting the 
money than it is worth. 

I am Your friend 

and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia March 2 d 1794. 
Mr. Pearce. 

Your letter of the 25 th ult c , and lleports of the proceeding 
week, came to hand this day. — 

Enclosed, agreeably to the promise contained in my last, I 
send you the copy of an Advertisement which the Printers 
of Baltimore and George Town have been directed to publish 
four times ; in each of their Gazettes ; alternate weeks ; — 

1 This was an annual subscription to the Orphan School under the care of 
Mr. Muir, to which Washington also bequeathed $4,000 in perpetuity. The 
Hev. James Muir (1757-1820) was a native of Cumnock, Scotland, who, after 
eight years' ministry in Bermuda, had been chosen pastor of the Presby- 
terian church in Alexandria (1789). He received the degree of D,D. from 
* ale. He wrote a work in reply to Paine's " Age of Reason," He preached 
before the Freemasons the second of the two sermons on the death of Wash- 
ington, — the first being given in the Presbyterian Church by the Episco- 
palian rector (Davis). For a letter of Washington concerning his shares in 
t5 'e Potomac Company see Appendix D. 


that is — to insert it one Week and leave it out the next, until 
it has been four times published. — The same you may cause 
to be done in Alexandria, and where else shall be thought 
proper : — among these Port Tobacco may be a good place. — 
To Leesburgli (to the care of Col° Ball) I will have one 

I recommend particular care of the youngest Jack, that he 
may be made to grow large. — I do the same of the Mules 
(which Peter knows) allotted for my own driving. — Do not 
stint them in their feed to accomplish these purposes. — 

Let there be an exact account kept of all the Mares and 
Jenneys that go to the Jacks ; and to which, as well those 
belonging to myself, as others : — the same with respect to the 
horse ; — but suffer no Mares to be taken away before the 
money is paid, unless by those who live near you, and from 
whom you can receive it at any time. — A Mr. Prescot of 
Loudoun (or Fauquier) owes yet for last year, so does some 
others ; and as no regular acc ts were kept of these things, the 
money will be lost ; for which reason, except as above, let no 
Mares or Jennies be taken away without payment. — After 
knowing these to be the terms on which the Jacks and horse 
cover, those who do not comply with them, mean not to pay 
at all, unless compelled : and to bring suits will not be agree- 

Yon would do well to shew the horse at Public places. — 
April Court at Alexandria would be a proper time and place, 
as it happens on Easter Monday, — when, probably, many 
people will be there. — 

I find by Mr. Lewis's account, that the new Tisto is opened 
much farther than I had the least intention to do. I had 
no idea of extending it farther than the other was; — at no 
rate beyond Muddy hole Branch. — Cease opening it any fur- 
ther until I can see it, and let me know how far it is got, and 
what lias been done with the Wood that was cut down in its 
course ? — 


Buy as much good Oznabrigs in Alexandria as will enable 
>:■,. Gardener's wife to proceed in making linen clothes for 
she Negros; — and let me know on what terms you can get a 
full supply, that I may judge whether it would be best to get 
the whole quantity there, or send it from hence. — To know 
the width of the linnen, and if possible to obtain a sample of 
a, would enable me to decide with more accuracy. — 

The price of Midlings and Ship stuff in Alexandria is 
greatly below the selling price in this market ; especially the 
tirst, which is 5^- dollars the barrel of 196 lbs — and the latter, 
from a dollar and half to two dollars p r hundred — but as 
these articles never are as high there as here, you must en- 
quire the most favorable season to dispose of them, and do it 
t<> the best advantage. — Keep me informed from time to 
lime of the prices of Superfine and fine flour, that I may 
know when to strike, for mine; — and ask the Miller why he 
does not, as usual, note in his weekly returns the number of 
barrels he has packed of all the different kinds. — 

I forgot to observe to you in time, that if all the fields in- 
tended for Crops this year could not be flushed up in due 
season^ to let those intended for Corn be left to the last and 
listed only, rather than the w r ork of the spring should be re- 
tarded, and the Crops put in late ; in order to flush up the 
i'-J,ole, — You must act in this respect now from circum- 
>tances, and your own view of things. — Had the ground been 
broke up in the fall, the amelioration it would have received 
from the frosts of the winter would have been of infinite 
service. — Kow; except the work is forwarded by it, I do not 
believe the Corn will receive any benefit from a flush plow- 

I wish you well and am 

Your friend, 

G° Washington. 
I\ S. 

How does the drilled "Wheat look ? 



Philadelphia 9 th Mar. 1794. 
Mb. Pearce 

Your letter of the 3 d inst fc is this moment received. — The 
badness of the roads has occasioned irregularity in the Post. 

I approve your repairing my house in Alexandria with my 
own People (preparing everything that can be, at home) and 
of your doing it in the manner proposed ; — that is, to board 
between the houses in a neat and workman like mariner and 
to do the three sides of the lot with White Oak Posts and 
Pails, well executed. — Do not let the Posts be too far 
distant from each other — when this is the case the rails are 
apt to warp, and the fence is weakened by it. 

I am glad to hear that Green has, at length put a finish 
to the Barn at Dogue run farm. — I always supposed that 
shutters would be necessary to keep the weather from the 
floors, in driving Pain or Snow, and for comfort when work- 
ing there when it is very cold, but these are soon done ; and 
should be made to hang on substantial iron hooks, that when 
light, or air is wanting, they may be raised up ; and hung to 
the foot of the rafters. — If the windows below want shutters, 
the same may be done, and hung to the joice. — But shovel- 
ing the grain as it falls from the treading floor, into the 
middle or octagon part of the building, will always preserve 
it from the weather. — I want much to know how this mode 
of treading wheat answers. — 

If yon conceive the Lneern in the Spring lot will come to 
anything, I am well content that it should remain as it is, 
with the dressing you propose to give it. — I directed seed to 
be saved last year from that which grew in the Inclosure 
opposite to it, but whether it was done or not I am unable to 
say; — if it was not I will send you two or three pounds t<» 
sprinkle over the ground. — Running a harrow over the lot 
backwards and forwards, and every way in short, will do no 


jury to the Lucern as it has a long tap root, but may 
law weeds and grass up, and prepare it better for fresh 
N ;.,.,]._ The St. Foin and India hemp may be sown in the 
i,»t which you have mentioned, as more secure perhaps than 
the other, against Hares; — but how they will be annoyed by 
fowls you can judge better of than I. — I wish to have the 
most that can be made of them. — 

It is very unlucky that the state of the [Navigation lias 
been such as to prevent my sending you the Clover and 
other Seeds; — a vessel is now up, and talks of sailing this 
week for Alexandria, by which the things shall be sent. I 
hope what Clover seed you had (as you have pronounced it 
good) has already been sown on the grain, as far as it would 
go, as was directed. 

1 am Your friend &c t 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 16 th March 1791, 
Mr. Peaece 

Your letter of the 11 th with its enclosures came to hand at 
the usual time; but not so as that, enquiry co d be made into 
the prices of linnen, and you to be informed, by the Post of 
tomorrow (this day being Sunday) — Go on therefore, until 
you hear further from me, to get linnen as fast as it can be 
worked up. — The lli d linen is as good as any for the boys, 
girls and small people, who do little or no work. — 

I was afraid to make the interstices between the pieces of 
the treading floor of the new barn at Dogue run to open, lest 
the straw should work into them, and choke the passage of 
the grain to the lower iloor; — or to emit so much straw be- 
tween them, to that floor, as to make the difficulty of cleaning 
the grain much greater. — Avoiding these two evils, the floor 


cannot be too open, provided the horses feet, or legs are not 
endangered ; and this is not likely to happen unless the pieces 
were so far apart as for the hoof to pass through, or turn. — 
If the section, or part of a section which you have left an 
inch apart, is not apt to choke or pass too much straw- 
through, try another section at an inch and a half and so on, 
section after section, until you hit the mark exactly ; and 
then regulate all the sections accordingly. — This had better 
be done whilst you have Wheat with w ch to make the experi- 
ment : — and without loss of time, as not only an immediate 
advantage is to be derived from the best distance the pieces 
can be placed a sunder, but that I may know better how to 
order another. — 

Let the drilled wheat have all the cultivation you can give 
it, with convenience, that the most that can, may be made 
of it. 

The Clover Seed, Furze and other articles, are on board 

the Sally Capt. ■ for Alexandria, the first Yessel that has 

offered since the breaking up of the frost. — It is much to be 
regretted that the delay has been so great, but it was impos- 
sible to avoid it. 

I would not, by any means, have you sow the Eastern shore 
Oats — if these are what you depend upon Col Gilpin 1 to get ; — 
because these, besides being almost as light as bran, are rarely, 
if ever, free from the Onion or wild garlick ; with which my 
fields abound too much already, from this very cause. — I had 
rather the ground intended for this Crop should receive Buck 
Wheat, or any thing else; — or indeed nothing; rather than 
be sown with such Oats as are generally brought to Alexan- 
dria from the Eastern shore of Virginia. — It is possible you 
may get some Oats from Notley Young Esq r near George 
Town. — These will be good. — 

I send you a few seeds of the Nankeen Cotton. — let them 

' This Alexandria merchant was one of the pall-bearers at Washington's 


U> planted the first day of May in light and rich ground, well 
prepared. — Put four seeds in a hill. — 

I am Your friend & c 

G° "Washington. 
I'. S. 

I have wrote Col° Ball, and my ISephew Mr. Robert Lewis, 1 
that they are welcome to sead a Mare or two each, to either 

of the Jacks or the Horse. 

Turn over. 
March 17 th 

P. S. The Vessel is not yet gone which has my seeds & c on 
board ; — and as she has been going every day for ten days 
past there is no saying when she will go. — The Capt n now 
says tomorrow. — lie has promised to land them, if he can, 
:is he passes Mount Vernon ; — if not they are to be landed at 
Col Gilpin's Warehouse. — the Capt n has one Pill of Lading, 
and another goes by this days Post to Col° Gilpin. — The two 
small Kegs contain the French furse seeds—Nuts and Garden 
Seeds; the two last may be given to the Gardener; the other 
you and Butler will manage as you shall judge best. — 

One of the Casks contains five bush 13 of Plaster of Paris; 

which try on some of the clover, to see the effect — at the rate 

of about 5 bush 13 to the acre — spread a breadth, and leave a 

breadth, alternately; to shew more clearly, if any, what effect 

it will have. 

G. W. 

1 Bobert Lewis (1769-1829) son of Washington's only sister, Betty (Mrs. 
Fielding Lewis of Fredericksburg, A T a.), was the president's firet private 
Secretary, and escorted his family to New York after the inauguration 
(1789) — of which journey he wrote an amusing diary now owned by his 
grand-daughter, Mrs. Ella Bassett Washington. He was succeeded in his 
secretaryship by his brother Howell (1792). He married .Judith Browne, 
and settled at Spring Hill, near Warrenton, Fauquier Co.. Va. He was tem- 
porarily manager at Mount Vernon, but afterwards Washington's general 
business agent, collecting rents, etc. His account-book, for inspection of 
which I am indebted to his grand-daughter already mentioned, is continued 
to his uncle's death, and shows activity in his affairs. Ke subsequently 
settled iu Fredericksburg, of which town he was mayor at the time of his 
death. (Appendix K) 



Philadelphia 23 d March 1794, 
Mr. Peaece 

The weekly reports, and jour letter of the 18 th instant, 
came regularly to hand. 

The insufferable neglects of my Overseers in not plowing 
as they ought to have done in the Fall, begins now to be 
manifest ; for I perceive by the account given of the plowing, 
that I am driven to the alternative of putting my Oats into 
ground not half plowed, and prepared, and thereby little to 
expect from it ;— or, in order to do this, be so late in sowing, 
as to hazard an entire loss of the Crop, if the spring is not 
very moist and dripping ; for I have seldom succeeded with 
Oats unless they were sown before the middle of March. — 

It did not occur to me in time, to advise running the rollers 
over your grass grounds, and even the "Wheat, after the frost 
had come fairly out of the earth; nothing would have re- 
covered both more. — The roots (even of that which had been 
thrown entirely out) would have been pressed in such a man- 
ner to the earth as to have shot forth fibres to restore the 
plant. — Xow, I presume it is too late. — 

I do not, in the first place believe Spring Barley is to be 
had in that part of the Country, as little of it is grown there ; 
— and in the next place, it is not likely it would succeed, as I 
tried it two or three years unsuccessfully. — If it is to be had 
at all, it is most likely to come from Wayles the Brewer in 
Alexandria ; and you might, as Oats are scarce, make another 
experiment, if Seed is to be had. — How does the Winter 
Barley look ? 

I am sorry to find Col Ball is so tardy in forwarding the 
B. Wheat — I shall remind him of it by to-morrow's Post. — 
What quantity of Wheat is supposed to be in the Straw at 
the several farms ? — Before it is all out at Dogue run. take 
up one section after another and new lay it, 'till you are able 


to ascertain the true distance the pieces ought to be assunder ; 
for the reasons mentioned to you in a former letter ; — attend- 
ing particularly to the circumstance I mentioned, and am 
apprehensive of, — viz — that of the straw working between 
and choaking. — 

Mr. Smith has, I believe, been furnished with fish from 
my landing, and if he will give as much as another, ought to 
have the preference ; — ^but before you positively engage, 
enquire what the other fisheries are disposed to sell at. — 4/. 
p r thousand for Herrings, and 10/. p r hundred for shad, is 
very low. — I am, at this moment, paying 6/. a piece for every 
shad I buy. — I am entirely against any Waggons coming to 
ray landing ; — but there is one thing which Mr. Smith, or any 
other with whom you engage, must perfectly understand, if 
they agree to take all (over what I want for my own use) 
that is, when the glut of the fish runs, he must be provided 
to take every one I do not want, or have them thrown on his 
hands: the truth of the case is, that in the height of the 
fishery, they are not prepared to cure, or otherwise dispose of 
them, as fast as they could be caught; of. course the Seins 
slacken in their work, or the fish lye and spoil, when that is 
the only time I can make anything by the Sein — for small 
hauls will hardly pay the ware and tare of the Sein and the 
hire of the hands — your account of the deficiency of Sein 
rope would have surprized me if it had not been of piece 
with the rest of the conduct which has waisted every thing I 
had, almost : — whatever is necessary must be got, and I shall 
Depend upon your care and attention, now, to guard me 
against destruction of my property, while it is entrusted to 
your management. — 

Secure a sufficiency of fish for the use of my own people 
from the first that comes, — otherwise they may be left in 
the lurch, as has been the case heretofore, by depending 
on what is called the glut. 

What quantity of Wheat have you yet in the straw, ac- 


cording to the conjectures of the Overseers, at whose farms 
it is ? — If you can get Six dollars a barrel for the superfine, 
and thirty four sliil 88 for the common flour, in good hands, 
let it go, at Sixty days credit.— 

I have 25 II ds of Tobacco in the Ware houses in Alexandria ; 
— examine what condition they lye in, and see that they are 
safe. jNTot having been able to obtain the price I set upon 
them they have lain there five or six years, at least. — I have 
held these at a guinea a hundred, and would take it. 

Is your family arrived at Mount Vernon ? — yon have said 
nothing about them in your last letters, — 

The Yessel with the Clover Seed &c t left this City on 
Tuesday last, and is, I hope, with yon before this. — An- 
other goes tomorrow, on board which I send you (directed to 
the care of Col° Gilpin) nine bolts of Oznabrigs, finding it 
cheaper to buy here than in Alexandria. — 

Enclosed you have a bond of Col° Lyles, who lives on 
Broad Creek (between you and Alexandria) — receive the 
amount with interest to the day of payment, and place it 
to my credit. — If the money is wanting for paying the Over- 
seers, or for other purposes, it may be applied accordingly ; 
otherwise, when more can be added to it, I will direct the 
application another way. — Remember it is Virginia money 
you are to receive that is dollars at Six shillings. — The 
readiest way of getting to Col° Lyles is in your own Boat ; 
— and by so doing you can touch at the fishing landings 
between, and learn their expectations with respect to the 
prices of Fish. 

I send you 3 lbs of Lucern Seed to sprinkle over the Spring 
lot, where the former grew. — The ground ought to be well 
torn with a sharp toothed harrow, in order to prepare it for 
the Seed, otherwise much of it will miss. — 

With Col° Lyles bond I send you a letter to him, which 
seal before delivery; — you have also a statement of the ac- 
count, as far as I have any knowledge of it. — Receive nothing 


short of the whole sum which is due; ' unless you have no 
other means of discharging any demands upon me, — for re- 
ceiving a bond in driblets, is, in a manner, sinking it ; — and 
the amount of this bond, if it can be spared from other uses, 
I want to apply in discharge of another bond, which is also 

carrying interest. — 

I am 

Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Mar. 30 th 1794. 
Mr. Peaece, 

The Keports, and your letter of the 25 th inst* have been 
duly rec d . 

If you are satisfied from repeated trials, that the pieces of 
the treading floor at Dogue-run Farm, are well placed at an 
inch and half a part, it would be well to lay them all at that 
distance ; that you may derive as much benefit as you can 
from it in the present Crop, and that it may be ready against 
the next year. 

The Oats might also be tread out on the same floor ; and 

O 7 

the sooner the better, as you will then know precisely the 
quantity which you will have to depend upon,— and when 
known, inform me thereof. — I have three and half bush 13 of 
a peculiar kind of Oats which I will send by the first vessel 
bound to Alexandria : — unfortunately the} T came to my hands 

1 There is a local tradition that Washington carried his idea of exactness 
to the extent of refusing to receive payments in any form which required 
change to he given, and that he was known to send a dehtor back over the 
fight miles to Alexandria that he might bring the exact sum owed. The 
fluctuations attending the value of Virginia pounds during the transition to 
decimal currency may have had something to do with this. On the other 
hand he was equally rigid with himself in all that affected the rights of 
others, and had been known to ride through rough weather to Alexandria 
and back, to have his feet measured, rather than have the shoemaker travel 
to his house. 


too late for the Vessels which have lately departed from 
hence for that Port; but I would have you reserve and keep 
about two acres of ground in a good state of preparation for 
sowing the moment the seed shall reach you. — 

I am sorry to hear your drilled and other Wheat, makes but 
an indifferent appearance. — I was in hopes such extreame line 
weather as we have had during the whole month of March 
would have occasioned a pleasing change in both. — As grain 
puts on different looks at this season, according as the 
weather, while growing, happens to be, let me know from 
time to time how mine comes on. — If it stands thick enough 
on the ground, such uncommon mildness and warmth as we 
have had since February, must have recovered that Crop 
greatly, as well as the Winter Barley. 

I doubted the Gardeners information at first, when you re- 
ported a pottle of S l Foin seed; because the few plants 
could not bare so much ; — and next, because he did not take 
care in time to save what they did bare. — Be the q ty little or 
much, make the most of them and of the Hemp — and the 
other seed he took for S* Foin that you are able. 

Let Abram get his deserts when taken, by way of example ; 
but do not trust to Crow to give it him ; — for I have reason 
to believe he is swayed more by passion than by judgment in 
all his corrections. 

All the labour that can be spared from more pressing and 
important work should be employed on the Mill Race; other- 
wise when the springs get low you will have no water for 
grinding; it being but a poor stream at best, and many leaks 
in the old part which will be avoided by the new, whilst those 
in other parts of the race should be carefully sought after, 
and effectually stopped. — 

If my Sister Lewis of Fredericksburgh 1 should send for it. 

1 Betty, his only sister, (1733-1797,) concerning whom see Introduction, 
and Portrait. 


lot her have one of the unbroke Mules of midling quality 

and size. 

I am Your friend &c* 

G° Washington. 

Philadelphia April 6 th 1704. 
Mb. Pearce, 

Your letter and Reports of the 1 st instant I have received, 
and am glad to find by the first that you have got your family 
safe to Mount Yernon ; as, unquestionably, it will be a satis- 
faction to you to have them along with you. — Change of air 
may, and I hope will, restore your eldest daughter to health 

I had no doubt but that the late capture of our Yessels by 
the British Cruisers, followed by the Embargo which has 
been laid on the Shipping in our Ports, w d naturally occasion 
a temporary fall in the article of provisions; — yet, as there 
are the same mouths to feed as before ; — as the demand, con- 
sequently, will be as great ; — and as the Crops in other parts 
of the world will not be increased by these means, 1 have no 
doubt at all, but that, as soon as the present impediments are 
removed the prices of flour will rise to what it has been (at 
least) for which reason hold mine up to the prices mentioned 
in my last ; and if they are offered, make a provisory agree- 
ment, to be ratified, or not, by me; — an answer to which can 
be obtained in a week. 1 — With respect to the Wheat on hand, 
you must (if you hear nothing to the contrary from me) be 

1 On the 6 Nov. 1793 England issued a "Provision' Order," for seizing 
neutral ships carrying supplies to France (with which country it was at war) 
or to French colonies. The Order was partially revoked, on the remon- 
strance of the Secretary of State (Randolph), news of the revocation having 
reached Philadelphia on 4 April 1704, — two days before the date of this 
letter. On the date of this letter (April 6) the Secretary urged on the Presi- 
dent the policy of sending a special envoy te England to make reclamations 
for the spoliations alluded to in the text. This policy was decided on, Mr. 
•Jay being sent, his mission resulting in a Commercial Treaty. 


governed by circumstances and your own judgment, in getting 
it out of the straw ; — but, at any rate, remove it into the 
Earns for the purpose of threshing in weather when the 
people cannot work out. — 

When salt, or any other article of which you are in want, 
gets to a high price, provide for the present occasion only 
unless there is a moral certainty of their rising still higher; 
in that case prudence would direct otherwise. — 

It was not my expectation that either grass or grain could 
be rolled at the expence of stopping the Ploughs ; conse- 
quently, if the Oxen were not in a condition for the accom- 
plishment of this work the execution of it was not to be 
expected: — but is not this an instance among a variety of 
others, of the impolicy of not breaking a great number of 
Steers at each of the Farms ? which would prevent the few 
that are broke from being reduced too low for the services 
thereof. — Twenty Oxen are not more expensive than ten 
broke, and ten unbroke Steers, because you feed them as 
Oxen only when they are worked ; and unbroke Steers must 
be fed, as well as Oxen (though not in the same manner) at 
other times. — By this means there never would be a want of 
draught Cattle for Cart, Harrow or Holler. — 

How does the young grass which was sown in the new 
meadows, last fall, and the Clover come on ? — Was the latter 
injured much by the Winter? 

Besides the number of Stacks which are yet in Wheat, I 
wanted to know what those stacks are supposed to contain : — 
and this the Overseers, by comparing the size of them with 
those which have been tread out, may certainly give a pretty 
near guess at. — 

The three bushels and half of Oats, mentioned to you in 
my last, are not of such superior quality as I had been led to 
expect from the account given of them ; — yet, notwithstand- 
ing, ground may be kept sometime longer for them, or until 
you hear further from me, on this head. — 


The imposition with respect to the Garden seeds, is very 
unjustifiable ; — 'tis infinately worse than simple robbery, for 
there you loose your money only, but when it is given for 
bad seed you lose your money, your labour in preparing for 
the reception of them, — and a whole season. — 

Cloathsmust be provided for the Young Gardener at Alex- 
andria. — Those for work to be strong, and substantial. — Sun- 
day, or holliday Cloaths to be decent, and such as may please 
without going to more expence than is necessary : — but of 
the latter class I should conceive he can be in no want now, 
unless he has made an improper use of a whole suit (of very 
good Cloaths) which were given to him the latter end of 
October last. — 

I am sorry to find that my chance for Lambs this year, is 
so bad. — It does not appear to me by the Reports that I shall 
have more than a third of what I had last year: — what this 
can be ascribed to is beyond my comprehension, unless it be 
for want of Rams, or bad Earns. — Let therefore, at Shearing 
time, a selection of the best formed, and otherwise promising 
ram lambs be set apart (in sufficient numbers) to breed from ; 
and when they are fit for it, cut the old ones and turn them 
aside, to be disposed of. — 

At Shearing time also, let there be a thorough culling out, 
of all the old, and indifferent sheep from the flocks that 
they may be disposed of, and thereby save me the mortifica- 
tion of hearing every week of their death ! — which is the 
more vexatious as I was taught to believe that every indiffer- 
ent sheep was drawn for this purpose last Spring, notwith- 
standing the loss of them which has been sustained the past 
winter; — and indeed unto the present moment — 

When you go next to xVlexandria take the exact dimensions 
of the rooms in my house at that place, that I may send paper 
for them. — Give the length and breadth of each — and height 
from the wash board to the Chair board (as they are commonly 
called) and thence to the Cornish, if any, with the doors and 


windows, and size of them, in each room or passage. — If there 
is occasion to make good the plastering in any of the room?, 
no white wash is to he put thereon ; hecanse it is improper for 
paper. — Thomas Davis must paint the outsides of hoth house? 
there ; the lower part of a stone colour, and the roofs red. — 
The Inside of the dwelling house is also to be painted. — The 
whole in short is to be put in very good, and decent condi- 
tion. — If the planking between the two houses is plained, this 
also should be painted. — 

I am Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 20 th April 1794. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 15 th , with the weekly reports, came to 
hand as usual, yesterday. — I was sorry to learn by the first 
that you had been unwell. — 

It is almost impossible for me to say, with exactness, what 
I owe the Estate of Mr. Anthony Whitting, because his ac- 
counts do not appear to have been regularly kept, but rather 
in detached Mem ms .- — More than his wages from the first of 
Jan y until the day of his death (which I think was about 
the middle of June) at the rate of One hund d pounds Yirg 1 
Cnrr y p r annum, I cannot owe him ; because my Xephew s 
when his health obliged him in Xovember 1792 to spend the 
Winter with his father in law Col° Bassett, paid Mr. "Whitting, 
and all the under Overseers (as he did not expect to be back 

1 Col. George Augustine Washington (1703-1793) to whom was entrusted 
the management of Mount Vernon when Washington entered on his duties 
as President in 1789. He was the son of Charles Washington who founded 
Charlestown, Va. In his will Washington writes of this nephew as one 
" who from his youth had attached himself to my person, and followed my 
fortunes through the vicissitudes of the late Revolution— afterwards devoting 
his time to the superintendence of my private concerns for many years, and 
always performing them in a manner the most filial and respectful. 1 ' 


again if ever, in less than. Six months) their full wages for the 
year, — ending the last of December. — More therefore than 
from the close of that year, until the time of his death, in 
the succeeding one, cannot, as I have observed before, be due 
to the Estate; and this, rather than do it a, possible .injury, you 
may pay his Ex rs or Adm" ; ' although (as lie always had money 
of mine in his hands) it is probable he might, as -it became due 
to him, have applied part to his own use. — 

With respect to the Bond which you say his Ex rs are en- 
quiring after, I never saw, or heard of such an one ; except 
whilst I was in Virginia last ; when I was told by some one, 
what you have mentioned in your letter. — Mr. Lear (who at 
that time was my Secretary) being called to the Federal City 
on business, and hearing that Mr. Whitting was dead, or at the 
point of death (I am not sure which) and knowing that my 
affairs at Mount Vernon would, by this event, be thrown into 
great disorder, went down there (which he had not intended 
to do when he left Phil a ) and remained there until I got 
home; at which time he gave me all the Papers he had found 
belonging to Mr. Whitting. 1 — The private papers in one bun- 
dle — and those which concerned my business in another. — In 
neither of these was there any bond, nor did I ever hear the 
circumstance mentioned, until I went to Virginia last Fall. — 
If such a bond did exist, it certainly can be no difficult matter 
to learn from whom it was obtained; — and whether it has 

'Tobias Lear, of Portsmouth, N. H., a graduate cf Harvard University, 
was introduced to Washington by Gen. Lincoln. He became tutor to the 
Custis children, was treated as a member of the family. His first wife was 
Miss Long of Portsmouth; his 2d., the widow of George Aug. Washington ; 
his third, Frances Dandridge Henley, a niece of Washington's wife. After 
serving the President for some years as private Secretary, he resided on an 
estate leased from Washington (300 acres, east of Hunting Creek* which was 
confirmed to him for life, rent-free, by the General's will. It was charged 
that the various foreign missions conferred on Lear by President Jefferson, 
were in reward for the destruction of such of the papers confided to him by 
Washington, on his deathbed, as might have compromised Jefferson. It is 
supposed that he committed suicide. 


been discharged, or not ; — if discharged, the person paying it 
will know to whom ; — without which the bond will be of no 
use to any one. — All "Whitting's private papers were, to the 
best of my recollection, turned over to Mr. Ring; who, by a 
non-cupitive Will, "was made his heir. 

I am glad to find you are upon the point of sowing Buck 
Wheat at all the Farms. — It is essential it should be in the 
ground without delay, if two Crops are to be plowed in, before 
the Wheat is sown thereon. — Does the Oats which you have 
sown, and the grass-seeds, come up well ? and how are your 
seasons, and the temper of the ground ? — By the last Reports 
you appear to have had rain twice during the week they were 
made. — In this neighbourhood the earth is dry, and rain 
wanting. — Did you allow a plenty of seed to the ground that 
was resown with grass, as well as the other, for the first time. 

As the Embargo is continued until the 25 th of next month, 
I think you had better grind no more Wheat until you hear 
further from me ; and let that which is in the straw, remain 
there ; as the safest mode of keeping it ; unless you should 
discover an appearance of the fly about the stacks ; — in that 
case, it might be proper to get it out, and grind it as speedily 
as possible. — 

I do not know how much ground you have sown with 
flax ; but as there is no foreseeing what our disputes may end 
in, it is my wish that you would add a good deal more (if not 
too late) to what you have already sown ; that, let what will 
happen, I may make a shift to cloath my Xegros. 1 — This 

1 This was written on the day when Mr. Jay received notice of his appoint- 
ment as envoy to Great Britain, a post to which he had heen nominated 
April 1G. Although the Provision Order of England, and the retaliatory 
Embargo, were ending, the relations between the two countries were much 
strained by English menaces on the Canadian frontier. The internal peace 
of the country was threatened by disturbances in Kentucky caused by con- 
tinuance of the Spanish occupation beyond the Mississippi. An insurrec- 
tion there was, indeed, narrowly escaped. The dangers of both foreign and 
civil war were imminent. 


makes it peculiarly necessary also to be extremely attentive 
to the "Wool ; for I am satisfied that a tenth part of what is 
sheared, in bringing it home, and after it is in the usual place, 
where it is kept, is stolen from me. — To guard against both 
these modes of pilferring, will require much caution, and a 
strict watch. — Has [remainder missing] 


Philadelphia 27 th April 1791. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 23 d instant with its enclosures came duly 
to hand. — 

Thomas Green's account of the dimensions of the Booms 
in my house in Alexandria, is so confused and perplexed, 
that I can make neither head nor tail of it. — The length, 
breadth and height of each, with the distance from the wash- 
board to the Chair board, and the number of doors and win- 
dows in each room, was all I wanted ; instead of these he has 
attempted to draw a plan which no one can understand, and 
has given an explanation of it that is still more incomprehen- 
sible. — 

I am very glad to find that you have caused so much flax- 
seed to be sown as appears from the Memorandum sent to 
me ; — but have you not departed from the plan which was to 
regulate the grass lots at Dogue-run Farm ? — As well as I 
recollect, these were to succeed each other in Potatoes — and 
one after another to be sown with Oats and Clover ; and this 
rotine was to be persevered in. — As the case now is, neither 
the lot East of the Xew Barn, nor that in number 3, can be 
touched next year; and neither of them, I fear, will be in 
condition to yield much clover. — My intention with respect to 
these lots was, by soiling the Plow horses with the Clover, 
cut green, to save the great expense of grain. — By having one 
of them therefore in Potatoes ; another in Oats, sown also 


with Clover ; — and the third in Clover, — there would always 
have been one (which is sufficient for this purpose) handy to 
the Stable ; — more would be unnecessary, as there will be 
such a quantity of mowing ground on the Farm, for the sup- 
port of the Stock, — the Mansion house, and for sale. — 

Particular attention will be paid I hope to penning of the 
Stock, and shifting the Pens — Nothing has been more 
neglected— general as neglects have hitherto been on my 
estate — than the latter, merely to avoid the trouble of re- 
moving them. — 

How does the White thorn * "* '* cuttings of the 
Willow and other sets * * * have been put out this 
Spring, look * * * pear to have taken, and to be in A 
thriving condition ? — 

I mentioned to you in my last that 5000 plants of the 
White thorn was to be sent to me, by Mr. Lear in the Ship 
Peggy, from London to George Town. 1 I have advice of the 
Sailing of the Ship, and hope it is arrived. — Ko time should 
be lost in getting the Plants home (to M fc Vernon) as every 
day's delay will put them more and more in jeopard} 7 . — Mr. 
Lear in his last letter informs me that he had by the same 
Vessel, sent some fruit trees for his own use, w ch he requests 
my care of: — let these also be taken to Mount Yernon and 
put into a nursery for his use ; and the Gardeners particular 
care of them is required. — 

I am your friend &c* 

G° Washington. 

With this letter you will receive a paper of Lima beans, 
which the Gardener will plant the first of May, seperate f rom 
any others ; — and be particularly careful of them. — 

1 Tobias Lear had gone to London to interest capitalists in a scheme for a 
canal between Georgetown and the upper Potoruac. lie had been made 
President of the Potomac Navigation Company and sent abroad that the en- 
terprise might carry some of the prestige of Washington. 



Philadelphia May 4 th 1704. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 29 th nlt°, and the reports which were en- 
closed, came duly to hand. 

I am sorry to find by the first that the Ship Peggy had 
not then arrived at George Town, from London. — I fear the 
Vliite thorn Plants (5,000 in number) which I have on 
board, together with Mr. Lears fruit Trees, will suffer very 
much, if they are not entirely destroyed ; by the advanced 
season. 1 — Let the ground (wherever the first arc to go) be 
prepared for their reception, that no time which can be 
avoided, may be lost in getting them into it ; — as to the lat- 
ter, that is the fruit trees, there cannot be many of them, 
consequently no previous preparation is necessary, for their 
deposit. — 

I wish you had discharged Green without any ceremony, 
when you found him drinking, and idling his time away ; — 
as to any reliance, on his promise to amend, there can be no 
sort of dependance: — for it has been found that he is grow- 
ing worse and worse : The consequence of which is, that he 
dare not find fault with those who are entrusted to his care, 
lest they sh d retort, and disclose his rascally conduct ; by 
which means work that the same number of hands would 
perform in a week, takes mine a month. — Nothing but com- 
pasion for his helpless family, lias hitherto induced me to 
keep him a moment in my service (so bad is the example he 
sots) ; but if he has no regard for them himself, it is not to 
be expected that I am to be a continual sufferer on this acc\ 
fur his misconduct. 

I never could iret an account of the Corn made on my Es- 

1 The English thorns did not thrive, and only slight traces of them re- 


tate last year, consequently can form no idea of the quantity 
now on hand, nor of the prospect there is of its carrying me 
through the year. — At any rate it should be used with great 
care, but if it is likely to run short, as much parsimony should 
be observed as can comport with the absolute calls for it, on 
the farms, as I know not where to get more ; and should find 
it inconvenient to pay for it if I did. 

Does the first sown Buck Wheat come up well ? — as fast as 
any Held, or lot is planted with Potatoes, let the quantity 
which has been used therefor, be noted in the Farm Iteport 
of the place where they have been used. — To plant the Pota- 
toes whole is best, where there is enough of them ; when 
there is not, cutting becomes necessary, and should then be 
adopted. — 

In the Gardeners report is a query, if Apricots will be 
wanting to preserve. — I answer ±so. — for the situation of 
public business now is, and likely to remain such, 1 that my 
family will not be able to spend any time at Mount Yernon 
this Summer — that is — I cannot do it, and Mrs. "Washington 
would not chuse to be there without me. — My present inten- 
tion is, if public business will permit, to make a flying trip 
there soon after the risinp; of Congress : but when that will 
be is more than I am able to decide, at present. 

It is not usual — nor is there any occasion — for Papering 
the ceiling of the Room, or rooms (if more than one should 
be papered) in the House, in Alexandria. — 

I am — Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 

1 Genet, the obnoxious French Minister, having heen recalled from this 
country, and Gouverneur Morris from France, the administration was en- 
deavoring to find a Minister to France who could quiet the jealousy of that 
country awakened by the mission of Jay to England. At the same time 
M. Fauchet, the French Minister at Philadelphia, had to he watched and 
soothed. A continual exchange of sharp diplomatic letters was going on 
with both the French and the English Minister, relations with their coun- 
tries being: much strained. 



Philadelphia May 11 th 179-1. 

Me. Pearce, 

The Weekly reports enclosed in your letter of the 6 th in- 
stant, have been duly received. — ■ 

By the first Yessel bound to Alexandria from hence, I will 
send Paper for the two lower .Rooms in my house in that 
place ; but if it has been newly plastered, as would appear to 
be the case (in part at least) by Green's ace*; it ought not to 
be put on until it is thoroughly dry ; or the Paper will be 

The Sheriffs and Clerks notes are returned, and must be 
paid. — Two of them however belong properly to Mrs. F. 
Washington ; — and some of the rest not more to me than 
others ; — but I find it is a uniform practice to saddle me with 
the whole expence of suits wherein I am only a part con- 
cerned as Trustee, Attorney, (fee*. — 

It has often been in my mind, and I have as often forgot 
it, when I was writing to you, to request that you would look 
forward to, and so arrange matters as not to suffer the Hay 
and Grain Harvests to interfere; or either to suffer for want 
of being cut in time. — For want of a little foresight of this 
kind, I have, hitherto, had one or the other, and oftentimes 
both, suffer by not being cut in due season; — especially the 
Hay, which has often been spoiled by letting it stand until 
the Grain Harvest is entirely finished : whereas, if the for- 
ward grass was cut before, the latter grass might remain 
without much, if any injury, until the Grain was secured. — I 
am a great friend to cutting Grain soon, and I request it may 
be the practice this year. — When it is cut early, it must not 
he stacked, or even put into large shocks, until the straw is 
a little cured. — But the grain is better for it, and loss by 


shattering, or beating rains the latter part of Harvest, not 

half as great. — 

Be very attentive to the drilled Wheat. — Get it out as soon 
as possible after harvest ; — and secure it in the Seed loft at 
Mansion house; without making any previous mention of the 
intention : otherwise there will be pilfering ; and a disposi- 
tion of it, of which you may have no notice. — It cost me 10/. 
p r Bush 1 besides the stage price of transportation from Fred- 
erick sburgh l to Mount Yernon. — 

I approve of your sowing the first lot in the Mill Swamp 
(or more properly the second, as there is one between it and 
the Mill) with Buck Wheat and Timothy ; and should be ex- 
tremely glad it the one above (now in Corn) could be got in 
order for grass also. — Leave no unreclaimed — nor if possi- 
ble any uncultivated spots in these lots ;■ — for they are not 
only eye sores in Meadows, but are of real detriment ; as 
they are continually eating into, and fouling other parts of 
the ground. — Quite down to the water's edge, and quite 
up to the fences therefore, ought always to be perfectly 
cleared. — 

I fear, from your complaint of bad pastures, that the wea- 
ther has not been seasonable with you. — This question I have 
asked in some of my late letters, but no other answer has 
been given than what appears by the Meteorological account 
of it ; and that conveys no precise ideas of the state, or con- 
dition in which the fields are, for moisture ; — as good rains, 
heavy rains, slight rains, and rains of every other sort, go 
under this general description in the report. — If the Pastures 
are bad, I wish 1 may not hear also, that your Oats and 
Buck Wheat puts on but an indifferent appearance. — 

I hope you have made all the Overseers produce the Wool 
of the Sheep which have died 'on the farms under their re- 

' Fredericksburg (aiid its neighbor, Falmouth) being at the head of navi- 
gation on the Rappahannock, and also near the Falls, had become the most 
important market for wheat and flour in Virginia. 


spective managements; the q ty from the number of Sheep 
which have been lost, ought to be pretty considerable. — 
I wish you well, and am 

Your friend, 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Does the Corn come up well, and stand well ? and how 
does the Oats Buck "Wheat and Clover come on ? — 

I do not recollect whether that part of the ground in the 
lower Meadow lot, at the Mill, which lays between the old 
bed of the run, and the race, has ever been prepared for 
Grass. — It ought to have been, to compleat the lot. 


Philadelphia May 18 th 1701. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I am sorry to find by your letter of the 11 th Inst* that the 
Crops and every thing else were suffering from a drought. — 
yet, by the weekly report which accompanied the letter, it 
appears that rain had fallen on the 6 th , only live days before, 
but I suppose this must have been a slight one. — 

It is not only unlucky, but unaccountable, that the Oats 
should not have been received with the other things. — Mr. 
Dandridge says they were put on board at the same time, and 
are included in the Bill of lading with the other things. — A 
strange fatality has accompanied them throughout : — the 
delay in getting them to this City occasioned their missing a 
passage in due season"; and if you have not recovered them 
before this, it would be throwing them away to put them in 
the ground now. — 

I send you four small papers of Seeds which have been 
sent me by a curious gentlemen in Europe. — Whether they 
are sound and good, — and are of any real utility, I know not; 
but let the Gardener pay particular attention to them ; — en- 


deavouring to raise seed therefrom. — He should set boards by 
them, with inscriptions thereon, similar to those which are 
written on the papers, containing the respective seeds. — 

Whether you will depend upon the lirst, or second Crop of 
Clover for Seed, will be left to yourself ; but I desire (if it be 
practicable) that of this — of Buck Wheat — Timothy — and in 
short of every other Seed w ch you may have occasion for next 
year, may be saved ; as the cost of these things in the Markets 
of this City falls too heavy upon me besides being bad very 
often. — I also request you will be particularly careful in sav- 
ing Seeds from the several kinds of Grass, which, from time 
to time, have been sown in (what is called) the Vineyard ; 
and other places, for the purpose of experiments; or because 
they were given to me as curiosities, or for the real value of 
them. — And I hope you have been, and will be attentive to 
such as I have sent you myself. — Is that which I forwarded 
to you sometime ago (directing it to be sown in some part of 
one of the Meadows) come up well ? — It was given to me 
for a erass of more value than Timothy. — If so. all the seed 
that can, ought to be raised from it ; — the same of S* Foin ; 
which my Gardener neglected last year until the seed was 
almost lost. — If Cattle or Horses will eat the fancy grass 
either in its greetl state, or made into Hay, it certainly must 
be very valuable, as it grows rank, stands thick on the ground, 
does not require strong land, and will remain forever on it. — 
Save what seed you can from this — some grows in the Vine- 
yard Inclosure, and some I believe in the little Garden by the 
Salt House. — Several other grasses, of valuable sorts, which 
had been given to me, were sown in this place and the Vine- 
yard ; — but like most other things on my Estate, have been 
lost for want of attention, hitherto, but I hope your care will 
guard me against such neglects in future. — 

I presume you are well enough acquainted with Clover to 
know How it is to be managed ; both for seed and Hay. — 
Last year, none of the first (or very little) was saved ; — and 


t>£ the latter, that is Hay, none was made good, and a great 
deal of it was entirely spoiled. — It ought to be well cured 
before stacking, but not much stirred ; especially in the Sun ; 
or it will lose the leaf. — Let there be a hollow in the middle 
of each stack (by way of ventulater) occasioned by Drawing 
a basket, or stuffed bag through the middle, whilst the stack 
is making. — 

As Crow has no Clover, with which he can soil his 
work horses and Oxen, he can be supplied from Dogue run 
until his own lots are in a condition to furnish him; w ch 
ought to be assisted as much as possible to hurry them for- 

If you have, or can procure Turnip Seed, it might be well 
to sow a good deal of it at all the Farms ; as both Cattle and 
Sheep would derive benefit from them. 

In w r hat state of forwardness is the drilled Wheat, when 
compared with the common wheat ? from the character and 
description of it, it ought to be ripe for cutting by the S lh or 
10 th of June. — You will have been told — or will have dis- 
covered, that there are two kinds of Wheat in drills, at the 
Union farm. — One is a double headed sort, whether of much 
value, or not, I am unable to say ; nor do I know whether it 
ripens sooner or later than the common kind. — Take care of 
the Seeds of both, and cautiously guard against their mixing 
in the Seed loft, — As there will not be much of the d ble headed 
Wheat, it might be well (in order to prevent this) to put it 
into tight casks, and head it up securely. — The early Wheat 
I set great value on, as it is an acquisition, in the farming line, 
of great magnitude in many points of view. 

What have you done with the Plaster of Paris I sent from 
this City sometime ago? — I have not seen (that I recollect) 
any account of its being spread.— The hides of the dead cattle 
(though not good) should be Tanned by the old man Jack. 
who usually attends to this business; — the leather may 
serve for inner Soals and repairing Shoes — and something 


ought also to be done with the skins of the Sheep w ch have 
died. — 

Mulatto Will should be kept close to making Shoes, that 
they may be in readiness by the time they are wanted. — lie 
is slow, and sickness, or other interruption may throw his 
business behind. — 

I presume the lot in Alexandria will have been inclosed by 
the Post and Eail fence, intended for it; — and the house, in- 
side and out, painted, before the workmen were withdrawn 
from thence. — It ought to be left in charge of some person 
who will attend to it, until Mrs. P. Washington takes posses- 
sion thereof. — 

Whetheiyif the four missing Hh ds of my Tobacco are not 
to be found, the Inspectors, after its having lain over a year, 
or sometime fixed by Law, are liable for it, or not, I am 
unable to advise you, and therefore would have you consult 
those who are, that you may pursue such measures as are 
proper to recover the value of what is gone — and to secure 
the remainder. — I have been holding it up for a good price, 
but if whilst I am waiting for this, I am losing it by the 
llhd% I shall have brought it to a bad market indeed. — It 
was but a short time before the death of Mr. Whiting that 
he was directed to examine into the condition of this Tob°; 
and to the best of my knowledge he reported, that it was not 
only all there, but that he had stowed it securely all together 
in some part of the Warehouse where it would not be dis- 
turbed in searching for other Tobacco. — This information 3 
am sure I received from him, — or from my Nephew, be- 
fore he was advised to leave Mount Vernon on acc fc of his 
health. — ■ I enclose you the Xotes for this Tobacco, that 
you may be able to proceed with more regularity in this 
business. — - 

It is not a good Season for Surveying, otherwise I would 
have my four mile run tract run round ; — but this shall be 
done in the Fall ; or even sooner if it is found indispensibly 


necessary : — in the meanwhile, if you, with the aid of Mr. 
Minor, 1 could prevent further depredations it would be 
proper, and desirable. — 

jf Congress should rise in the course of this Month, as they 
talk of doing, it is probable (though this is more than I can 
with any certainty promise) [I may] be at Mount Vernon, to 
stay a few days only, by the 10 tb of June ; when, if you will 
remind me of it, I will give you a copy of the courses of the 
four Mile run tract, as they cannot be got at unless I am at 
home. — 

If you can sell the Black horse for a good price — I mean 
full to his value — I wish you to do so. — But what that ought 
to be, will depend upon the condition he is in, at the time of 
Sale, and upon the prizes of horses in the part of the Coun- 
try where he is; and of these you are a better judge than I 
am. — I neither expect, nor desire more than his value ; and 
as he is not a necessary horse, he had better be disposed of. — 

I find by the Keports that Sam is, in a manner, always re- 
turned sick; — Doll at the Ferry, and several of the Spinners 
very frequently so, for a week at a stretch ; and Ditcher 
Charles often laid up with a lameness. — I never wish my peo- 
ple to work when they are really sick, or unfit for it ; on the 
contrary, that all necessary care should be taken of them 
when they are so ; — but if you do not examine into their 
complaints, they will lay by when no more ails them, than 
ails those who stick to their business, and are not complain- 
ing, from the fatigue and drowsiness which they feel as the 
effect of night walking, and other practices which unlit them 
fur the duties of the day. — 

If the Peggy is not yet arrived it is to be feared that my 

1 Oeorge Minor, whoso name frequently occurs in the Truro Parish Vestry- 
book— now in possession of the Rev. Dr. Slaughter, historiographer of the 
Diocese of Virginia— as one of the overseers of the poor, on whom such 
duties as Washington suggests devolved after the Revolution. The Minors 
are an eminent family: to it belongs the Head of the Law School, Univer- 
sity of Virginia, John B? Minor. (Appendix F.) 


White thorn plants, and Mr. Lear's fruit trees, must all have 
perished. — Try them however, as soon as they are to be 

As Congress have determined that the Embargo shall not 
be renewed, I expect the price of flour will be at least as high 
as it has been, in Alexandria. — In this city it has already 
risen to 50/. for Superfine and 47/6. for fine ; but as the warm 
season is coming on, if you can obtain Six dollars for the 
first, and thirty-four shillings for the other, in good hands ; 
payable in sixty days; lam more inclined to take it than to 
hazard the keeping it much longer ; but do not make a con- 
clusive sale of it until you shall hear from me again, and this 
you may expect to do by Wednesday's Post, w" h will arrive in 
Alexandria on friday evening next. — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 

XXIY. . 

Philadelphia 25 th May 1794. 
Mr. Peakce, 

I learn with concern from your letter of the lS th instant, 
that your crops were still labouring under a drought, and 
most of them very much injured. — At disappointments and 
losses which are the effects of Providential acts, I never re- 
pine ; becaiu-e I am sure the alvvise disposer of events knows 
better than we do, what is best for us, or what Ave deserve. 1 — 
Two or three fine rains have fallen here in the course of the 
past week ; — some of which I hope (though I fear the 
showers were partial) may have extended to Mount Vernon. 

I am quite astonished as well as concerned, to hear so un- 
favorable an acc fc of the drilled Wheat. — What can be the 
cause of it \ — Not the working of it I hope ? for by that 

' Appendix G. 


ine&ns it was, I expected to have augmented the crop con- 
-i -iorably.— 

The great change for the worse in my Sheep, since I left 
home about five years ago is as much to be regretted, as the 
constant decrease of their numbers. — At that time the fleeces 
through my flock, averaged upwards of five pounds, — now I 
perceive by the last reports they are but little over two 

From the letters I have received by the Peggy, she must 
l.iave arrived in George Town, I hope you have got my thorn 
p] ts , and Mr. Lears fruit Trees to Mount Vernon. — Enclosed 
is a copy of the list of the latter, which desire the Gardener 
to be particularly attentive to. — 

It was always intended that the Xegro quarters at Union 
farm should range with the lane fence, or nearly so ; — but 
then the fence of X° 5 and the great Meadow was to have 
been moved forward, with a view to narrow the lane, and to 
throw the Barn in the middle of if. — So wide a lane as the 
present never was intended to remain — but matters may rest as 
they are until I come home, or until you shall hear from me 
again. — The first will not be, I fear, so soon as I expected ; as 
it is very questionable whether Congress will be up next 
week, and I may have business afterwards to detain me here 
a few days ; which does not occur to me at this moment. — 
In my next (this day week) I may probably speak with more 
certainty on this point. 

I wish you well and am 

Your friend, &c* 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Have you heard of the Oats yet, which I .sent from hence? 
A vessel is now up for Alexandria, by which I shall send 
Paper for my House in that place. — 

G. W. 



Philadelphia June 1 st 1704. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I am glad to find b) r your letter of the 27 th ult° that you 
had had some good rains, previous to the date of it. — Those 
rains, with such as have followed since, may give a very dif- 
ferent appearance both to your Oats and flax ; and may en- 
liven, and push forward the Corn and E. "Wheat ; — but I fear 
much for any grass that may have been cut, there having been 
no weather to cure it (in this part of the Country at least) 
these ten days. — 

I am sorry to perceive, that amongst all your other un- 
favorable prospects, that little is to be expected from the 
White bent grass — the seeds of which I sent you last 
Spring. — Endeavor, however, to save all the Seed you can 
from it, in like manner as you were requested to do with the 
other experimental grasses, in the Vineyard, my little gar- 
den, (fee 1 . 

If the drilled Wheat is not much forwarder than the com- 
mon Wheat, there must have been an imposition in the Seed ; 
for the ripening of it three weeks before the common sort, 
is a fact that is well ascertained. — 

The deception with respect to the Potatoes (210 instead of 
4-1S bush ls ) is of a piece with other practices of a similar kind, 
by which I have suffered hitherto ; — and may serve to evince 
to you, in strong colours, first how little confidence can be 
placed in any one round you ; and secondly the necessity of 
an accurate inspection into these things yourself, — for to be 
plain, Alexandria is such a recepticle for every thing that can 
be filched from the right owners, by either blacks or whites ; 
— and I have such an opinion of my Xegros (two or three 
only excepted) ; and not much better of some of the Whites 
— that I am perfectly sure not a single thing that can be dis- 
posed of at any 'price, at that place, that will not, and is not. 


gtolen, where it is possible ; and carried thither to some of 
i he underling shop keepers, who support themselves by this 
kind of traffic!:. — 

1 am really concerned that the Potatoes have fallen so 
much short of expectation ; — and if I could have had any 
fore knowledge of it, instead of disposing of what there was, 
in Corn gr d , I should have given them to the lots w ch were 
intended for clover ; as I conceive nothing is a better prepa- 
rative for this crop, than Potatoes. — As you have them not — 
and know the object for which these lots are designed — I 
leave it to you to manage them as shall seem best in your 
own judgment, to effect end in view. 

It is not longer ago than last year (if my memory has not 
greatly failed me) that I paid, in this City, 40 or 50/ for the 
Turnip seed I sent to Mount Vernon, and to have no seed 
there now is, to be sure, extraordinary ; but as these things 
serve to shew you how I have been imposed upon, and to 
what expences I have been run for want of common care and 
attention, so I persuade myself, they will induce your exer- 
tions to avoid the like in future. — 

If you can get the price ment' 1 in your letter for the mid- 
lings and Ship stuff take it. 

I am — Y r friend *fcc* 

G° Washington. 

P. S. Mr. Douglass is a person I am not acquainted with, 
lie may be as able to fulfil a contract as any in Alexandria for 
ought I know to the contrary — but prudent precaution to have 
the money secured — and at the time it is engaged is not amiss. — 

When I wrote you last, I had expectation of being at 
Mount Vernon by the 10 th of this month ; but now I have 
not, nor can I with certainty say when it will be. — Probably 
—not before the last of the Month. — 


G. W 



Philadelphia June 8 th 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letters of the 4 th mat* accompanying the reports, 
came duly to hand ; and by the Post of to-morrow I was in 
hopes I should have been able to inform you of the day I 
should leave this for Mount Yernon — but the case is other- 
wise — Congress are yet in Session, and although they talk of 
rising to-morrow, this may not be the case, and if it were 
other business will claim my attention for some days after 
the adjournment. — You will continue therefore to write, and 
send the. weekly reports to me as usual. — 

If lambs of any hind, have been sold from my flocks of 
sheep, it lias not only been done without my consent, but 
expressly contrary to my orders. — And sure I am, the money 
for which they were sold never found its way into my 
pockets ; nor is there credit for it in any accounts I have 
seen. — So far has it been from my practice, or policy to sell 
off the forward ewe lambs, that, in order to prevent it, I 
would not suffer any lambs to be disposed of at all unless it 
was the very latter runts. — My plan, while it was in my 
power to attend to these matters myself, was, to be sparing 
of the lambs even for my own table and never to kill the 
females ; to keep the ewe lambs (especially the latter ones) 
from the Rams the first year — to seperate the Rams from 
the ewes at sh[e]aring time (to be returned at a proper sea- 
son) — and, at sh[e]aring time also, to cull over, and remove 
to a pasture by themselves, all the sheep above a certain age, 
and all such as appeared to be upon the decline, that, after 
receiving the summers run, and such aid as could otherwise 
be afforded them, they might'be disposed of to the Butchers; 
reserving enough for the use of the family. — If lambs have 
been disposed of contrary to this plan, it has been done by 
the knavery of those who have availed themselves of the op- 


woriuiiity my absence lias afforded them, to do it. — It might 

|)C well therefore for you to enquire by whom lambs have been 
sold ;— and as you will see by the written agreements with 
my Overseers that they are not allowed to sell even a fowl, 
to charge them in explicit terms, not to depart from it. — The 
granting them this indulgence, was for their comfort on the 
farm ; but they have no right to raise anything thereon, of 
any sort, or kind whatsoever, for sale. — If therefore, as the. 
practice of this sort is contrary to agreement, they presume 
to sell one thing they may, and will be suspected of selling 
every thing they can do with impunity. — This reminds me, 
of what has often been in my intention to write about, and 
that is Mr. Stuarts selling Butter. — He is, I well remem- 
ber, allowed a certain part of the butter that is made on the 
farm, of course is entitled to the butter or the value of it ; 
but to avoid suspicion, he had better, both on his own account 
and mine, after taking out what he uses in his own family (and 
which he ought to account for) send all that is made, besides, 
to the Mansion house; and, as it will go from thence to 
Market, let him be allowed for his proportion the price it 
sells at. — Besides avoiding suspicion and evil reports, an- 
other good will be derived from this practice, and that is, 
that it will supercede the necessity of his wife's — or any 
other person's running to Alexandria to dispose of this arti- 
cle, or to enquire into the price of it. — That Mr. Stuarts con- 
duct in this business has not escaped censure you will see by 
the enclosed; but as I never entertained an unfavorable 
opinion of him, and always a very bad one of Green, I never 
mentioned the report to the former although, when the latter 
gave the information, I told him to commit what he had t<« 
say to writing, — charging him at the same time to say noth- 
ing that he could not prove, as he might bring himself into 
a scrape if he did. — I have no doubt of Mrs. Stuarts having 
furnished Butter for M c Knighfs Tavern, and if the quantity 
bears any proportion to what is asserted in the paper, that it 


lias been fraudulently done. — The account, I presume, is ex- 
agerated, otherwise instead of being content with one fourth 
(which if my memory serves me, is the part allowed him) }*e 
must have taken three fourths of it, at least. — But be the 
report true or false, it still shews the necessity of the 
measure I have advised, — In the first case, to guard me 
against such impositions; — and in the second, to secure his 
own character against suspicion and calumny. 

Mrs. Fanny Washington writes that the Cellar of my House 
in Alexandria wants paving, and to be drained, as it is very 
damp. — Let the first be done at any rate, and the latter if it 
shall appear necessary, as I presume it is. — You had better 
buy smooth,' and well burnt bricks in Town than to cany 
them up. — This job will afford another week for Davis and 
his attendants ; when one man, in this City, would begin and 
finish it (the materials being on the spot) in half a day. — 

A Mr. Oneil from Chester County in this state, will be at 
Mount Ternon by the time, or soon after this letter will have 
reached you. — He has a great opinion of a freestone quarry 
near my lime kiln, but a little up the Branch called Hell 
hole ; and I have authorised him to open it at his own ex- 
pence ; but have told him that if you have a hand or two 
that could be spared, and he would allow the same for them 
by the day, or month, that he gives to others, I had no 
objection to your doing it. — I am to be at no expence or 
trouble with him, and he has assured me, that the hands he 
takes from hence with him, shall be sober, honest, and well 
behaved. — If Tom Davis and Mucins could be spared from 
necessary work, they had best go ; for numbers will add 
nothing to the dispatch, of my work, whilst it is under tin- 
immediate inspection and direction of Tho s Green ; who, it 
appears indispensably necessary to me, should be superceded 
the moment you can get a good workman in whom con- 
fidence can be placed, to overlook them ; for the manner in 
which my Carpenters idle away their time, is beyond all 


forbearance. — Twelve Carpenters in this City, would have 
built every house which is on my lot in Alexandria (from the 
foundation ) in less time than mine were employed in the few 
repairs they received ; but from the habits of idleness which 
they have contracted, and the bad examples of Green, noth- 
ing better 1 am sure is to be expected from them while they 
are under his management. 

I am Your friend &c l 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia June 15 th 1794. 
Me. Feakce, 

Your letter of the 8 th with its enclosures I received yester- 
day.— If nothing, unforeseen by me at present, intervenes to 
prevent it, I shall leave this City for Mount Vernon the day 
after tomorow ; (tuesday) but as the weather is warm, my 
horses fat and out of exercise, and I may have occasion to 
stop a day on the road, it is not probable I shall reach home 
before Sunday or Monday next. — I shall have two white 
waiters with me — one a hostler, who may sleep over the Store, 
in the room usually occupied by Mr. Whiting. — the other at- 
tends particularly on me, and may have a bed made for him 
in the Garrot (South end) in the room without a fire place.- - 

Try the Turnip seed, in order to prove its goodness ; — for 
it is provoking to be at the trouble and expence of preparing 
irround for seed that never vegitates. — 

As I expect to see you so soon, I shall add nothing more at 
this time than that 1 am 

Your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia July 13 th 1794. 
Mr. Peaece, 

Your letter of the 9 th , with the Reports of the preceeding 
week came to my hands yesterday. — I arrived in this City 
myself on Monday ; made rather worse by my journey, and 
a wetting I got on the Boad on Saturday ; having travelled 
all day through a constant Rain. — 

I am sorry to hear that the wet weather continues to throw 
your work backward — especially plowing — as I am sensible 
you have much of it to do, and all of it pressing to be done ; — 
for if the Buck Wheat is not plowed in while it is in a green 
and succulent state, to have had it on the ground will prove 
an injury, instead of a benefit ; because it is from the juices 
of this plant that the putrefaction and fermentation proceeds, 
and causes it to become a manure. — If the plant therefore is 
suffered to stand until the straw gets dry and hard, it returns 
nothing to the earth, but on the contrary draws much from 
it. — It is high time also that the Buck Wheat intended for 
Seed, was in the ground ; as the usual time of sowing it, in 
these parts for a crop, is from the first to the 15 th of this 
month. — These two things in addition to the necessary work- 
ing of the Corn for the double purpose of keeping it clean. 
and preparing the ground for the "Wheat, will require all your 
skill and exertion : — and I am well persuaded you will use 
both to the best advantage for my interest if all cannot, from 
wet weather, or other causes be accomplished in due season. — 

It would be matter of regret if the Oats should have sus- 
tained injury from the weather we have had, or may have : 
as the Crop looked very promising when I left home. — Begin 
to cut them early, standing in a few bundles, or sheafs to- 
gether, will ripen them without injury if they are not suffi- 
ciently so when cut. — 

The Grass too, will, by this time, stand in need of the 


Scythes; and I hope all the Hay that can, will be made, and 
all spots (in the new meadows) not sufficiently covered — will 
be replenished abundantly with good seed, and scratched in 
with Harrows, or rakes with Iron teeth. — It is much my wish 
to have the meadows well set with grass ; and the sprouts 
from stumps, weeds and all other trash exterminated. — These 
things cannot, I am sensible, be done in a moment, nor per- 
haps as soon as I wish, or expect them: — but to set about 
them vigorously, is the only sure means of accomplishing 
them. — So much meadow ground as I have, and can make, 
may, I am certain be turned to considerable profit. — Capt n 
Conway of Alexanciy from a small spot of ground near the 
Town, sells I am told four hundred pounds worth of Hay 
annually. — 

I wish you not to mistake my meaning about the Lots in 
the Mill swamp. — Putting them in Corn, was not for the sake 
of the Crop of this article they would bring ; but for the pur- 
pose of cleansing and preparing them for grass ; if therefore 
you repeat them in the parts that do not stand in need of such 
cleansing, you will exhaust the soil and render it unlit for the 
primary object I have in view for them — viz — Meadow, which 
I repeat, and am particular in doing so, that you may have a 
full and comprehensive understanding of my plan. — The low, 
and wet part of these lots it is, that have not, and I am per- 
suaded could not, last spring, be prepared for Corn, that T 
would have put into; and continued in this Crop until it is 
sufficiently reclaimed, and rendered fit for grass ; — whilst the 
older parts of them which do not stand in need of this clean- 
sing may be sowed with irrass-seeds as soon as you have it 

1 Either Richard (Mayor of Alexandria in 1800) or Joseph Conway, Lieut. 
under Washington in the Revolution. They were relatives of President 
Madison's mother, Nelly Conway, whose paternal home was at Port Conway 
on the Rappahannock. They were descended from Col. Edwin Conway, 
of Lancaster, Ya. (1G83-17G4), of the Virginia House of Lurgcsses. Col. 
Edwin m. Anne, half-sister of Mary Washington, and his daughter Mary 
married James Bail, of the same family. 


in your power to do it without exhausting it more by tillage. 
— Some part of the present mowing ground, particularly from 
the bridge leading to M c Koys house, up to the Wheat en- 
closure, ought, when the Meadows below, and at Union Farm 
are in good mowing order, and well set with grass, to be broke 
up and put in something that will destroy the coarse and sour 
grass which grows thereon — being first sufficiently drained — 
and all the low part of the field above it, which was in Wheat, 
produced exceeding fine Timothy before it got foul, which 
was the cause of my putting it in Corn and then laying it, or 
intending to lay it to grass again ; which, if not taken, as I 
understood to be the case, I would have well set with it, as 
soon as you can. — In a word, and to be short on the article 
of grass-grounds, my wish is, to lay all down to it, for com- 
mon meadow, that will produce Hay to any advantage (as 
Hay either for feeding or selling is profitable) but then, my 
wish also is, to compleat as I go ; — by this I mean, that I hail 
rather have one lot or acre laid to grass in perfect order 
(smooth for the scythe and free from trash of every kind) 
than two lots or acres incommoded by stumps, sprouts from 
stumps, Briers, or other things w ch serve to spoil the cutting, 
and to injure the Hay when made ; — and of course the sale. — 
Those parts of the large meadow inclosure at Union farm 
which were in the drilled "Wheat, have laid to grass as soon 
as you are able, that there may be no bald, or naked places 
within it. — 

I am sensible that I express my wishes faster than they can 
be accomplished — but by keeping them steadily in view you 
will fulfill them as fast as time and seasons will permit ; and 
this is all I can expect or do desire. — But in order that my 
directions, when given, may not escape you, read my letter.- 
over frequently ; or take from them at the time they are re- 
ceived such parts by way of Memorandums to refresh your 
memory occasionally, as are necessary. — 

It is my wish and desire that everything requisite for my 


house in Alexandria, may be done without delay ; that Mrs. 
Fanny Washington may remove to it as soon as she pleases. -— 
Besides paving the Cellars, and laying a floor in one end of 
the Stable she proposed to have some place railed up, or done 
up, in some other manner, higher than usual, to secure her 
Wood from being pilfered ; this you may cause to be done. — 
The floors want to be smoothed over with a plane and the 
painting made good, after which I know of nothing to hinder 
her going into it for it can be papered as well after, as before 
she goes into it. — 

I observed the Hearth below in that House and it might 
be the same above, was of brick and badly laid. — Get Mr. 
Oneill to prepare slabs in one or two pieces, according to the 
size of the stone, from the quarry he is working at Mount 
Vernon, to replace the brick and let them be bordered as 
usual by mitreed pieces of Wood for the flooring Plank to 
butt against instead of running the ends of the plank up to 
the Brick or Stone as is the case there I perceive.' — 

If any Butter lias been made in the ZS'eck (that is at River 
farm) or else where to spare, let her have it, or part of it 
when she removes; and send her up a boat load of Wood also 
to begin with, — but this is not to be continued — or to be 
looked for as a matter of course. — 

I mentioned to Mr. Oneill and I believe before you — that 
an account of all the Stone that went from my Quarry was 
to be regularly kept, that I might know how to settle for it 
hereafter; — and although I have no reason to suspect that he 
would render an unfair, or short account of it, common pru- 
dence requires that you should see it measured before it goes 
from the Quarry ; and this is easily done as it is always 
perched for this purpose ; desire him therefore, whenever he 
is about to send any away to give you notice thereof that you 
may step down, measure, and charge it to him, or the person 
for whose use it is quarried. — 

I either misunderstood Peter, or he told me that several of 


the Mules w ch are returned in the Mansion house Iteport, 
and which I did not intend should be used without pre- 
viously communicating the matter to me, has actually been 
put to the Plough ; although no longer ago than last October 
I supplied every Farm with a compleat set of Plow beasts 
(Horses or Mules). — If the Mules are to be taken in this man- 
ner, I shall never raise them to be of any value. — for to take 
them at two or three years old and work them until they can 
hardly walk alone, is ruining of them to all intents and pur- 
poses, and I desire a stop may be put to the practice. — Es- 
pecially as I see no prospect of keeping up my Stock of them, 
notwithstanding the immense expence I have run myself to 
in providing Mares for the purpose of breeding them. — From 
Peter also I was told (but this might be by way of excuse 
for his own neglect in not attending properly to them in the 
covering season) that almost all the Mares had slunk their 
foals ; — and he mentioned an instance of this happening to a 
valuable Mare sent from the Mansion house to Dogue run, 
and rid by M c Koy into the Forest, doing it the night he 
quitted her back. — My hurry the morning I left home (for it 
was just before that I received this information upon enquir- 
ing what prospect I had for Colts this year) prevented my 
mentioning the matter to you. --Night rides, and treading 
Wheat will forever deprive me of Foals.— But a few years 
ago I bought, and sent from Lancaster and other places in 
this State ike 1 , 27 large Mares for the sole purpose of breed- 
ing mules — never intending that one of them should be put 
to work — having in the year 1TS9 before I left home for 
New York, compleatly stocked all my farms [with] work 
horses, and left many Mares besides for breeding. — Since 
that period (not more than five years) it has taken all the sur- 
plus of the old stock, just mentioned — the 27 Mares bought 
for breeding, and for no other purpose, and all the Mules 
(for at that time there was not one in use) to supply the de- 
ficiencies which have been occasioned by the rascally treat- 


ment I have experienced from my Overseers; and the want 
of attention in mv Managers, during my absence from home 
since the period of 17S9 above mentioned. — This I know- 
does not apply to you, and it is only mentioned to shew in 
what manner I have been abused, and how necessary it i> 
that you should guard me against the like in future. — 

Unless you are able to accomplish the business without, 
Sarah had better I conceive (after your grain and Hay har- 
vests are over) be brought to the House again, until you see 
your way perfectly clear to get all the articles of clothing for 
the Negroes, ready in due season. — 

Mr. Lund Washington's receipt for the five hundred pounds 
came safe to my hands. 1 

I hear with concern, but not unexpectedly, of the illness of 
your eldest daughter. — That she could not without a change 
for the better survive the indisposition with which she has 
been afflicted, long, was the opinion of all who saw her; and, 
in a degree, I presume must have been your own. — So far 
then you must be prepared for the unfortunate event ; and 
'tho nature, at so awful a trial, must shrink for a time, reason 
and reflection will produce resignation to a decree, against 
which there is no controal. 

It is but justice to acknowledge to you, that so far as I was 
able, from the hurt which confined me whilst I was at Mount 
Vernon, 2 to look into my business, I was well satisfied with 
your conduct, and I am persuaded I shall have no cause to 
complain of it in future. — Good judgment and experimental 
knowledge properly exerted, never can when accompanied 
with integrity and zeal, go wrong. — These qualifications you 
have the character of possessing, and I place confidence 

1 Appendix H. 

s "An exertion to save myself and "horse from falling among the rocks at 
the Lower Falls of the Potomac, whither I went on Sunday morning to see 
the Canal and locks, has wrenched my hack in such a manner as to prevent 
my riding." — Letter to Edmund Randolph, 25 June I7'J-i. 

Mr. Pearce, 


Philadelphia July 20 th 1794. 

Yesterday brought me your letter, and the Reports of the 
proceeding week ; — the first dated the 10 th inst* and the other 
the 1 2 th .— 

Frequent Tlains at this season, if they do not fall too 


therein. — My favorite objects, as I have often repeated to 
you, are to recover my land from the gullied and exhausted 
state into which it has been unfortunately thrown for some 
years back. — To lay down all the low and swampy lands to 
grass, and be it little or much, to*do it well. — To have Clover 
lots sufficient for Soiling Work horses and Cattle, and for 
other purposes. — To substitute as fast as possible hedges and 
live fences in place of dead ones, and of any thing that 
will make them. — To be attentive to my stock of all spe- 
cies and descriptions, taking care to improve and increase 
them to the full extent of your pasturage, beyond which 
although you might raise food for their winter support, it 
would be folly to go. — And lastly, to look as much as possi- 
ble into the little, as well as the greater concerns of y° farms; 
for more is wasted and lost from an omission in not doing the 
first than any one is aware of, when they examine the aggre- 
gate amount of Trifles. — To improve also every thing into 
manure that will make it — is among the considerations to be 
attended to. 

I remain Your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Mrs. Washington desires you will send her by the first 
Vessel to this place one doz n of the best Hams, and half a 
doz 11 Midlings of Bacon. — Weigh the whole and send me the 
Account of it. — 

G. W. 


heavily, nor are of too long a continuance, will be the 
making of the Corn and Buckwheat; but if they arc of .-uc-h 
a nature as to prevent plowing it will be bad; however, it 
may so happen, that if you cannot plow in one place, you 
may, nevertheless, do it in another, and so pressing as this 
work is, it would be better to shift from one field, or part of 
a field to another, than to let it be at a stand. 

As I do not perceive by the Reports that any part of the 
Wheat is drawn in, or stacked, let the shocks be frequently 
examined to see that no injury is sustained by the sprouting 
of the grain which (however well shocked) it is apt to do, 
when rains are more frequent than Sunshine. — 

How does the quantity, and quality of the Oats appear to 
turn out, since harvesting of them ? — And how does the New 
Meadows look, and appear to have been taken with grass, 
since they have been cut. — I wish much to have them well 
covered with Timothy, or Timothy and clover according to 
the nature of the ground. — 

Remember to give John the Gardener a dollar, the last day 
of every Month, provided he behaves well — letting him know 
that it is on that express condition he is to receive it. — And 
if a suit of Cloaths of tolerable good cloth, made to his own 
taste, will keep him in good humour, let him be endulged 
with them. — If by his conduct he merits these things, I shall 
not begrudge them to him. — 

I am glad to hear your daughter is better — 'Tis possible 
her disorder may have come to a crisis, and taken a favorable 
turn ; — but it will be best, notwithstanding, to make up your 
mind for the worst, unless the appearances are unequivocal* 
lest they should prove delusive, which is not uncommon in a 
case like hers. — 

What is the matter with Betty Davis, and Doll at Union 
Farm, that they are—more than half their time— placed on 
the sick list? — 

I hope particular care has been taken of the Grass Seeds in 



the little garden by the Salt house — and of those also in tl 

Vineyard — that a fair experiment may be made of the value 

of them. — I am of opinion that the everlast ff Pea w d make a 

good Hay also. — I remain 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 
P. S.— July 21 st . 

The writer of the enclosed note has just been with me, and 
is to call this Afternoon with his Touchers, when I shall 
have further conversation with him. — He is a tolerably good 
looking man and has the appearance of an active one — but 
how far any man, unacquainted with Xegros, is capable of 
managing of them, is questionable. — But let me know 
whether you have made any agreement yet with Crow, 
M c Koy, or Butler or any others, as Overseers — and if not 
suspend doing it till you hear further from me, which prob- 
ably may be by next "Wednesday's Post. 


Philadelphia July 27 th 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 23 d and the reports, have been duly re- 
ceived. — 

The ideas which I expressed in one of my late letters, 
respecting the cultivation (in Corn) of the lots in the Mill 
swamp, were not intended to forbid the practice in all parts 
where it was necessary, to cleanse and prepare them for 
grass ; — but to let you sec that Corn was not so much an 
object with me, as Meadow ; — and that I did not want the 
old parts of those lots so much exhausted by cultivation, in 
Corn, as to be made unfit for the produce of grass — or at least 
of becoming good pasture. — Knowing this to be my plan, and 
my desire, I have no objection to your cultivating any part, 
and every part of the lot which is in Corn this year, again 


m that article, that may require it, and fit it better for the 
purpose it is ultimately intended. — Rut I must again express 
my desire that the work be eompleated as you go; if the 
seasons (which I know are all in all in this business) will 
permit it ; — for to have part of the inclosure in grass and 
part in rushes, alders and other Shrubs, is not only an eye 
sore, but is a real disadvantage ; as they are continually en- 
croaching on the mowing ground. — This is the case in the lot 
nearest the Mill Eoad — and in the one next above, which 
you talk of laying to grass this fall. — These places (adjoining 
the Mill race) more especially, it is, I want to have tended in 
Corn, until they are perfectly reclaimed; that the whole of 
the lots may be in good grass, and have a uniform appear- 
ance ; even the very bed of the run I could wish to have 
cleared up, so as to leave no growth there, to extend its in- 
fluence. — After giving you this explanation of my wishes, I 
leave it altogether to your own judgment w T hat parts to tend 
next year, and what not, in Corn. — 

Does your Corn continue to grow, shoot well, and look 
promising? — The season is now come when rain, or drought, 
is to make or mar the Crop ; — a drought even now, when 
the Corn is beginning to fill, will produce a very scanty 
crop. — 

Let particular care be taken of the seed of the rare ripe 
corn I sent home ; it will be fine for the wet grounds which 
cannot be planted early, next Spring. — 

I would not have you forego engaging any Overseer you 
may stand in need of, on ace* of the farmer I mentioned to 
you in my last. — I should be affraid to commit one of the 
farms to his management without some previous trial ; — and 
as there will be no opening for him before Christmas, it 
could not suit him to wait ; — and besides, upon the enquiry 
I have made into his late pursuits, I find he has been a good 
deal of a Rover. — Was Butler away, he might suit the home 
house very well, as he appears to be (though middle aged) an 


active man ; and says, if he was put on a place he would not 
stir from it from years end to years end. — He appears, from 
Lis vouchers, to have been a sort of household Steward, as 
well as farmer, and might therefore be useful at the mantion 
house if Butler was not emraffed at that place. — 

Was irrass seed sown with the Flax at Union farm?— or do 
you propose to sow the whole of that enclosure at one and 
the same time % — 

How does Mr. McNeil (Oneil I believe I should have said) 
like the appearance of the Quarry at Mount Vernon as he 
uncovers it ? — and has he begun yet to raise stone? — 

If you will pay particular attention to the conduct of the 
Overseers, or plowmen, with respect to the treatment of the 
young Mules, I have no objection, when there is a real ne- 
cessity for it, to their being used, gently, at three years old. 
because they ought to be handled at that time, to prevent 
their becoming obstinate, and restive ; — but to use them as 
mine hitherto have been, is to all intents and purposes their 
inevitable destruction. — A Mule does not come to his strength 
until he is eight or nine years old, nor said to be in his 
prime until he is 12 or 15 ; — to put them in the plough 
therefore when they are rising three, and work them as my 
Overseers have done mine, as they would have done a dray 
horse in his prime — is, in one word, an infallible mean to 
prevent me from raising any to be valuable; — whereas with 
proper usage, and due care, they would serve well for thirty 
odd years. — 

Is there anything particular in the cases of Ruth, Hannah, 
and Pegg, that they have been returned sick for several 
weeks together ? — Ruth I know is extremely deceitful ; — she 
has been aiming for some time past to get into the house, 
exempt from work ; but if they are not made to do what 
their age and strength will enable them, it will be a very bad 
example to others — none of whom would work if by pretexts 
they can avoid it. — 


Having said nothing of your daughters health, in your last 
letter, I hope she is Letter. — I wish von both well, and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


German Town Aug* 3 d 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I removed to this place on Wednesday last, in order to 
avoid the heat of the City of Philadelphia. — It is probable I 
shall remain here until about the middle of September — but 
letters will come to me as regularly as if I had remained in 
the City.— 

Your letter of the 27 th ult°, and the reports, I received yes- 
terday as usual ; and wish the rains we have been complain- 
ing of, may not be much wanted before the end of this 
month ; as the weather since that fall, has put on the appear- 
ance of drought — which, if it happens, will be almost as in- 
jurious to the Crop of Corn as if those rains had not fallen. — 

If your Corn ground has <rot foul by the rains which have 
fallen, or even if they are not perfectly clean, I had rather, 
although it will inevitably delay your seeding, put off sowing- 
Wheat — or any tiling else indeed — until it is clean, light and 
in good order for the reception of them : — for I have never 
found anything but disappointed hopes from a contrary prac- 
tice ; — which has long decided me in an opinion that to aim 
at the cultivation of more ground than one can, under almost 
any circumstances, master completely, is not the certain way 
to make sure, or even large Crops ; but an infallible one to 
destroy the land. — I have long been convinced moreover, 
that if the same labour, and expence of manure, &c* (which 
in the common mode of management in Virginia) was be- 
stowed on 50 acres of land, that is now scattered over an 100, 
that the former would be more profitable and productive to 


the owner. — What I would be understood to mean by this, is, 
that afield not more than half prepared for a crop — the Crop 
not more than half tilled — and the ground but indifferently 
manured, will not produce as much as the half of it would, 
if these were bestowed in full proportion to the requirements 
of the land. — If ones means is equal to the accomplishment 
of the whole there can be no doubt — in that case— but that 
the whole will double the half. — All I mean to express is that 
whatever is attempted, should be well executed as it respects 
Crops — and as it respects meadows and other improvements, 
to complete, and make good as one goes. — It was not my in- 
tention to apply what I have here said, to the state in which 
you have described your Corn ground to be under from so 
much rain, or to any particular case ; but as general observa- 
tions which I am persuaded will hold good in all cases.— An 
essential object with every farmer ought to be the destruction 
of weeds. — His arable and pasture gr ds should produce nothing 
but grain, pulse if he raises them, vegitables of different 
sorts, according to his designs, and grasses. — Xothins; then 
but deep and frequent plowing, hoeing, and hand weeding, 
can eradicate weeds; and such other trash as foul, and ex- 
haust the fields, and diminish the Crops : and these, neither 
in season, in quantity, or quality can be given, if more is un- 
dertaken than the force and means are competent to. — I am 
idad to hear that the young Timothv is be^innino- to shew it- 
self in the New Afeadows. — It is an ardent wish of mine to 
have the whole well covered with grass — free from sprouts 
and weeds, and smooth for the scythe. — How does the Clover 
which was sown with the Oats at Mansion house come on ? — 
Does the Potatoes at that place look well ? — and what is the 
general appearance of them at the Farms? — 

Crow has been applying to Colonel Ball (near Leesburgh 
in Loudoun County) for a place — if therefore, he or M c I£oy 
remains, it will only be because (after enquiry) they find they 
cannot do better. — I would have you therefore, make your 


agreements with whomsoever you may think will answer your 
purposes on the Eastern shore, or elsewhere, conclusive ; 
otherwise you may meet with some disappointment; and at 
a late hour perhaps, he ohliged to put up with any you can 
get. — For your own ease and satisfaction, I am persuaded you 
will endeavor to provide men of good character ; and such as 
have the reputation of being industrious, sober, and knowing 
in the management of Negros, and other concerns of a farm. 
— These things being ascertained to your own satisfaction, is 
all I require ; as you know what has been, or ought to be 
given for such Overlookers as I stand in need of. — 

It seems to me, to be indispensibly necessary that some 
person should be engaged in place of Thomas Green, to look 
after my Carpenters ; for in the maimer they conduct under 
his superintendancy, it would be for my interest to set them 
free, rather than give them victuals and cloaths. — James, by 
the Reports, has been 9 days I perceive, in plaining the floors 
of the house in town — Muclus (besides what was done to it 
before) six days paving, and sanding the Cellar which a man 
in Philadelphia w d have done in less than as many hours. — 
Davis eight or nine days papering, and so on : — whilst Green 
himself, and the others, appear determined (as it would seem 
to me) to make the new house at Union farm a standing job 
for the Summer; — as the chimney, and underpinning will, 
more than probably be, for Davis the same time. — When this 
last work is done, that is, underpinning the house, it must be 
remembered that air holes is left in it, to prevent the Sleepers 
from rotting. — 

It may not be amiss to say beforehand, that no trifling 
character ^unless he means to tread in the footsteps of Green) 
will do for an Overlooker of these workmen. — Besides the 
usual requisites of skill, honesty, sobriety and industry, he 
must be a man of temper; firmness, and resolution. — for it is 
not to be expected that men who have been in the habits of 
such extreme idleness so long, probably of a great deal of 


villainy, can be recovered from it without prudent manage- 
ment, and much resolution, properly tempered. — I do not 
mean that a person in the place of Green should he employed 
before his year expires, unless his conduct, in the meantime 
should, in your judgment, indispensibly require it. — 

I would not have you engage any person in the room of 
Butler yet, though it would be but fair and candid to let him 
know, that by his age, inactivity, and unacquaintedness with 
the management of Negros, it would not suit me to continue 
him longer than for the term he stands engaged, at present. — 
If it suits him equally to go away before the expiration of 
that term, I would, in that case, write to the farmer I have 
mentioned to you in my two last letters, to see if he is still 
disen^a^ed, and would e;o there — But unless Butler's inclina- 
tion leads him to go, I shall neither require it, nor write to 
the other. — 

As soon as you are able to fix up on the precise time at 
which you shall leave Mount Yernon for the Eastern shore, 
mention it in a letter, and when it is probable you will be 
back, that I may regulate my letters accordingly. — 

The Bacon and other things which you sent up to Alex- 
andria are arrived in good order, in the City of Philadel- 
phia. — 

I have nothing more to add than that, as this is the critical 
month for Corn, which is also a plant that is subject to great 
and sudden changes, my desire is that you will mention the ap- 
pearance of it in every letter you write. — I want also to know 
how the Buck "Wheat, sown for Seed, has come up, and looks \ 
— and whether, of that you turned in as a manure, there was 
seed enough ripe to stock the ground again with this plant. — 
I am 

Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 



German Town Ausf 10 th 1794. 
Mr. Pearci:, 

I have duly received your letter of the 3 d , with the reports 
of the preceding week. — 

If you think the Oat ground at River farm, will not be too 
much drawn by a succeeding Crop of Wheat, for Clover ; 1 
have no objection to your sowing it with Wheat. — but I have 
serious doubts on this head ; and doubts equally serious of 
another kind, — viz — that on such stiff and baking land as mine 
is, sowing Clover on Wheat, in the Spring, (or which is still 
better, on light Snows in the Month of January or February) 
will rarely answer. — A proof of this you have had both at 
Dogue Bun and Union Farm the present year ; and to the 
best of my recollection I have not been much more successful 
in former years. — But I leave it to you to act in this case 
according to your own judgment. — (As I have understood 
from you, that your own land is equally stiff with mine, you 
will know better how to manage the latter than if it had been 

It is my wish to lay the ground you speak of to Clover as 
soon as possibly it can be put into condition to bear it, to any 
advantage ; — for until this happens, the seed is, in a manner, 
thrown away ; and an expence, without profit, is incurred. — 

When the Money becomes due, for the flour sold in Alex- 
andria, receive the same ; — take from it what your necessities 
may require ; — and deposit the rest in the Bank at that place: 
where it will be ready for my call, or any order I may give 
concerning it: inform me thereof. — I do not perceive by the 
Spinning report, that any of the Girls are employed in mak- 
ing woolen cloaths for the people : — nor do I know what cloth 
you have on hand (from the Weavers) for this purpose. — All 
ought to be ready by the first of ^November, to deliver to 
them. — 


I do not, at this distance, pretend to determine when 3-011 r 
people, generally, will have most leizure for the purpose, but 
this I can determine, that whenever it does happen, all hands 
that can be spared, ought to be employed on the Xew Race 
to the Mill ; — for the time spent in repairing the old Race 
after every Rain, would go a good way towards the comple- 
tion of the new one ; — besides the great saving of water. — 

If you think the Fall a better time to sow the Seeds which 
have been saved from the little garden, and the Vineyard, 
than the Spring, I could wish to have it done, as I am ex- 
tremely anxious to encrease the quantity of each as fast as 
I am able ; — particularly the Sainfoin ; but if, on the other 
hand, the Spring is thought the safest season, the sowing 
may be delayed until that period : — vh ch , on one acc fc , would 
be convenient, as I wish to sow them in squares in the lot 
now in Potatoes at the Mansion house. — 

Desire the Gardener to save as much seed as he can from 
the everlasting Pea, in the Vineyard. — I cannot but be of 
opinion that this Pea, cut young, w r ill make an excellent 
Hay. — The quantity of it will be great — and its continuance 
in the ground, long. — Kor do I believe it requires very strong 
land to produce it. 

I am — Your friend & ct 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Sow the early, that is the drilled Wheat, in good ground 
and in good time, that the most that can, may be made of 

If there is nothing in the ground (in the little garden) ad- 
joining to the few plants of Sainfoin, you might put one half 
the seed of that plant which the Gardener saved therein — let 
the rows be about 12 inches apart — and the seed very thin in 
the Rows — the other half may be kept for Spring sowing to 
take both seasons. 



German Town Aiig* 17 th ITi'-l. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 10 th has been duly received, and i am 
•dad to find bv it that your Corn still retains a favorable 
appearance, and that the ground on which it grows is in 
tolerable good order for the reception of Wheat.— I wish it 
had been in perfect order, as I have no idea of the propriety 
of seeding where it is not. — You have not yet answered a 
question in one of my late letters — viz — whether the Buck 
Wheat which had been plowed in for Manure, had so seeded 
the ground as to bring forward a second crop of that article, 
for the same purpose — that is, for manure. — 

I cannot with certainty recollect, whether I saw the India 
hemp growing when I was last at Mount "Vernon ;• — but think 
it was in the Vineyard ; — somewhere I hope it was sown, and 
therefore desire that the seed may be saved in due season 
and with as little loss as possible: — that, if it be valuable, I 
may make the most of it. — 

What appearance does the Potatoes, which the Gardener 
attempted to raise from the Sprouts, put on at this time : 
and what are they likely to come to, compared with such as 
might have been produced in the same ground, planted at 
the same time, in the usual way. — 

When I was at home, an application was made to me by 
Kate at Muddy hole (through her husband, Will) to serve 
the Negro Women (as a Grany) on my estate; iutiiuutii-isr 
that she was full as well qualified for this purpose as those 
into whose hands it was entrusted; and to whom 1 was pay- 
ing twelve or £15 a year; and why she should not be s<>. J 
know not; but wish you to cause some enquiry to be made 
into this matter, and commit this business to her, ii there- 
upon yon shall be satisfied of her qualifications. — This ser- 
vice, formerly, was always performed by a Negro woman 


belonging to the estate, — but latterly, until now, none seemed 
disposed to undertake it. 

I perceive by the George Town Gazette, that the Potomac 
Company, by their Treasurer William Hartshorn of Alex- 
andria, has called upon the holders of Shares in that Naviga- 
tion for twelve pounds ster g each, to be paid on, or before 
the first day of next month (September). — I hold five shares 
in this Company, which will make the call upon me £60 
Ster g which is to be discharged at an exchange of 33-J p r G ; 
w ch amounts to about £80 Yirg a Curr y or 206f doll 1 " 5 .— Let 
this sum be paid by the day, or I shall have interest to pay 
for every day it runs over. — You will pay it out of the 
money due for the Flour which was sold in Alexandria, and 
w ch 1 desired should be placed in the Bank. 

Xot having Col° Lyles Bond by me, I cannot make a clear 
statement of the matter in my Books, without knowing the 
precise condition of it. — I therefore desire you will send me 
an exact copy of the condition of the said bond, with the 
date thereof, in your first letter. — 

I do not conceive that you will sustain any loss in parting 
with Crow — for a mans abilities, or knowledge of business is 
of little avail if they are not exerted; or if he suffers in- 
dolence, oi- amusements to overcome them — and a bad temper 
to keep all around him in a state of disquietude which was 
too much the case with him, as well as loss of Stock and 
injury to other things, by his inattentions and neglect. — Do 
what you think best with M c Koy, but recollect always, that 
the season for providing good overseers is passing away, and 
none will be to be had late, except such as, with difficulty, 
can get places at all :— yet, I had rather you should take the 
chance of the Eastern shore before yon engage any on the 
other shore or round ab fc you ; 'as they are more accustomed 
to farming. — But it may not be amiss to let it be generally 
known, before you go to the Eastern shore, that you are in 
want of Overseers; that if you fail to obtain any, while 


there, your chance may be the better after you return. — } 
have not the smallest doubt but that a considerable portion 
of the materials which falls into the hands of Green, and 
those under him, are applied to purposes of their own. — A 
letter is enclosed for Butler, who must take his own way. — 
as to goins: or staying. 

I hope your sick daughter has got well again. — I am Your 
friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 

What rare ripe corn will you be able to save from what 1 
sent home last Spring ? in part of an Ear. — ■ 


German Town 24 th Aug fc 94. 
Mr. Pearce, 

In reply to your letter of the 16 th which, with the reports, 
came duly to hand, I have only to observe that it never was 
my intention to withdraw the hands from other essential 
work to employ them on the New Mill-Race ; on the con- 
trary I only wish that this job may be prosecuted at times — 
and at all times, when their other avocations will permit it, 
without detriment. — No work is more essential, nor is their 
any that can be more pleasing to me, than that of getting the 
meadows in nice order ; — of course, employing the Ditchers 
to effect this cannot but be satisfactory. 

I wish the Overseer you have lately engaged may turn out 
well. — The Masons 1 may judge tolerably of his industry, but 
they are very incompetent (in my opinion) to decide on his 

1 Of the adjoining estate, "Hollin Hall," residence of Thomson Mason, 
an eminent lawyer (3d son of George Mason of Gunston). Thomson Mason s 
estate is mentioned in Washington's Will. Stafford County was the earlier 
home of the Masons, and was for many years represented by an earlier 
Thomson Mason. Washington's neighbor was father of the eminent Sena- 
tor, Stevens Thomson Mason, and grandfather of the Hon. Armstead T. 
Mason. (Appendix I.) 


skill in any of the branches of farming — particularly those 
of Mcadowing, grazing, and the care of stock ; — being plant- 
ers themselves and little used to either. — However, if he i< 
sober, honest, industrious and docile, he may do under your 
immediate instructions, if j^ou can keep him always with his 
people (and this I hope you will do) and make him be atten- 
tive to your orders and whatsoever is trusted to his care, es- 
pecially work horses and Cattle. 

Alexandria will bo no good school for Pine ; and if you 
can find by enquiry after his having been there, that he falls 
into bad habits, or bad company, do not be concerned with 
him, let his promises be what they may ; for these will fol- 
low him to Mount Vernon, where I would have neither intro- 
duced. — I am under no sort of obligation to him, and there- 
fore he can have no cause to complain if lie is not employed 
by me. 

Enclosed is a letter from Mr. Butler. — On what ground he 
can expect further compensation than the agreement stipu- 
lates, I am at a loss to conceive. — He will recollect that he 
represented himself to me as a person who had, and was 
qualified to superintend, a large concern. — Under this idea it 
is highly probable I might, and I dare say did, tell him that 
if he was found competent to it, on trial, that he would be 
entrusted with the management of one of the Farms, where 
the wages were higher than could be afforded at the Man- 
sion house — but has this been the case? — On the contrary, 
has it not been found, from experience, that from his age, 
inactivity, and want of: authority, he is incompetent to the 
present concern, with which he was entrusted ; and for these 
reasons I part with him ? and They are, surely, a sufficient bar 
to his application ; — unless, as possibly is the case, he means 
not to be charged with the money which was given to him 
to bear his expences from Philadelphia to Mount Vernon. — 
This I did not intend to do ; and further, if he goes away be- 
fore the expiration of the year, he may, notwithstanding, re- 


ceive the whole wages of one ; — what agreement you made 
with liim for the last year, I know not — I always supposed he 
was on the same lay as the year before ; and this must cer- 
tainly be understood if no new agreement was made. — 

Is Groves a married or single man ? — If the former, what 
family has he ? 

How did your Turnips come up ? and what is the present 
appearance of them for a Crop ? — -What is the matter with 
your youngest daughter ? and how is your eldest now ? 
I remain Your friend &c t 

G° Washington. 


German Town 31 st of Aug* 1704. 
Mr. Pearce, 

In your last letter of the 24 th inst fc , came a copy of the con- 
ditions of Col Lyles Bond ; but you did not give the date of 
it ; for which reason the purpose it was wanted for, cannot 
be accomplished until the date is transmitted. — 

In one of the early letters I wrote to you, I pointed out a 
method, which if you would observe, it would be impossible 
to omit any thing to which an answer was required : — that is, 
when you are going to write, take up the letter, and in read- 
ing it, make a short note of every part as you come to it, on 
the back of a letter, a piece of waste paper; or Slate, to which 
a reply is necessary. — Having gone through the letter in this 
manner, you begin your own ; and note after note, as the 
contents are inserted in your letter, is scratched out. — By 
this means no part of a long letter can ever escape notice ; by 
not carrying the whole in your memory, when you sit down 
to write, or by being called off* while you are writing it. — 

You have not, in any of your letters, said any thing of 
what you had done, or was about to do, respecting the drilled 
Wheat and Barley. — I would have you make the most you 


can of the first, — and give the other another fair trial ; for if 
it yields on my Estate in the proportion that Wheat does to 
T Barley in this Country, the culture of the latter must be 
more profitable than that of the former. — Whenever the sow- 
ing of any field is compleated, let it be noted in the Weekly 
report ; with the quantity of Seed which has been given to 

The usual practice on those who have been siezed with the 
ague and fever, has been, after the third fit, or as soon as it 
intermits regularly, to give an emetic, which often carries it 
away without the Bark, or other application. — 

The land Mr. Gunnel speaks of, lyes in Loudoun County, 
although it is within IS or 20 miles of Alexandria — But if 
the facts which he relates with respect to the Trespass thereon 
can be clearly proved, request Col° Simms of Alexandria, or 
any other who practices in Loudoun Court, and is well recom- 
mended to you, to bring suit against them : — for it is really 
shameful to be treated in the manner I am by people who 
take such liberties with my timber and wood during my ab- 
sence — under a supposition they may do it with impunity. — 

You may inform Mr. Pierce Bailey that my selling, or 
not selling that tract, depends upon getting the terms of my 
asking, complied with. — These are Fifteen hundred pounds 
(Virg a currency) — Five hundred of which to be paid down, 
and interest on the other two thirds until discharged — the 
credit to be agreed on which may be 3, four, or more years ; 
provided the land and a Bond is given as security for pay- 
ment of the principal ; and some unquestionable surety for 
the regular discharge of the interest on the day it. becomes 
due. — Mr. Gill of Alexandria came up to my price, but we 
differed with respect to the Interest. — There is about 300 
acres of it, with two good Mill Seats on it — one wholly mint'. 
the other on difficult run which divides my land from others 
— There is also a good deal of Meadow land on the tract. — 

I have no objection to your putting up the Still which is at 


Mount Vernon, if any advantage from it can be derived under 

the tax, which is laid upon it; — which Doct r Stuart ' and 

others, who have Stills, can give you better information than 

i am able to do. — 

What is the matter with young Boatswain ? who, to the 

best of my recollection has been on the sick list many Weeks. 

— I wish you well and am 

Your friend &c L 

G° "Washington. 


German Town Sept r 7 th 1794. 
Mr. Peajkce, 

Your letter of the 31 st ult° with the Reports, I have re- 
ceived. — 

A few days ago I received a letter from Mr. Pyne dated in 
the City of Washington still expressing a desire to be em- 
ployed at Mount Yernon, and a wish to be there some short 
time before Butler left it, that he might get a little insight 
into the nature of the business, previous to his entering upon 
duty. — I referred him for his being employed at all, and for 
the terms and time, to you ; not chusing to enter into any 
agreement with him myself lest it might militate with any 
views of yours; — desiring him to shew you the letter I wrote 
to him on this subject, that you might he acquainted with my 
ideas thereon. — 

Enclosed is a certificate for Mr. Butler. — The latter part I 
suppose he w d have dispensed with; — but in my opinion it is 
necessary that the whole truth on such occasions should he 
told; for I have no idea that with a view to serve one person 
it is justifiable to deceive another ; — and without that part, it 

! Dr. David Stuart, of Ossian Hall, Fairfax Co., who married '.(1788) the 
widow of Mrs. Washington's son, John Parke Oustis. Br. Stuart was the 
son of George the Third's Minister of that name. He was a much trusted 
adviser of Washington who rememhered him in his will : *'To Doctor David 
Stuart I give my large shaving and dressing table, and my telescope." 


might with propriety he asked why I parted with him.— If 
his activity, spirit, and ability in the management of Negron 
were equal to his honesty, sobriety and industry there would 
not be the least occasion for a change. — 

It is not possible for me, at this distance, to say when the 
Carpenters and Xegros on the respective farms will be most 
at leisure for removing the Xegro quarters at Union, and 
lliver Farms ; but if this work is not set about before the 
weather gets cool, it may be dangerous (as the daubing and 
filling in will be green, and not sun enough to dry them be- 
fore winter) to put the Xegros in them ; — and besides, after 
the ground gets soft and slippery, the trouble, and time neces- 
sary to accomplish the removal of the houses will be double. 
—I have nothing further to add at present than to wish you 

and family well. — Being 

Your friend & c 

G° Washington. 


German Town [Pa] Sep 1 14 th 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I am well satisfied that the omission of the date of Col 
Lyle's bond was accident, and not design — and for that rea- 
son suggested a mode, by the observance of which, no in- 
formation that is required will ever be omited. — When is 
that Gentleman, by promise, to discharge this bond ? 

1 think you were quite right in sowing the early (or 
drilled) Wheat at different seasons, with a view to discover 
the best season for it. — But have you been told, or do you 
know, that the drilled Wheat at Union farm was of two 
kinds — one of them double-headed. — Unless Crow kept them 
asunder, the next growth from these seeds will be a curious 
liotch potch. — 

I am sorry to hear of the heavy rains you have had, on 
many accounts ; but on none more than throwing you back- 


ward in the Mill swamps, and the hard and unfit condition it 
will put them grounds for the reception of the grass seeds, 
even if it should not have gullied and washed the soil off, in 
places. — I know too, that besides stopping your ploughs on 
ace' of the wetness of the land, that such rains are apt to 
gully the fields already sown with Wheat ; and to render 
those which have not received the seed, in a much worse con- 
dition for this purpose ; but as these are the effects of Prov- 
idential dispensations, resignation is our duty. — I am per- 
suaded you will render the disadvantage as light as possible, 
and that is all I can expect. — Under these circumstances I 
hope the season has not urged you to sow faster than the ground 
was in order ; for I know no practice worse than ploughing 
and sowing when it is too wet. 

Drains in all the fields that require it (and none requires it 
more than No. 6 at Dogue Run) if those heavy rains had not 
come, ought to be made before the winter wets set in ; as, 
for want of these, and notwithstanding I am continually in- 
culcating this doctrine upon my Overseers, I have much 
Wheat drowned every year. 

I am sorry to hear that you, among others, have the Ague 
and fever.— -It has, from what I hear, been uncommonly rife 
this year ; — occasioned it is presumed, by the wetness of the 
Summer. — An emetic, after it becomes regular, as I men- 
tioned in one of my former letters, and care, generally re- 
moves it. — 

The actual spitting of young Boatswain should be carefully 
investigated, and medical aid administered if it be real ; — 
which, from the temper of the boy's mother, and her desire 
of keeping him with her as a waiter, may well be questioned. 
— Under pretence once before, of a hurt by a Cart she kept 
him three months (if I recollect rightly) in the house with 
her, until he was forced out; and this may be the case again. 

Whilst some deny, other affirm, that the yellow fever is in 
Baltimore — I shall decide nothing on this head myself, and . 


only mention the matter, that if that should be yonr ront to 

the Eastern Shore, whensoever yon may go, that you may be 

on your guard. 

I am Your friend etc 1 

G° "Washington. 


Philadelphia Sep. 21 st 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 14 th inst fc and the weekly reports, have 
been rec d . 

We left our Quarters at German Town yesterday, and are 
again fixed in this City. 

Thomas Green's quitting my business of his own accord- 
whatever the pretence may be — is in my opinion a lucky cir- 
cumstance, as my repugnance to turning him away was on 
account of his helpless family. — These you may suffer to re- 
main where they are, until he can provide a place for them ; — 
or until you may have occasion for the house for his successor ; 
provided this is not unreasonably delayed. — Old Bishop must 
be taken care of whether he goes or stays. 

It would be well that you should be off — or on with Pyne. 
without more delay ; — first because the season for providing 
Overseers is getting late ; — 2 dly because he may have found 
employment, or received offers in the Federal City (where 
wages are high) of such a nature as to raise his expectations 
above what the services you want him for, would enable me 
to give. — 

What have you done with McKoy ? — Does he go, or stay 
another year ? and what are the present appearances of the 
stone quarry at Mount Vernon ? — Last year a Xephew of 
mine living in Westmoreland County, about 70 miles below 
you; l had partly engaged a man (who was master of two or 

'Col. William Augustine (1757-1^10), son of the General's half-brother. 
Aug. Washington. His mother was Anne Aylett. He married first Jane 


three iXegro Carpenters of his own, which he was to bring 
with him) to look after my Carpenters ; but the unwilling- 
ness, on aee* of Green's family, to turn him away, prevented 
it. — This objection being removed, the enclosed letter, left 
open for your perusal, may be forwarded, or destroyed, ac- 
cording to circumstances, at the time you receive it; as you 
will best know what steps you have taken, and your prospect 
of succeeding, to supply the place of Green with a competent 
character by other means. — 

J am glad to find by your last letter that the several Crops 
which are now on the ground look as well as could reasonably 
be expected. — It is, and has been, much my wish to make a 
visit to Mount Yernon before the meeting of Congress, on 
the first monday in l^ovem 1 "; — and I assuredly should have 
done it, had it not been for the Insurrection in the Western 
counties of this State l — which, for ought I know to the con- 
trary, at present may, instead of it, make it necessary for me 
to move that way. — The state of things at this moment does 
not, however, enable me to decide on either movement with 
precision. — One thing certain, is, that if I am not at Mount 
Yernon before the 15 th of October, it is not within the 
bounds of probability that I shall, before the Spring, be at 
that place ; as public business will compel me to be at the 
Seat of Government (in this City) before the first of Novem- 
ber (a few days before the Meeting of Congress) 2 . — 

Washington, daughter of the General's own brother, John Ang. ; second a 
daughter of Ilichard Henry Lee; third a daughter of Col. John Tayloo. 
To this nephew (Win. Aug.) Washington bequeathed the first choice of In* 
four swords. He selected the dress sword, since decorated with a myth thai 
it was presented by Frederick the Great, as " from the oldest general in the 
world to the greatest." The same nephew was one of the executory; of 
Washington's Will. 

1 The Whiskey Rebellion at Pittsburgh. 

-This is a passage of some historical significance. A stormy discussion 
was going on as to the constitutional right of the president to command the 
army in person, the "republicans" generally denying, the " federalists " 
affirming that right. It presently turned on the right of the president to 


Mrs. Fanny Washington lias requested leave for her Over- 
seer Tayler to get as many boards from my land in the Keek, 
or else where, as will cover a Corn house at her Plantation, 
w ch it is deemed necessary to erect ; — this you may permit, 
without waste, to be done by her own Carpenters, without 
any aid of mine. — 

Mrs. "Washington requests that the Gardener would send 
her some Artichoke seed of the best kind he has, and by the 
first Post under cover to me. — 

I remain your friend and well wisher, 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Sept r 28 th 1794. 
Mk. Pearce, 

In a seperate letter of this date, I have wrote you pretty 

fully respecting the Xew .Road, which you are appointed 

Overseer of, with orders to open ; — that the letter may be 


absent himself from the seat of government during the session of Congress. 
I have a private note written by the Secretary of State (Edmund Randolph) 
to Washington, while he was with the army at Carlisle, in which (Oct. 11, 
1794) he says : " If I conceived it possible that an opinion uttered in Bache's 
paper of this morning, against the propriety of the President holding the 
command of the army after the meeting of Congress, should suggest any 
doubt in your mind, I should take the liberty of offering to you my de- 
cided sentiments to the contrary." Washington preserved silence on the 
dispute ; but this letter to his agent Pearce shows that he had made up his 
mind, before leaving, to be present at the opening of Congress. In this 
connection the following unpublished letter of Washington may be in- 
serted. It is in reply to a letter of Major John Clark (York Borough, Sept. 
27) and dated at Carlisle, G Oct. 1704 : " I thank you for your polite offer of 
attending me to the field, but my going thither or returning to the seat of 
Government in time for the meeting of Congress depends upon circum- 
stances not within my information at present as to enable me to decide. 
Nothing short of imperious necessity can justify my being absent from the 
seat of Government while Congress is in session. Under this view of the 
matter I decline making any establishment of a sute unless that necessity 
appears when in the choice of Aids I must have regards to considerations of 
different kinds." 


shewn to the Court — to Mr. Mason — or whomsoever is the 
mover in this business, without having other matters of a 
more private nature blended therewith. — 

Since writing to you this day week, I have engaged a 
Scotchman, just arrived in this country, in the place of 
Green. — 1 do not expect much from him as an overlooker ; 
that is, I do not believe lie will carry much authority among 
my negro carpenters, as he appears to be a simple, inoffensive 
man; and because, that of House Carpentry or Joinery, is 
not his profession ; but as he has the character of a very 
honest, sober, and industrious man, his example, with such 
representations as he may make to you, of neglect and 
misconduct, may be serviceable.- — Making of all sorts of 
Plows, Carts, wheels of all kinds, and various impliments 
of husbandry, is what he lias been brought up to ; though 
he says he has worked two or three years at house work, 
and can make a Sash or a pannel door. — The buildings in 
his country being all of Stone, he knows nothing of fram- 
ing. — The enclosed memorandum contains the out lines 
of the agreement betw r een us ; which has yet been verbal 

I have told him he is to have Green's house, Garden, 6cc\ 
but if you have not an eye to it, Green will burn the fence of 
the latter, and strip the former of everything he can. — This 
man (James Donaldson) will, with his family, embark this 
day for Mount Vernon, on board Capt n Mitchell. — But if 
Greens family should not have removed, they, or Donaldson's 
may go into the room next the Shoemaker's till Green finds 
a place to carry his family to ; which he is to do without 
waste of time ; — for I do not mean to keep them there, after 
he is gone: — Bishop, as I mentioned in a late letter, must be 
provided for in some way or other, to keep him from suffer- 

Donaldson, if he is really skilful in making plows, Carts, 
Wheels, &C 6 , may be extremely useful to me; first in mak* 



these tilings himself for the farms, — and next, in putting my 
own people in the way of doing it. — He is to be furnished 
with Tools ; — and he wanted me to make him some allowance 
for his eldest son, who he says could work — but the latter I 
refused to do. — 

I have written by this Post to my l>"ephew, to countermand 
the request contained in the letter which passed through your 
hands; — but I should not be much disconcerted (if they can 
be accomodated with house room) if both were employed ; as 
the last (that is the man from *Westmorel d ) would be more 
competent to the Management of the Negros, whilst the 
other might be principally, if not wholly, occupied in putting 
the Wheels, Carts, Plows, and other utensils in order ; — and 
in making and repairing Spinning Wheels &c* &c l w ch he 
professes to understand well. — 

I presume you are upon some certainty ere this, with re- 
spect to Pyne.— If you are not, nor know not what is become 
of him, do not on this account, remain longer in suspenee 
than you can be otherwise provided ; — he wrote to me some 
time ago from the Federal City. — I am sorry to hear of poor 
Butler's illness.' — The season every where, has been remark- 
fab] ly sickly. — 

I leave this on Tuesday for Carlisle, where I shall (from the 
information I expect to receive from the Insu[r]gent Counties 
of this state) be better enabled to determine whether I shall 
proceed on with the Troops, than I can do here. — If you clo 
not see me at ]\L C Vernon, of which I have very little hopes. 
by the middle of October, you may take it for granted I can- 
not be there before the meeting of Congress ; — and of course 
not till Spring. 

Remember the promise I made to my Sister 1 of a Mule, if 
she should send for one — let it be a broke one, and good, — 

1 Washington's widowed sister, Betty Lewis, was in good circumstance* ; i> 
was simply through affection that lie occasionally sent her some useful 
present. (See Introduction.) 

' Error for Thomson. (See ante.) 

- Established and originally owned by Capt. John Posey, of Fairfax, who 
was beaten by Washington for the House of Burgesses (1705). The Ferry 
ran from just above the Mount Vernon fisheries, mouth of Doguc Creek (E) 
across to Marshall Hall, It was bought and operated by General Washing- 


but not the very best. — Your letter (sent to this place ah 
neuai) will come regularly to me. — 

I am Your friend &c e 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Sep 1 2b th 1794. 
Mi:. Peaece, 

I have received your letter of the 21 st inst fc , and the Reports 
of the preceding week. — 

I am glad to find your seeding of Wheat is over, and that 
it is compleated in such good time. — 

There cannot, in my opinion, be the smallest occasion for 
opening the new road, which under different circumstances 
than those which exist at present, was ordered by the Court 
at my particular request. — Kor would it be, if opened, of the 
least benefit to anyone except Mr. Thompson ' Mason and 
very little to him, as he has the free use of all the Roads 
(though with gates to them) that he ever travelled before 
that order was obtained. — It is to be observed that, when I 
applied for, and the Court granted that Road, the design was, 
to relieve me from a great hardship, without doing any in- 
jury to the public ; for at that time the Ferry called Posey's 
(where Crow lives) was a public one '■ — of course the Road 
from the Gum-spring to it, and from my Mill to it, were 
public Roads ; and by the Laws of Virginia Gates wen? 
forbid on them. — This prevented me from enclosing my 
land, as the expencc of Lanes on both those Roads would 
have been too heavy for the advantage w ch would have re- 


suited. — Under this view of the case, and because very few 
who passed the ferry travelled the Alexandria Road, I was 
led to form the plan of having but one public Koad through 
my Mount Yernon tract, which would have been from my 
Mill, by the Barn on Union farm, along the string of fence 
that divides the upper from the lower fields, until it came to 
the Gate on the hill, by a lane, that distance. — All, in that 
case, who would have cros'd the Ferry going to, or returning 
from Maryland, would pass the Mill ; — at which place, if go- 
ing down the Country, they would take the Road to Colches- 
ter ; — if going towards the Mountains or Alexandria, they w a 
have to pass by Mr. Lund Washington's. 1 — This was the real 
situation of things when the Court, on my petition, was 
pleased to afford me the relief I asked, by permitting me to 
stop up the old, and to open new public Roads. — But the 
thing has now taken an entire new shape; for finding 
after this permission w r as obtained that the Ferry had become 
so unproductive as not even to furnish the Boats which were 
required, I petitioned the Assembly to discontinue it by law. 
as it was established by law ; — hence the Roads to it, I pre- 
sume, ceased to be public ; — and the new ones unnecessary — 
at least for the present — as the old ones (with the difference 
of Gates only) serve all the purposes they ever did. — Upon 
this representation, which I am sure is a candid and just one, 
I persuade myself that the Court will not compel me to open 
the Road you say you have been required to do, when no 
person, half as much as myself, would be benifitted by it.- — In 
fact, with my force, the thing is impracticable this fall ; — for 
the greater part of two miles, from the level ness of the 
ground, and water (knee depth at times) standing thereon, 
would require a high causeway to render it passible in the 
winter. — If it was done I should derive more benefit from it 
than any other person — for there would be no pretext then 

1 "Hayfield." Near the old Mill Dam, about 4 miles N. W. of Mount 
Vernon mansiou. Colchester, now a ruin, is ou Oceoquan Creek. 


for passing through my Farms and leaving the gates open for 
my own stock to get out and others in. — These sentiment* 
may be communicated to the Court if the order with which 
you are served is positive — and to Mr. Mason who I am con- 
fident is not disposed to run me to such an expence at this 
season for so trilling (if any) an advantage to himself. 

I am your friend &C 1 

G° Washington. 


Heading Oct r 1 st 1794. 
Mr. Peaece, 

I am thus far (55 miles from Philadelphia) on my way to 
Carlisle agreably to what I wrote you on Sunday last. — 

As I am not much accustomed to the management of Buck 
Wheat — and think I have heard you declare the same — the 
purpose of my writing to you now, is to inform you that this 
Crop on the whole road I have travelled, is cut down (al- 
though I should have thought it much too green) and remain- 
ing in the field in very small cocks, not larger than a Wheat 
sheaf drawn to a point, at top, where I presume it is to con- 
tinue until the seed gets perfectly ripe, and the straw cured.—- 
The Potatoes too were every where disrffingc. 

I remain your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Carlisle th October 171*4. 
Mr. Peaece, 

I wrote you a few lines from Heading the first instant — 
and the only design of writing to you now is, to inform you 
that I clearly see that it will not be in my power to visit 
Mount Vernon before the meeting of Congress, and of course 
not 'till the Spring. — I mention this matter that you may not. 


whenever the situation of your business will permit you to be 
absent, delay your journey to the Eastern Shore from an ex- 
pectation of seeing me in Virginia. — 

I have no particular directions to give, because I have con- 
fidence in your judgment, care and integrity. — I would have, 
however, all the Stock that would be endangered in the 
course of the winter, disposed of before it arrives ; — and no 
more hogs put up for Porke than such as are of fit age and 
size. — I am Your friend (fee* 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Kov r 2 d 1794. 
Mk. Peaece, 

I have had neither leiznre for, nor opportunity of, writing 
to you since I did it from Carlisle, 'till my return to this 
place; which happened on Tuesday last. — In the mean time 
I have received your several letters of the 28 th of Sept 1 ' — and 
5 th 17 th and 23 d of last month.— 

As the accident I met with in June last, prevented my 
riding about my farms when I was last at home, I should 
have been very glad to have made another visit to it in the 
course of last month ; knowing if I did not do it then, It 
would not be in my power to do it before April ; as Congress 
will, more than probably, set till March and the roads during 
that month will be in no condition to travel. — The perfect 
confidence however which I place in your care, judgment and 
integrity; makes me quite easy under the disappointment; 
which I should not have been if my affairs were in the hands 
of a person of whom I did not entertain the same favorable 
opinion. — By looking to the letters which, from time to time 
I have written you, and to the written details I give you of 
ray plans when you first entered on my business, you will, 
without any additional direction to them, in this place, see 
what my views are, and can be at no loss to carry them into 


effect the ensuing year. — To introduce system, and a regular 
course of crops; to introduce grass where, and when proper; 
— to make meadows, and hedges ; — to recover my fields from 
the exhausted, and gullied state in which many of them are ; 
■ — to improve my stock, and to get into away of establishing 
large dayries, and turning that stock to profitable uses (which 
may be the case so near as my estate lyes to Alexandria, 
George Town, and the Federal City) — and to make much 
Hay, which will always be in demand, and command a good 
price ; are much more desirable objects with me than to push 
the best of my fields, out of their regular course, with a view 
to encrease the next, or any other year's crops of grain. — I 
know full well that by picking and culling the fields I should 
be able, for a year or two, to make larger crops of grain / but 
I know also, that by so doing I shall, in a few years make 
nothing, and find my land ruined.- — 

I am very sorry to hear of the loss of your daughter, but 
as it was an event long expected, you must have been pre- 
pared for the stroke. — The country every where that I have 
been, or heard from, has been uncommonly sickly the past 
summer, and to the present moment. — The ague and fever 
has been sorely felt where it was never known to be before, 
together with other complaints.- — The death of Paris is a loss, 
that of Jupiter the reverse. 1 — ■ 

You have not informed me in any of your letters, which 
have come to hand, whether you have engaged Fyne or any 
other for the Mansion house, or whether M c Koy continues 
another year, or is to be replaced by any other. — I did not 
expect much from James Donaldson as an Overlooker of my 
Carpenters, when I engaged him ; and for that reason observed 
to you, that if my Nephew (Col° Will™ Washington of AVest- 

1 The colored aristocracy of Mount Vernon had grand names : Cyrus, 
Cesar, Hercules, Paschal, Bristol, Richmond, Bishop, Lee, Charles Wash- 
ington. Among the female names occur some unusual ones — Sinab, Mima, 


moreland) should have engaged the man I wrote to him abont, 
to keep botli would be attended with no disadvantage; but 
I have not heard or received a syllable from my Nephew in 
answer to my letters — hence I infer they never got to his 
hands ; and the demand for workmen at the federal City 
is such, and their wages consequently so high, that if Don- 
aldson as an overlooker should prove incompetent, I know 
not how, or where you will get supplied. — If he understands 
what lie professes to have been bred to, and is sober and 
industrious, he may prove a very useful man to me, although 
he is unfit to have the care of my Carpenters. — But what 
have you done with him, if Greens family still occupy the 
house 1 — By my agreement with him, lie is entitled to the 
use of thai house, and Garden, and may consider it as a 
breach of contract to be deprived of it. — What then is to be 
done with the other family. — I cannot bear the thought of 
adding to the distress I know they must be in, by turning 
them a drift; and it would be as disagreeable to let them 
come into that part of the Green house adjoining the Shoe- 
makers room ; — their habits are not good ; — and to mix them 
among the Xegros would be attended with many evils as it 
respected themselves ; — and no good as it respected me. — It 
would be better therefore on all accounts if they were re- 
moved to some other place, even if [I] was to pay the Rent : 
provided it was low — or make some allowance towards it. — 
Donaldson and family will get disgusted by living: among the 
Negrros, if he is still in the Green house. — 

I am glad to hear that your Fodder was got in good time. 
and that there was a good deal of it ; — also that your Corn is 
likely to yield well from the gathering you have made of 
it. — It is to be regretted that your last sown wheat looks so 
indifferently, — especially the fallow field at Dogue run. — Get 
all the Buck AVheat out of the Straw as soon as you can, and 
put it away securely ; — letting me know the quantity. — The 
Straw will, I presume, make good litter. — 


I am very sorry to hear that the fly is getting into the 
Wheat — This makes it necessary to get it out of the straw as 
(juick as possible, and either to grind it into flour — or sell it 
in the grain — as soon as possible. — To know which of these is 
most for my benefit, order a hundred bushels of neither your 
hest nor worst wheat to be sent to the Mill, cleaned as it would 
and ought to be, for sale. — Let this hundred bushels be sent 
to the Mill and manufactured; then see whether the different 
articles which is made from it, at the Alexandria prices, with 
the Bran &c fc justly rated, is worth, or would fetch more than 
the unground Wheat at the same Market. — If it does not, I 
encounter all the waste the trouble and expence of the Manu- 
factory to a loss.—-I have requested this experiment several 
times to be made by your predecessors in my business, but 
never could <ret it satisfactorilv made ; and have strong rea- 
sons for believing that my Wheat, for several years back, 
would have sold for more than the flour of all sorts, with the 
addition of the bran, shorts and talings. — The fact, with re- 
spect to the last crop, you may, I conceive, ascertain with 
certainty, by having recourse to the Mill books; — these will, 
or ought, to Shew, all the Wheat that had been received, — and 
all the flour and other articles which had been delivered. — 
Hating then the different sorts of flour (sold and used) at 
what it actually fetched, — and fixing a proper price on the 
Bran and shorts, with some allowance for the talings, gives 
you the total amount of the Wheat after it is manufactured, 
—then see what the whole quantity of Wheat which the Mill 
had received, would amount to, at what would be deemed the 
curr*, or medium price of Wheat at Alexandria last season ; — 
this would give you the aggregate amount in both cases, and 
shew the difference of the two, upon a large scale. — 

Are all the Cabbins, as well as the Quarters at Union farm, 
fixed in the lane opposite to the Overseers house? I fear the 
season is too late to go into fresh daubed Cabbins. — 

1 am Your friend &c* G° Washington. 



By not hearing from you yesterday I presume you were on 
the Eastern Shore. 


Philadelphia 16 th Nov' 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

By the Post of yesterday I received your letter of the 11 th 
inst 1 , with the Reports of the three proceeding weeks ; 
(except those of the Carpenters). — I did not write to you 
last week, not having heard from you by the two Posts 
before.- — 

I am glad to hear that your Potatoes and Com are likely 
to turn out well, and that the Wheat now in the ground 
looks promising. — The last Crop of that article according to 
your account is miserable [in quantity] and the Buck Wheat 
not a great, [deal] better. — Of the latter, and of the Potatoes 
[keep] enough for Seed for next year. — [It is miserable for 
a farmer to be obliged [to purchase h]is Seeds — to exchange 
Seeds may, [in some] cases, be useful ; but to buy them 
[unless in] the first year is disreputable. — 

Let me know from time to time, what prices Wheat and 
flour are at, in Alexandria — 12/6 for the first, p r Bush 1 ; and 
£3 p r Bar 1 for the latter, are the value of them in this City, 
at present [quotations] 

The letter from Sally [Green] is enclosed. — I have n<> 
doubt [she is] in very distressed circumstances, [but am] at a 
loss as to the best mode of affording her relief. — That of 
going to Alexandria, is, I fear, a bad plan ; altho', if she was 
able, and in earnest, to take in washing and sowing it would 
be the best stand for these. — What she means by keeping a 
shop, I am at a loss to understand ;— it is to be feared her 
shop w d be no more than a receptacle for stolen produce, 
bv the ^e^ros: — Examine into this matter ; and you may aid 
her in any thing that appears to you feasable to the amount 


of twenty pounds, in [the way] of things, or on credit; but 
!id[thing] in money, lest it should be [spent in] unessential 
things which [she can do with] out, instead of being applied 
[to actual] wants, or in the purchase of [such] as may be 
turned to advantage. [If she] goes to town you may give 
her a ... of Wood — a little flour — and some meat at 
killing time ; besides what is usually allowed her father. — If 
she goes there her eldest son may derive some benefit from 
the charity school which is established there at my ex- 
pence. — 

If she has not yet decided on her plan, she ought to do it 
immediately ; — or at any rate, James Donaldson ought to go 
into the house she is in. — I am sorry he did not do it at first 
— that he might have been kept as seperate, and as distinct 
as possible from the Negros — who want no encouragement to 
mix with, and become too familiar (for no good purposes) 
with those kind of people. — I have often said, and I again 
repeat, that if you can get such a man as would, in all points, 
be a fit superintend ant of my Carpenters, I would have you 
employ him ; but this fitness ought to be ascertained — other- 
wise, either from [differ] ence of wages, or some other cause, 
[his presence] might discontent the man you [have] without 
deriving equivalent advantages from another. — 

I do not know, if you should have been disappointed by 
Pyne, whether the loss will be great, for the more I saw of 
him, the less I liked him. [He seem]ed to be more of a 
talker, than [a worker]. 

I am glad to hear y[ou are succeeding in your fall plow- 
ing- — [I hope it] will be pushed vigorously, at all times that 
the ground is in a good state for this work. — And I am not- 
less pleased to find you are cutting up the fallen timber. — 1 
earnestly recommend a continuance of this plan ; either, for 
[tails, where it will make them, or for fire wood ; whenever 
your leizure will permit; as the waste which, heretofore, has 
been committed, all over my land, is shameful. — 


What number of good [full-grown hogs will] yon put up, 
or will be able [to sell] this fell, for Porkers? — [Those] on 
hand (with a small reservation) may be] disposed of, as it i.v 
not [in the line] of probability that myself [or any] of my 
family, can be at Mount Vernon before the next supply will 
[be ready] — and if the culled sheep, and other [live] stock 
cannot be sold, they had better (rather than run the hazard 
of losing them) be salted for next harvest.— 

Mr. Hawkins, one of the Senators from North Carolina,' 
on his way to this place, left at Mr. Lund Washington's iu 
order to be sent to M t Vernon, sundry cuttings of valuable 
Grape vines for me. — The letter Jierewith enclosed, gives an 
account of them ; and his manner of treating them. — Let the 
Gardner see it; — and after taking such acc t3 of them as arc 
necessary, return the letter to me again. — 

You proposed when I was last at home, to cultivate in 
Corn, Rye, or something else, with a view of cleansing the 
ground, that part of the pasture at the Mansion house which 
lyes above the hill, adjoining the Wood, Xorth, and ]S" W c 
of the clover lot by the Quarter. — To this I consented, but 
did not direct it, nor do I now direct it, leaving it to your- 
self to act from circumstances. — I shall require however, if it 
is done, that a great many of the Trees be left standing 
(without regarding the injury the Croj> may sustain by it, for 
that is only a secondary object). — These may be single ; or 
partly single and in clumps; or all clumps; according as from 
their present standing and appearance, it should be thought 
they would answer best. — If clumps should be prepared — let 
them be large ones, where they can be so; not less than from 

'Benjamin Hawkins, b. in Yates Co., N. C, 17o4, was Washington's 
interpreter in intercourse with French officers ; senator from 1T80 to 1793, 
when he was appointed Superintendent of all Indians South of the Ohio, 
which office he held until his death (1810). He was a graduate of Prince- 
ton, and an accomplished writer, as is shown by his work on " Indian 


«<» ?«■> 100 feet in diameter. — Let the transplanted chimps be 
".;.<!<> good this fall, and ensuing spring. — 

I will bring to your view, what I was about to do myself 
the fall before last, with the grounds adjoining to what has 
l»een just mentioned; that if it should strike yon favorably, 
you may carry it into effect (but from which I was then di- 
verted by the desire of employing the Muddy hole gang of 
hands in the swamps at D. [ogue] Run. — It was with that 
gang, to clear all the land which Ives between the Alexandria 
road and the pasture fence, from the white gates up to the 
little old field, for Corn; for that Plantation (Muddy hole): 
instead of tending the worn out fields at that place; but to 
leave the Trees standing either in clumps, or singly, as they 
are in the adjoining part, through which the road passes. — 
You will readily perceive that I had a threefold object in this 
plan ;— the first was, to open that ground like the adjoining ; 
for ornament, and for the enlargement of the pasture ; — the 
2' 1 was, to avoid tending: the worn out and gullied fields at 
Muddy hole ; — and the 3 l , to have a stock of Wood for firing 
with as little carting as possible. — I merely mention the thing 
at this time, that you may think of it ; and see how far it can 
be made part of the other project, within the pasture fence : — 
and that, if it should be thought well of, the field which other- 
wise w d come into corn at Muddy hole may ]ye over. (Tart at 
least of the ground through which the road to the White gates 
pass, that has been cleared would also require cultivation to 
destroy the sprouts, grubs, &c fc and to accomodate it better 
for pasture thereafter.) — I shall not enlarge as it is enough to 
suggest the matter for consideration; and to see how it would 
comport with, or militate against, the general plan of busi- 
ness.— 1 am sorry to hear that your people still continue bickly 
— the complaint is general, and' in many places mortal. — 
I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 





Philadelphia Nov r 19 th 171*4. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Enclosed I send you thirteen hundred dollars; out of which 
I desire von will discharge and take in my bond, with a re 
ceipt thereon in full, from Mr. Lund Washington. — The letter 
to him is left open for your perusal and government in tiii- 
business. — The accounts therein are, for aught I know to the 
contrary, correct; but if any errors should be fonnd in them, 
there can be no objection to the correction of them. — When 
you receive the bond transmit it to me. — 

Out of the above sum you will also pay to the Trustees ol 
Alexandria or their agent or Treasurer, the sum of fifty 
pounds ; being my afiual donation to the charity school at the 
Academy in that place— due sometime in this month. — And 
I request moreover, that you will pay my annual subscription 
of ten pounds to the Rev d Mr. Davis (incumbent of the Epis- 
copal Church in Alexandria) 1 — When it became due I am 
unable to inform you ; but you may know this from the paper 
itself — or you may do so from Mr. Herbert, 2 who interested 
himself to obtain the subscription. — 

I am Your friend (fee 1 

G° Washington. 

1 The Rev. Dr. Slaughter, historiographer of the diocese of Virgin:.*, 
writes me: k 'The Rev. Thomas Davis was licensed by the Bishop of London 
for Virginia 21 Sep. 1773, and ministered in Norfolk and elsewhere. When 
he went to England for ordination he carried letters from John Page oi 
Itosewell and John Norton. Page says: 'I beg to introduce to you Mr 
Davis, a candidate for orders and a late Usher of our College (Win. an i 
Mary). I need say but little of him as I suppose you were acquainted with 
his father, and make no doubt he will carry many recommendations to yon." 
Mr. Davis succeeded Rev. Bryan (Lord) Fairfax in Alexandria. 1792. lb- 
officiated at Washington's funeral, visited Mrs. Washington daring her ill- 
ness and buried her — so that it is to be inferred he had the respect of tbf 
family. He left about 1806, and died on the Eastern Shore (Ya.)" 

- William Herbert, who long occupied the Braddoek House in Alexandria, 



Philadelphia Kov r 23 d 1701. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 16 th with the reports — except the Car- 
penters, which I have been without for several weeks — came 
to my hands yesterday. — 

As I expected, so it happened, my letters to Col° Will 1 " 
Washington of Westmoreland, did not reach him until a few 
days ago. — As you seem to be of the same opinion w ch I en- 
tertained at first, namely, that from the easy and simple man- 
ners of Donaldson, he w cl not be a fit overlooker of Tsegros, I 
have again written to my Nephew concerning the Carpenter 
in his neighbourhood ; and put the letter under cover to you, 
open, that if you have engaged a person for this business, or 
have one in contemplation for it that you think will answer 
well, you may accompany it by a line from yourself to stop 
his application — otherwise let it go, and wait the result of 
Col "Washington's answer, which agreeably to my request, 1 
expect you will receive ; before you engage any other. — In 
case you should get any one in the place of Donaldson as an 
overlooker of the Carpenters, let him, Isaac and the boy Jem, 
be kept to the making and repairing of Carts of different sorts. 
Wheels, Plows, Harrows, Bakes, Wheelbarrows, and all kinds 
of farming impliments ; — and tell him, as from me, that I 
hope, and expect, that lie will take pains to instruct both Isaac 
and the Boy in the principles of the work ; that I may derive 
benifit hereafter from his instruction of them. — 

If you should succeed in getting an Overlooker for the out- 
doors Carpenters, you will direct the execution of such work 
as appears to be most wanting. — but whether he be a married, 
or a single man, he must not occupy the rooms in the store 

was a distinguished citizen of that town, where his grandsons still reside. 
One of Ins daughters married Thomas (Lord) Fairfax. 


house ; — those, while you remain in what is called the Ser- 
vants Hall, must be kept for Geutlemens servants, and my 
own, while I am on a visit to Mount Yernon. — When you re- 
move to the Ferry (if you mean to do so) and the house you 
are now in, is restored to its former use — a single man might, 
in that case, occupy the rooms in the store house, in the man- 
ner Mr. Whitting did ; but it would not be very convenient 
for a Married Man (especially one with children) to be there. — 
Speaking of Gentlemens Serv t3 it calls to my mind, that in 
a letter from Mrs. Fanny Washington to Mrs. Washington 
(her Aunt) she mentions, that since I left Mount Yernon she 
has given out four doz n and eight bottles of wine. 1 — Whether 
they are used, or not, she does not say ; — but I am led by it 
to observe, that it is not my intention that it should be given 
to every one who may incline to make a convenience of the 
house, in travelling ; or who may be induced to visit it from, 
motives of curiosity. — There are but three descriptions of 
people to whom I think it ought to be given : — first, my 
jKirticular and intimate acquaintance, in case business should 
call them there, such for instance as Doct r Craik. 2 — 2 dly some 
of the most respectable foreigners who may, perchance, be in 

1 Appendix H. 

- The following notes concerning Dr. James Craik are mainly derived 
from Dr. Philip Slaughter's " Memoir of Col. Joshua Fry." Born in 
Oebigland, Scotland, 1730, graduated at Edinburgh, he began practice in 
the W. Indies, whence he came to Virginia. Commissioned as Surgeon in 
the regiment of Col. Fry, Washington's senior in command, they together 
buried their chief (31 May 1754) near Fort Cumberland, when Washington 
carved the inscription said to be still legible: <; Under this oak lies the body 
of the good, the just and the noble Fry." Washington being now in com- 
mand, Dr. Craik remained attached to him ; he was Surgeon-General of the 
Continental Army, and after the Revolution resided at Alexandria. In 1761 
he married Marianne Ewell, whose mother, Sarah Conway, was niece of 
Washington's mother. Dr. Ewell, late president of William and Mary Col- 
lege, is a nephew of Dr. Craik's wife. Dr. Craik himself had been a pro- 
fessor in that college ; and when Washington entered on the presidency be 
entrusted his two young nephews (Lawrence and George Steptoe, sons of 
Samuel Washington) to his old friend's home and teaching. A sou of Dr. 


Alexandria or the federal city ; and be either brought down, 
ur introduced by letter, from some of ray particular acquaint- 
ance as before mentioned ; — or thirdly, to persons of some 
distinction (such as members of Congress &c fc ) who may be 
travelling through the Country from North to South, or from 
south to North ; — to the first of which, I should not fail to 
i^ive letters, where I conceive them entitled. — Unless some 
caution of this sort governs, I should be run to an expence as 
improper, as it would be considerable; — for the duty upon 
Madeira wine makes it one of the most expensive liquors that 
is now used ; — while my stock of it is small — and old wine (of 
which that is) is not to be had upon any terms : for which 
reason, and for the limited purposes already mentioned, I had 
rather you would provide Claret, or other wine on which the 
duty is not so high, than to use my Madeira ; unless it be on 
very extraordinary occasions. — 

I have no objection to any sober, or orderly person's grati- 
fying their curiosity in viewing the buildings, Gardens &c' 
about Mount Vernon ; — but it is only to such persons as I 
have described, that I ought to be run to any expence on ac- 
count of these visits of curiosity, beyond common civility and 
hospitality. — No gentleman who has a proper respect for his 
own character (except relations and intimates) would use the 
house in my absence for the sake of conveniency (as it is far 
removed from the public roads) unless invited to do so by 
me or some friend ; — nor do I suppose any of this description 
would go there without a personal, or written introduction.- - 

I have been thus particular, that you may have a full view 
of my ideas on this subject, and conform to them ; — and 
because the knowledge I have of my servants is such, as 
to believe, that if opportunities are given them, they will 
take off two glasses o£ wine for everv one that is drank by 

<Vaik (George Washington) was a private Secretary of the president in h\< 
second term. Dr. Craik was with Washington at his death, his own death 
occurring G Feh. 1314 at Vancluse, Fairfax. 


Buch visitors, and tell you they were used by them ; without 
such a watch over them as the other business you are cm- 
ployed in, would not allow you to bestow.— 

1'tpbserve what you say respecting the Hogs for Porke, and 
have ro add that so many as are necessary to furnish all those 
who, by your agreements, are entitled to be served with 
Porke ; with a moderate allowance for Bacon for the use of 
the Mansion house, should be put up ; whether they be old 
or young: — and I wish pains may be taken to cure the latter, 
as the most "of that which was sent to this place was spoiled. 
— The principal reason why I requested that none but full 
grown Hogs might be put up this fall, was, that my stock of 
them another' year might be the better for it : — but as I do 
not mean to buy porke, the necessity of breaking in upon the 
young hogs is unavoidable* — ' 

It was an omission of M c Ivoy not to measure his Potatoes 
when, and as they were taken from the fields ; and it is the 
more to be regretted, as I wanted to know the quantity which 
grew in each lot, and in a particular manner, the quantity 
that grew among the Corn at that place ; that I might see 
and compare the Crop of Corn and the Crop of Potatoes 
together. — But it would seem as if my blundering Overseers 
would forever put it out of my power to ascertain facts from 
the accuracy of experiments. — Make your estimate (as I 
observed in my last) of the quantity of Potatoes required 
for seed next year, allowing for waste and spoilage, before 
you use, or sell any. — It being my wish that many sh d be 
planted. — 

In making the calculation whether it is better to sell 
Wheat in grain, or in flour, it will be necessary to learn pre- 
viously whether the first is sold by measure or by the weight 
at Alexandria — for if G0 lb is called a bushel, and the wheat 
weighs only 55 lb the difference will be very great when a 100 

Appendix J. 


luir-h" by measure is reduced to the bushels it will yield by 
weight at 60 lb . 

You have never informed me what precise measures have 
been taken with respect to the trespasses on my land on four 
mile run — either of what has passed, or for prevention.— 1 
wish you would see Mr. Minor and converse with him on this 
subject ; and act according to circumstances. — If it be neces- 
sary to survey the land in order to ascertain the trespasses, 
and the boundaries, let it be done by some skilful person. — 
The Papers I left with you. — The wood is the most valuable 
part of the tract. — 

You did very right in putting the amount of Col° Lyles 
bond into the bank of Alexandria. — Let me know the precise 
amount thereof. — as also of what you deposited there before, 
that I may debit the Bank for it. — With this letter, you will 
receive another, enclosing money to discharge my bond to 
Mr. Lund Washington ; my donation to the charity school in 
Alexandria ; and subscription towards the Salary of Mr. 
Davis ; which I desire may be done without delay. — 
I wish you well and remain 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Nov. 30 th 1704. 
Mr. Peatcce, 

As the experiment of grinding a hundred bushels of Wheat 
into flour, is found more profitable than to sell the like quan- 
tity in grain; — I would have you proceed in the manufacturv 
of what little I have made. — and I desire the particulars of 
the experiment may be sent to me. — and the Miller must be 
careful that he keeps up to it.— or I may be deceived there- 


Caution Sally Green against dealing with my negros after 
she is fixed in Alexandria. — If she deals with them at all she 


will be unable to distinguish between stolen, or not stolon 
things ; — and if her conduct should lay her open to suspicion, 
she need expect no further countenance or support from me. 

What; demands the Mill swamp may have upon your 
labourers for the next year I do not know independant of 
that, I should think the Mansion house and Muddy hole 
gangs, with such force as you might draw from the other 
farms, would not fall much short of clearing up the skirt of 
woods mentioned in my former letter ; and if well grubbed, 
and thoroughly broke up, it would be infinitely better for 
Corn than K° G at Muddy hole, which is extremely poor and 
much worn. — However, as I observed in my former letter, 1 
leave the matter to your own judgrn*; but desire, (not only 
for the sake of the Corn which will go into the ground, but 
for the pasture afterwards, and for prevention of sprouts 
choking it) that every thing may be grubbed that can be 
grubbed ; although it will require more time to clear the 
land in the first instance. — And as it will look as well to be 
cleared in clumps (letting these clumps be, some of them 
large, and some small) I would have it done so ; as the corn 
will be much better than if growing among- single trees, as 
was the case in the Inclosure by the white gate. — This inclo- 
sure might be cleaned and brought into Corn also. — 

As soon as your Corn is all gathered and measured, let me 
have the account of it in one view — naming the farms and 
fields in which it grew ; — Do the same by the other crops ; 
and I wish to know, as nearly as possible, if M c I\oys hindering 
will not suffer it to be done accurately, the quantity of Pota- 
toes that grew in X° 4 at Dogue Run. 

Have you fixed nothing yet with Pyne, nor with any other 
for the Mansion House ? — The person living there, if you 
remove to the ferry, ought to be a careful and trust worthy 
character. — 

You speak of stuff for sheds, but do not say where. — 1 
wanted sheds on the foundations which were laid of brick, at 


i)o£e run, to be erected for the work horses, oxen, &c l — the 

( 'orn houses making one of the ends to them. — My plan was 

fully explained to Green, but whether Isaac or Tom Davis 

understood it, or not, I am unable to say. — They were to be 

half roofs, open in the front so high as to admit horses tfcc* 

freely into them without danger of rubbing their heads or 

backs. — above that to be boarded. — 

I will get four or five bushels of clover seed and send it to 

you in time and shall depend upon your having enough of all 

other sorts. — 

I am your friend &c* 

G° Washington. 

1 hope you received my last letter, with the 1300 dollars 



Philadelphia Dec r 7 th 1794. 
Mr. Peajice, 

Your letter of the 30 th ult°, with the weekly reports, came 
safely to hand. 

By mistake, the sum of £300 was omitted in the charges 
against my bond, to Mr. Lund Washington ; as you have 
discovered in the above letter. — By my mode of settling the 
bonded account, lie will be £7. 10. 8 in my debt— and by the 
mode he proposes, I shall be £51. 12. 11. in his debt. — 
Which of these is the mode by which a Court of Law, or 
Equity, would settle it, I neither know, nor shall try ; all 
that I can say on the subject, I have already said in my 
letter to him — viz — that Mr. John Mercer J settled my ace: 1 
with his fathers and Brothers Estate by charging me 
interest on all Ms payments ; and when 1 objected thereto, 
he said it was the method by which the Chancellor in Yir- 

' Son of John Mercer of Marlborough, of Stafford Co., Va., lirst editor of 
Virginia Laws. 



srinia settled matters of a like nature ; which was confirms! 
by Mr. Randolph, who was well acquainted with the practice 
of that Court l . — However, as 1 am determined to have no 
dispute on the subject, Mr. Washington may settle it by 
which account he pleases, (both are enclosed,) or by striking 
a medium between the two methods, as shall be most 
agreeable to his own ideas of justice. — Take up my bond, 
and after tareing my name from it, send it to me; — Let 
all the accounts between him and me be finally closed — and 
unless there is an absolute occasion for it, do not run me 
to the expence of smiths work there, or elsewhere, in 

After you have discharged this account — and such others 
as are known to be due, from me, place the surplus of the 
money in the bank of Alexandria, and give me the amount 
of the sum. — But on second thoughts, there will be your own 
wages — the wages of the Overseers — &c fc which will be due 
in a very little time. — Let all be paid — for I never like to be 
in debt to any one — or have any money in my possession 
that another has a right to call for. — You had better there- 
fore pay all these off — detain what is due to yourself — and 
not close, or transmit your accounts until these are done, and 
the year is ended, that your next, and every account may 
commence with the new year. — 

In my last, I desired that my Wheat might all be manu- 
factured and held in readiness for the first good market that 
shall offer, of which keep me advised. — The price of Super- 
fine fi.our at this place is 65/ p r Bar 1 and that of fine 02/ and 
62/6 — Wheat from 0/6 to 12/6 according to quality. — 

As your crop of fodder this year has been great, and got in 
good season — and much more grass than usual cut, I flatter 

1 Edmund Randolph, at this date Secretary of State, had "been Wash 
ington's legal adviser for many years before and after his appointment 
a3 the first Attorney General of the United States. (Appendix F, 3d letter, 
and Appendix II.) 


invself you will have a good deal of hay for sale. — Be this, 
however, as it may, do not sell close until you are ahle to see 
your way through the winter clearly. — I wish that my horses, 
and stock of every kind should be fed with judicious plentv 
and (economy ; but without the least profusion or waste. — 
And be particularly attentive whilst you are feeding away 
the Potatoes to reserve an ample stock of them for seed ; — as 
also of Turnips. — If there came no more than GOO bushels of 
Potatoes from the field ls° 4 and the lots, at Dogue run, the 
crop must have been a very indifferent one at that place ; — 
but I was more anxious to know how many bushels grew in 
the field X° 4 that I might compare it with the yield of the 
same field in Corn. — 

I think it would be no unsatisfactory experiment to fat one 
bullock altogether with Potatoes ; — another, altogether with 
Indian meal; — and a third with a mixture of both: — keeping 
an exact account of the time they are fatting, and what is 
eaten of each, and of hay, by the different steers ; that a 
judgment may be formed of the best, and least expensive 
mode of stall feeding beef for market, or for my own use. — 

You will recollect, that when X° 5 comes into tillage 
(which I believe it is to do in course, next year) that the 
Woods within the fence is to be cleared up, and prepared 
also, for Corn, in order to supply the place of the two lots by 
the Barn, and the barn yard itself, which were taken from 
that field. — 

I intended that the sheds at that farm, which were 
intended to be erected on the brick foundations adjoining the 
two Corn houses, should be shingled with Cyprus, and men- 
tion it now, that it may not be misunderst d when the work is 
gone about. — 

As the wood on my four mile run tract, is the principal 
value of it, I would not have you delay enquiring into the 
nature of the tresspasses ; — nor in punishing of those who are 
guilty of them, if the proofs are clear. 


How does the new race at the Mill progress ? — and when 
do you conceive it will be fit for use ? — 

How does James Donaldson conduct himself? — Does he 
appear to understand well those kinds of work which he pro- • 
fesses to have been particularly bred to ? — And has lie moved 
into the house below the hill ? — caution him against familiar- 
ities with the iSTegros. 

I perceive by your last letter that you have moved your 
family to the ferry, but have left a bed for yourself in the 
end of the Store. — If you had liked it better it would have 
been quite agreeable to me that you should have retained a 
room in the house, the one in which I believe you were ac- 
customed to lodge— but do in this matter as is most agreeable 
to yourself. — 

What was expressed in a former letter respecting the man- 
ner of treating visitors to Mount Vernon, was laid down as a 
general rule; but persons not always recommended, or intro- 
duced in the manner I described in that letter, may go there, 
who are entitled to equal civilities ; and in such cases you 
must be governed by your own judgment ; — and in this I 
have so much confidence as to rely on it ; being well con- 
vinced that your regard for propriety will not suffer any mis- 
application of the means that may be committed to your care, 
— and as far as it is practicable, that you will not suffer the 
Servants to misapply them. — Therefore, for such occasions 
and for the use of the sick, I desire you will lay in a box of 
claret, and some lisbon, or Tenerif wine, that my Madeira 
may be reserved, as it is old, and not easy to be replaced, for 
my own use when I get home. — 1 remain your 
friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia Dec* 14 th 1704. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 7 th inst 1 , enclosing the reports of the pro- 
ceeding week, came duly to hand. — 

I approve your idea of clearing up the wood between the 
fence and the road, and letting it lay over to another year ; — 
but quere, would it not be better, instead of cleaning the 
ground thoroughly, and exposing the earth to the rays of the 
summers sun, to have it well grubbed, and lye with all the 
brush on it until the proper period arrives for breaking it up 
for Corn ? — In many places, this is a universal practice ; — and 
in the opinion of some (especially in the -Northern and East- 
ern States) an indispensable one. — They have two ways of 
doing this. — The one is, by letting the brush lye on the 
ground until the leaves, and small twigs have fallen, and are 
beginning to rot ; which, when plowed in, occasions putre- 
faction and fermentation, and of course more product, after 
these have happened. — The other is, to let the brush lye (not 
in heaps, by piling it up, but as it is cut off) until the Spring, 
— and then set fire to it ; which spreading over the whole 
surface, equally, warms the earth, while the ashes serve as a 
manure. — w ob of these is best, or whether either of them are 
better than to expose the soil to the Sun (as it is of a cold and 
sour nature) deserves consideration. — At any rate I agree with 
you in opinion, that it is best, as you have already plowed up 
K° G at Muddy hole, not to tend the ground (now in wood, 
and of w ch we are speaking) in Corn next year — My wish, 
as I mentioned in a former letter, is, that when the ground is 
cleared, every thing that can be taken up by the Roots may 
be grubbed ; — for though more time will be required to do 
this — yet, in the end, labour will be saved by it ; as to lay 
the grubs all one way, will also do. — 


I am very willing that you sh d tend the Number of Com 
holes at the Mansion house which you propose, and with the 
force belonging to that place ; but do you not mean to com- 
prehend the ground between the Orchard and outer fence, as 
well as the Orchard itself ? — the first is necessary in order to 
clean, and get the ground in order ; as bushes and shrubs are 
spreading over it. — But where, and in what manner do you 
mean to have the communication between the Stables and the 
pasture below the Hill ? — The most natural one, at least the 
one most out of sight, would be by a lane around the clover 
lot, by the Quarters back side. — The fence to inclose that 
field, for Corn, ought not to appear in view of the house ; and 
for that reason sh d discend the hill (far enough to effect this 
purpose) that goes from the lot where the Potatoes grew last 
year to where the old cabbins stood. — 

I likewise think with you that the field between the 
Meadows and Mill would hardly pay the cost of cultivation 
until all the woods which are therein is cleared up ; and 
therefore have no objection to letting it remain awhile longer : 
— but I cannot consent, in order to effect this, to be tending 
the same fields over and over again ; because they may hap- 
pen, at this moment, to be in some what better condition. — 
This would be continuing a practice which has been the de- 
struction of my land hitherto, and which my great aim and 
endeavor is to avoid. — By the last report from Union farm I 
perceive you are plowing in jST° (3, but for what purpose I can- 
not conceive, as I have not recollection enough of my plan of 
rotine to decide whether it is agreeable thereto — but know 
that it was in small grain last year and in Corn the year be- 
fore and parts of it extremely poor. — iS'ordo I at this moment 
call to mind, What field, at that farm, goes into Corn next 
year ; if it be Ts° 4, as part of it, according to both our ideas 
had better lay longer untilled, I would ask whether the d I 111 - 
ciency might not be made up for the hands thereof by tend- 
ing the Jnclosure between the white crates and the irate in the 


hollow ? — Good part of that Inclosure, if the trees were 
trimmed up, and in some places thinned, would bring (for it 
has brought) good corn. 

I hope, and wish, Allison may turn out well. — I know no- 
thing of the one yon have engaged — but it is a family of very 
little respectability, and closely connected with a set of people 
about my Mill — the Pools particularly — than whom I believe, 
a more worthless set are no where to be found. — It was this 
Allison too, if I mistake not, with whom Crow spent, or 
rather mispent much of his time. 

I remember well your speaking to me concerning the erect- 
ing sheds for the Cattle by the new barn at Union farm and 
my consent thereto— nor do I object to them now — On the 
contrary am much pleased that you are extending them to all 
the farms — but desire that these may not prevent the erection 
of those I had contemplated by the Barn at Dogue run for 
the work horses and Cattle, so soon as y e Carpenters are en- 
abled to build them. — 

I perceive you are gathering thorn berries, with which I 
am pleased ; but to turn them to account they must lye buried 
a year before they are sown — I presume however, you have 
informed yourself of all this. — 

Is it possible that the Wheat you send to Mill should only 
weigh 48f and 49 lbs p r B 1 ?— the Millers report says this.— 

Let me have the dates of the deposits of the money which 
you placed in the Bank of Alexandria; — they are not men- 
tioned in the Mem m which came in your last letter. — 

Is Oneil still quarrying stone at Mount Vernon? — What 
has he raised and what has become of it. — 

I remain — Your friend &c fc 

" G° Washington. 



Philadelphia Dec* 21 Bt 1704. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 14 th instant with the papers and reports, 
which were enclosed therewith, came safe to hand. — 

The whole amount of the Corn Crop I perceive is, 163<> 
barrels, — I perceive also, by the reports of the last week, and 
I believe it has been as much for several Weeks preceeding, 
your weekly consumption of this article is 22 barrels to the 
Stock, and about 14 to the Xegros ; amounting together to 
36 barr Ls which, multiplied by 52, the number of weeks in a 
year makes 1872 ; and is 233 barr ls more than is made. — How 
far this extraordinary consumption has been occasioned by 
the Hogs which have been fatting, and how far it is capable 
of reduction, it is more than I am able at this distance, to 
determine. — It w d , if continued, be using considerably more 
than ever was expended on the Estate ; — for which reason, as 
I observed in one of my late letters to yon, at the same time 
that I wish nothing to be starved thereon, I would have the 
Corn — and indeed every thing else — administered with the ut- 
most ceconomy — for hard indeed will it be, upon me, if I can 
make no more from my estate — Wheat alone, excepted — than 
is consumed thereon ; and from the produce of that article, 
Overseers wages, and every thing that is bought, is to be 
paid. — 

Can you form any judgment from the Oats that have been 
threshed, what will be the amount of the Crop ? — I am really 
mortified at not knowing the quantity of Potatoes that grew in 
N° 4 at Dogue run, that I might have compared it with the 
yield of corn in the same field ; and thereby decided with more 
certainty and precision on cultivating of both in that manner. — 
Do you suppose that that field w d have yielded more Corn if 
it had been planted in the usual way — at the distance of 5J 


or »J feet a part, each way (which would have given about the 
rume number of stalks to the acre) than it has done at 4 by S. 
— And does the growing wheat in that field, look as well as it 
does in others, equally exhausted I — It is interesting to know 
this. — I wish also to know how the Wheat and Barley, in 
general looks ? and whether this mild autumn has not pushed 
it too forward ? — I am equally desirous of knowing how 
the Clover and other grass-seeds which were sown last 
spring and winter look at this time ? — A finer summer and 
fall never could have happened for them, than we have had. 

The price of flour in Alexandria is far short of what it sells 
at here, — ten dollars p r barr 1 being the price of it in this city. 
— This is an additional inducement to hasten the manufactur- 
ing of all the "Wheat I have ; — for as the freight round dues 
not exceed half a dollar, I shall not be disposed to receive 
there much less than the difference of freight and insurance, 
between the two places. — 

When is it probable, with the force that is employed on 
the Mill race, it will be completed ; and the water turned 
therein ? — I ask this question because I do not recollect the 
turn in it which you speak of ; nor how far, nor what depth 
it is, from thence to the upper end of it. — 

I am of opinion that you had better give the Barn at 
Muddy hole a thorough repair — and do all the jobs which are 
necessary, before the Xew Barn at River farm is undertaken. 
— I should like to consult you on the spot, before any plan i> 
formed for that ; — and to know with more precision than 1 
do at present, the advantages, and disadvantages of the one at 
D[ogue] Bun. — As the brick foundations for the sheds which 
I propose to have built at the last mentioned place, were laid 
last October, I am surprized to hear you say that nothing 
can be done towards them -till the spring, on ace fc of the 
Brick work. — Let the old Barn at River farm be well shored 
or propped, to prevent accidents ; which if the people should 
happen to be in it at the time, might prove a direful one. — 


The field X° 4. at that place will require much aid of 
manure ; — and much labour to recover it from the gullied 
state in which it was, when I viewed it last ; — and no work 
can be more necessary than to accomplish these; as far as the 
nature of the thing, and the means you possess, will enable 
you to perform them. — 

I am glad to hear so good an account of Donaldson ; en- 
courage him to exercise spirit and industry ; — and convince 
him that you will support his authority. — It may prompt 
him to exertion, and pride. — 

I perceive by the Spinning report of last week, that each 
of the spinners have deducted half a pound for dirty wool. — 
to avoid this in future (for if left to themselves they will soon 
deduct a pound, or more) it would be best to let them receive 
none but clean wool. — I do not recollect what allowance of 
provision the Gardener was to have had by any former agree- 
ment, but being willing to allow him and his wife what they 
can fairly eat, themselves, without misapplication — waste, or 
giving it to others — you might let them have what they re- 
quire, under those restrictions ; — and as they have no place 
out of the Cellars or Meat house, to keep whatever is allowed 
them, — query — whether it would not be better to give it out 
to them once in a while (weighing it to see how they go on) 
than all at a time? for they must know, positively, that no 
part of what they shall receive in any manner, is, by saving, 
or otherwise, to be considered as a perquisite, and disposed of 
as such. — To what they can eat they are welcome ; but none 
shall be sold or given away unless perchance, it may be, now 
and then be, to a person who visits, and may eat with them. 

I am Your friend &c l 

G° Washington. 

I have looked in vain for the Xotes, for the Tob° I have in 
Alexandria ; — If I should have sent them to you, let Peter 
carry them to Mr. Lear of George Town ; — or vou might send 


them by the Post — but the Postage you, not he, must pay. — ]f 

you have them not enquire of Col Fitzgerald ' if I did not 

send them to him. 

G. W. 


Philadelphia Dec r 2S th 1704. 
Mr. Peakce, 

I have duly received your letter of the 21 Ht inst* with its 
enclosures. — 

Your idea of fencing the ground at the Mansion house for 
Corn, accords exactly with mine (as far as I understand it) 
except in joining the fence which comes from the first (outer 
gate) in the hollow to the corner of the clover lot, north of 
the road, by the deep w T ashed gully. — My idea was to continue 
that fence on, (making a lane there between it and the clover 
lot) until it descends the summit of the hill which goes down 
to the Creek — then continue along that hill, just out of view 
of the house, and walks about it, by the old Cabbins, until it 
should strike the outer fence, which runs from the first men- 
tioned gate to the Cr k — in the most convenient manner ; 
without enclosing too much ground ; — that is, without enclos- 
ing more than is cultivated. — If the first course of fence (as 
proposed by you from the gate in the hollow) is to join the 
corner of the clover lot as above, how can there be a passage, 
as usual, into the lower pasture, when the fence from that 
corner continues round the several Inclosures quite to the 
Wharf or lime kiln ? — I conclude from hence that you either 
misunderstand me, or I mistake you, because in this instance 
our ideas are not to be reconciled. — 

I do not conceive that all the gr d comprehended within the 
line of fence as I have described it, will much, if any, exceed 
35 or 40 acres : — but of this I speak by guess, never having 

formerly on Washington's staff, and sometime Mayor of Alexandria. 


measured it. — The woods without the pasture fence from the 
Inelosnre by the white gate, up to the little old field on the 
road to Alexandria, I have measured; the contents of which 
(as yon may see by the enclosed draught of it) is 74 Acres; 
and in the part comprehended from the turn in the road, at 
a kind of pond, to the place where the gate used to stand (on 
the old road leading into the house) contains 33 acres. — "Within 
the white gate Inclosure (as the fences runs) there is, to the 
best of my recollection about 40 acres. — 

Whether to put this last mentioned inclosure into Corn, 
with the Union farm hands, or that part of 2s ° 4, at that farm, 
which adjoins the lane leading up to the Barn, in Oats — or 
whether both can be accomplished, I shall leave to your own 
judgment, with this caution — viz — never to undertake more 
than you can execute well y allowing for the usual chances of 
weather.' — I do not hesitate to confess, that reclaiming, and 
laying the grounds down handsomely to grass, and in woods 
thinned, or in clumps, about the Mansion house is among my 
first objects and wishes. — If corn should be attempted in this 
enclosure, the trees may, in places, be thinned a little ; but 
not much ; but all must be trimmed up — "Will knows how to 
do it. — The grubs should be compleately eradicated to prevent 
the ground from fouling again with succours etc 1 — and the 
hill sides (liable to wash into gullies) ought not to be broke. — 
The other fields at this (Union) farm, will go on agreeably to 
what is mentioned in y r letter. 

And I perceive the rotations for Dogue-run, Muddy liole 
and lliver farms are right as you have described ; and the 
two first may go on agreeably thereto. — One reason why 
Dogue-run has only two fields for cultivation next year is, on 
account of the Mill swamps which it has been my anxious 
wish to get in grass — one lot after another — and in complete 
order, and on acc fc of grubs in X° 5. 

For the reason you have mentioned, that is, the want of a 
partition fence between fields X° 4 and 5 at River farm and 


the difficulty of enclosing the whole securely, I consent to 
vour managing of them in the manner you proposed next 
vcur ; and letting is T lye over to another year, — and that 
von may put Oats and clover in the ground where Buck 
wheat grew this year, agreeably to your proposal. — 

In clearing the AVood in X° 5 at Dogue-run, leave two or 
three clumps of trees standing, for the purpose of shado and 
ornament. — and by attending to the rotation of Crops at that 
place you will perceive that JST° 4 is to be sown with clover — 
let this be done at a proper time this winter, or early in the 
Spring, on light snow. — 

Presuming you keep all my letters, that you may have re- 
course to them occasionally for the opinions, sentiments and 
directions they convey to you, I request you will carefully 
peruse two long letters I wrote to you at your first going to 
Mount Vernon — Many things were contained therein which 
require attention ; — and some others which circumstances 
might not, at that time permit the execution of, that may be 
attempted now.— Many matters of importance were suggested 
in those letters and to refer to them is all that is necessary to 
bring them to view, and into operation where they can be, as 
I do not know that any change respecting them, have taken 
place in my sentiments. — 

In bad weather, when the carpenters are unable to work 
out, let them prepare frames, shingles &c* for putting in 
more dormant windows in the back of the Stables at Mansion 
house, and two in the front part of them ; — one on each side 
the pediment — in the centre between it and the ends — for 
the purpose of giving air to the Corn and hay loft. 

The weather has been so extremely favorable for plough- 
ing that I hope this part of your business is in great forward- 
ness.- — 

Tell house Frank it is my hope, and expectation (now there 
is nothing for him to do in the house) that his whole time 
will not be spent in idleness. — He might find enough to do 




(under the Gardeners directions) in the gardens, yard? and 
lawns — Nor ought Lucy to be idle when she is not Cookiii«* 
and doing other work about the house. — In spinning, knitting 
and such like things her leizure hours ought to be employed.— 

I send you the seed of the cucumber tree 1 to be given to 
the Gardener, whose particular care of it I request — lie may 
plant them in the little garden by the Salt house with a label 
by them. — Let him know that Mrs. Washington sent his wife 
as a present the things contained in the following list 
poor Austin, who died on his way to see his wife and fai 
(at Hartford, on Saturday last) of, as is supposed an appo- 
plexy. Mrs. Stiles, at whose Tavern he died has been desired 
to send on the Mare, he road, with her Mule Colt; and all 
the things (clothes included) he had with him, with a list 
thereof to Mount Vernon, where I hope they have arrived 
safe — amon£ these was the bundle containing the articles for 
the Gardeners wife, and another containing two pair of 
Gloves for Mrs. Stuart 3 — "What other things besides his 
clothes might be in the Portmanteau I know not — probably 
he might be carrying things home for his wife. — I wrote to 
you by him, but whether the letter may reach you or not is 
uncertain, now. 

The Gardener complains of the injury which the shrubs 
(even in the yard) sustain from the Deer. I am at a loss 
therefore in determining whether to give up the Shrubs or 
the Deer ! — Is there no way of frightning them from these 
haunts ? — 

I hope every possible attention has been, and will continue 
to be used to preserve the Porke from receiving injury from 
the warm weather. — 

The enclosed letter from old Butler shews his distress. — I 
think you were perfectly right in detaining part of his wages 
for lost time ; — yet, as I can better afford to be without the 

1 Magnolia Acuminata, 2 Wife of an Overseer. 


jnoiicy than he can, you ma}' pay him for the full time he 
was at Mount Yernon without deduction. 

I will endeavor to procure and send you some honey locust 
seed as I conceive very formidable hedges may be made of 
them. — I find Doll at the Ferry is constantly returned sick — 
the Overseer at that place ought to see that this sickness is 
not pretence. — 

Flour is still at ten dollars a barrel in this City and not 

likely to fall. — 

I am your friend cfcc 1 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Jan y 4 th 1795. 
Me. Pearce, 

I have received your letter of the 28 th of last month with 
its enclosures, and am sorry to hear you were unwell, at that 
time ; — but hope you have quite recovered. — the warmth, and 
changeability of the weather have been productive of violent 
colds in this part of the country. — 

Such has been the goodness of the last autumn, and mild- 
ness and openess of the winter, hitherto, that I hope all the 
Oat grounds will be got in good order for early Seeding of 
this grain, and clover, (where the latter is to accompany it ;) 
for I have always found that late sowed oats, or clover, unless 
followed by a dripping spring, and in other respects suitable 
weather, rarely come to much. — Dry and hot weather pre- 
vents the growth of the first, and entirely destroys the latter, 
in the young and tender stage of its growth. — 

After getting out as many of your best quallticd Oats for 
seed, as the ground by the rotations, and such other as you 
shall allot for them, may require, — take care that the residue 
is not used so near as to disfurnish my horses when 1 may 
come to Mount Yernon ; which, probably, will be twice be- 
tween the adjournment of Congress on the 3 d of March, and 


their meeting again in autumn. — The first for a flying trii 
(as soon as the roads will permit me to travel after the ad- 
journment) with not more than iive horses; — the other, 
during the hot weather, for a longer term ; and with more 
than double that number of horses ; as Mrs. Washington and 
the family will accompany me.— 

What chimney has fallen, by w ch negro children were hurt, 
and how are they now ? — Under real, or pretended sickness, I 
perceive Doll, at the Ferry, rarely does any work ; — it would 
be well to place her in a situation where her ways can be at- 
tended to. — If she is really unable to work, none will be re- 
quired of her ; if she is able, deceitful complaints, of which 
she is verv capable of making, ought not to avail her. 

Pursue the rotation of Crops at Dogue-run farm rigidly, in 
all its parts ; and as directed in all the fields. — However I 
may license alterations, and departures from it at the other 
farms, I will not deviate from it in the smallest degree at 
this. — Therefore, clover must be sown on the Wheat in i^ 4 
(and I hope in good time, and the sooner the better) — and 
Potatoes is to be planted in JNT° 5, along with the Corn ; in 
the same manner they were last year in~N° 4. — Let the rows 
of each, range K~° and South ; — that is as the fence between 
Ts° 5 and the Wood runs. — As soon as the clover seed comes 
to this market, and a vessel is up for Alexandria, I will ship 
you five bushels of it ; — If more be wanting, let me know it, 
as I am not disposed to stint the ground, nor to prevent your 
putting it into any lots you may think proper ; — or to scatter 
seed in places where it is now too thin, if you conceive benefit 
will result therefrom. — 

A year or more ago, I had made, in the neighbourhood of 
this City, a large and strong plough for turning a broad and 
deep furrow. —This plow I. sent to Mount Vernon to be em- 
ployed for those purposes; — and in Xovember 1793, a drilled 
plow which had been sent to me from England, I also shipped 
at this place for Mount Vernon. — Has the first ever been 



used?— and to what useful purposes can the other be applied : 
---I forgot when I was at Mount Vernon in June last, to en- 
quire for either of these plows, and the latter (that is the 
drilled plow) having arrived here, and was reshipped during 
the prevalence of the Yellow fever in this City, I never saw 
it. — consequently know not for what uses it was intended, or 
is fit for. — 

I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia Jan y ll lh 170.*). 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 4 th inst*, with the reports, is received — 
but the Miller, I perceive has left off, or rather I believe, has 
not yet begun to report what Wheat is manufactured, and 
what Hour is made. — The price of both these articles have 
fallen in this market as well as in that of Alexandria; but as 
I see no permanent cause for it, and know that the last years 
crop of Wheat was very short indeed, in all parts of the 
United States, I have no doubt of its getting up again ; if the 
holders of it, and the flour are not too precipitate in their 
sales thereof. 

My ideas with respect to the Inclosure for Corn at the 
Mansion house, (within the present pasture fence) are clearly 
understood by you ; — and I wish the fence to run accord- 
ingly; and if all the ground which shall be inclosed by if 
cannot be cultivated in this article, I should prefer putting 
that part into it which you deem (and I believe very properly) 
the poorest for the produce of either part, is not so much an 
object with me, as cleaning — ornamenting — and laying the 
grounds to grass ; after preparing and improving of them as 
fully as my means will allow. — On this principal also it is, 1 
tend the field by the White gates; — and want to clear up (as 


fast as I can) the Woods between the Alexandria road and 
the pasture fence. — That the grubbing in this wood will be 
found very bad I have no doubt, — and though the clearing of 
it may not keep pace with my wishes, yet my expectation.^ 
are not unreasonable. — xYll the force that can be bestowed in 
the accomplishment of these objects, I wish may be given ; 
but I do not mean that labour, more essential at other place.-, 
is to be neglected in order to effect them. — 

As I shall be at Mount Vernon (if nothing unforeseen pre- 
vents it) before the Corn in the white gate inclosure will be 
planted, the thinning of the trees in it may be left till 1 
come ; — but the vistos as well, as the other parts of the field 
had better be plowed altogether that the whole face of the 
ground may be smooth and even. — When you clean up within 
the pasture fence, do not meddle with the Lrees that grow on 
either side of the road leading to the first gate on the sides 
of the hills — nor in the valley which leads from the first gate 
for some distance up it. — The lane back of the clover lot will 
pass over very bad and dangerous gr d for horses, or stock of 
any kind to be crowded and quarrelling in ; — but you will, 1 
have no doubt, fall upon some expedient to guard against the 
accidents which otherwise might arise from the deep gullied 
part of it. — 

My plan for the two sheds at Dogue-run (one on each side 
of the barn, and adjoining the Corn houses, which were to 
make the south ends of them) was, to lay Cills on the brick 
foundations, which were intended to be raised high enough 
above the ground to prevent their rotting. — On these Cills a 
frame was to be erected, the plates of which was to be high 
enough to be out of the way of the horses heads ; with a 
range of troughs for feeding ; and either racks, or places back 
of the troughs or mangers as in the stables at the Mansion 
house, for Hay. — The backs, and ends next the barn to be 
boarded up: — and the fronts also, as low as to admit a tall 
horse to pass under with ease. — The Posts and studs may be 


placed at such distances as to suit for Stalls now, or hereafter. 
—-The enclosed rough sketch, with what I have here said, 
will give you a full idea of my design. — A door in the middle 
of each shed must be left, through which to carry out the 
dung, or litter to the stercoraries hack of them. — 

As it is my wish to plant many Irish potatoes this year, be 
sure to reserve enough for seed, by making ample allowance 
for thefts, waste, and rotting. — I shall send you by the first 
vessel a bushel and half of clean honey locust seed ; which I 
would have raised in a nursery for the purpose of hedging. — 
By an experiment I have made a (large) quart contains 1,000 
seed ; this, allowing ten Seed to a foot, would sow, or plant, 
four rows of 100 feet each ; — at this rate, 40 quarts (which I 
think you may count upon, at least) would require 1G0 rows ; 
gr d for which I would have you prepare whenever you shall 
find most convenient, that the seed may be put in as soon as 
it arrives : — two feet apart will be enough for the rows, as to 
weed the plants until they are fit to transplant is all that will 
be required — and this will be done in two years. 

I am sorry to hear that French Will is resuming his old 
tricks again. — The lye he tells, respecting my promise of 
freedom to him, after seven years service, carries its convic- 
tion along with it ;- — inasmuch as I had no certainty of hold- 
ing him an hour after Mrs. French's death ; which might 
have happened within the year I hired him ; how then could 
I promise freedom to a person I held under such a tenure ? — 
Harsh treatment will not do with him ; — you had better 
therefore let him piddle, and in this way (though I believe 
little trust is to be placed in him) get what you can out of 
him. — 

What is the matter with Dick at Dogue-Run, who has 
been reported lame for sometime ? — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia Jan* 25 th 1795. 

Mk. Pearce, 

Since my last of this day week, I have received your letters 
of the 11 th and 18 th inst 1 , with the weekly reports — and an 
; acc l of sundry payments and the rec ts therefor. — The latter J 

(that is the vouchers) I did not wish to have had sent — it would 
have been time enough to exhibit these when I come home, 
and settled the ace* regularly. — All I wanted for the present, 
— or rather for the past year — was a gen 1 ace* of all the 
monies you had received, and paid, from the time of your 
taking charge of the business, up to the close of the year 1794. 
comprehending therein the Overseers Wages — and whatever 
belonged properly to that year, that I might have a view of 
the receipts and expenditures thereof, and might see how I 
was going on. — 

In looking over your ace* eurr*, and comparing it with the 
Millers receipt, I find an error of £9-4—6 to your disadvan- 
tage — that is, you have only charged me with £22-18-0 
cash paid him, whereas by his receipt, it appears that he had 
got from you £32 .2.0 cash, and acknowledges to have re- i 

ceived the first named sum in other articles. 

I am sorry to find that flour has fallen so considerably be- 
fore the little I made was ready for market, and was disposed 
of ; — but as there is no reason that I can perceive for this 
great fall (knowing, that the Wheat crop last year was ex- 
tremely short, in all the States of the Union which raise this 
grain for exportation) I have no doubt of the price being up 
again (possibly not so high) before the warm weather; when 
it must be sold at any rate, for fear of its spoiling. — 

How does, or did whilst the ground was uncovered, your 
early Wheat look ? — I was unlucky in my growth of it last 
year. — Doct r Stuart had a good return for what he sowed ;- — 


ruid Col° Ball a very great one. — I wish there might not have 
been some imposition on me, the year before last in the seed ; 
of this I entertained some suspicion when you informed me 
last harvest that it appeared to be very little forwarder in 
ripening than the common wheat — Does, or did your crops 
of "Wheat continue to look well before the Snow fell I — and 
your grass lots, and meadows also ? — 

How does the treading floor in the new barn at Po£rue-run„ 
answer? — Having tried it now in both "Wheat and Oats, you 
must be enabled to decide, whether it is a more expeditious 
mode than to tread on the ground, or not. — That it is more 
clean and safe, if the lower door is always kept locked (w ch it 
ought to be, except when the fan is at work) can admit of no 
doubt. — 

I approve of your idea of putting the little old field at the 
ferry into Corn, and laying it down with Wheat and clover. 
— From the length of time it has lain out, it ought to produce 
well. — If there is any part to clear, do not deprive it of all 
the "Wood — either leave single trees, or clumps ; — indeed I 
would, without always giving particular directions, have this 
attended to as a general rule. — It is always in one's power to 
cut a tree down, — but time only can place them where one 
would have them, after the gr d is stripped of them. 1 — 

The Gardener may go on with his nursery — and be told 
that he shall be allowed the fifth of what are sold — or raised. — 

Altho' Bishop should never have wanted victuals or eloaths 
whilst he lived, yet his death cannot be cause of regret, even 
to his daughter ; to whom, from the imbecility of age, if not 
when he died, he soon must have become, very troublesome 
to her, and a burthen to all around him. 3 

1 The only flag Washington ever suggested for the Colonies was a tree in 
a field. Had he ever heard of the mythical cherry tree fallen beneath his 
hatchet he would prohahly have repudiated it, not only as a lover of truth, 
hut of trees. 

• Bishop, — as to the care necessary for whom the reader will recall an 


I never saw Donaldson's son, but from what you have said 
respecting him, 1 am very willing to allow him his victuals, 
and course cloathing : — but ascertain the quantum, and sort 
of both, in writing, to prevent mistakes and grumbling hero- 
after. — I am always ready, and willing, to fulfil every engage- 
ment I enter into ; — and hating disputes, I wish always that 
contracts may be clearly understood; — for this reason also, it 
is necessary he should know that the boy must work duly and 
truely. — And whilst I am on this subject, — I would repeat my 
expectation that he will take pains to teach those who work 
with him (especially Isaac and the boy Jem) in the ^principles 
of the several kinds of work they are employed in ; — particular 
in Carts, Wheels, Plows, Harrows, Wheel barrows, and such 
kinds of impliments as are used about a farm, or dwelling 
liouse. — I would also have him cautioned against an error 
which I have felt no small inconvenience from ; — and that is, 
that rather than persevere in doing things right themselves, 
and being at the trouble of making others do the like, they 
will fall into the slovenly mode of executing work which is 
practiced by those, among whom they are. — I have experienced 
this not only from European tradesmen, — but from farmers 
also, who have come from England ; and from none in a 
greater degree, than from Mr. Whiting, and one Bloxham, 
who proceeded him ; — and who, tho' perfectly acquainted with 
every part of a farmers business; — and peculiarly so (the lat- 
ter T mean) in the management and use of Oxen for the Cart 
or plow, double or single, with yokes or with harness; yet, find- 
ing it a little troublesome to instruct the Xegros, and to com- 
pel them to the practice of his modes; he slided into theirs ; 
and at length (which I adduce as a proof) instead of using 
proper flails for threshing the grain, I have found my people at 
this work with hoop poles. — and other things similar thereto. — 

admonition (p. 110), — had been the English body-servant of Braddock, who, 
it is said, when dying confided him to Washington. He married at Mount 
Vernon, and lived beyond fourscore years. 


I am glad to find you are engaged in so useful, and desir- 
able a work as that of filling up gullies in the fields that are 
coming into cultivation. — Nothing can be more beniiicial on 
the farms than this ; — but where they are deep, use old trees, 
stumps, stones, broken rails, and such things for the bottom ; 
— otherwise the quantity of litter and leaves which w d be re- 
quired, would be immense. — I served xS° 5. at Union farm in 
this manner, where a gully was, almost across the whole field, 
in which a horse might have been hid ; — and where, at this 
day, I believe there is scarcely any trace of it. — 

I think it not unlikely that French's Will is in Maryland : — 
when lie was guilty of these tricks formerly (before I had 
him) his walks, and harbouring place was, as I have been in- 
formed, somewhere within the circle of Broad Creek, Bladens- 
burgh and upper Marlborough : — the precise spot I do not 
know, nor is it worth while (except for the sake of example, 
nor for that, if it stops with him) to be at ?/iuc/i trouble, or 
at any expence over a trifle, to hunt him up. — 

Let the Gardener know that I will endeavor to procure the 
Seeds he has wrote for, but tell him at the same time that lie 
must endeavor to save seeds for himself : — Besides the high 
prices of Seeds in the Shops in this City, he knows from the 
experience of those I have heretofore sent him from hence, 
that they are not to be relied on. — Get from him all the Seed 
of the S fc Foin which he saved last year, and plant it to the 
best advantage you can the ensuing spring, for the purpose of 
raising seed. — I am extremely anxious to raise all the seed I 
can from this plant : — It must not be planted where hares can 
get to it ; — they are so fond of it as not to let it rise to seed. — 

With the Trees which were sent by Mr. Lear last spring, 
or from hence (I am not sure which) was sent you furze seed 
— as also Cale, or Cole seed: 1 — Let these also be made the 
most of, as well as the other srass seeds which were saved 

Brasska mapug. 

P.S. — "What tilings were sent to Mount Vernon when the 


Mare and Colt which Austin rode was carried there? — And 
among them was there a bundle for Mrs. Elder I 



from the plants in the Vineyard — and from those in the little 
garden by the Salt house &c fc — The books you have will tell 
when to sow. — Fifty or Sixty bushels of Oats, indeed less,, 
will be more than enough to save for my horses, the first trip 
I shall make to Mount Vernon, after the rising of Congress; 
and by the time the second trip is made, the new crop will be 
harvested, or on the point of it; — yet, to make the matter 
sure (as the second trip will consume two or three hund' 1 
bushels, in all probability) put by 100 bushels for my use; — 
after which sell all you can spare, reserving enough of the 
lest for seed and for such other uses as you know they will be 
wanted for. — I do not know what ground except ls° 7 at 
Dogue-run you mean to sow with Oats next spring; but have 
no doubt you will take care to put in enough. — 

This induces me to ask, whether, as the ferry people will 
have the field at Mansion house to tend in Corn, as well as 
X° 1 at home, it would not be as well to put the little old 
field at that farm, if it could be fenced, and well prepared in 
ihne, into Oats and clover this Spring, as to let it go into 
Corn ; and then into Wheat and clover in the fall ? — The 
Oats would answer for the horses as well as the Corn, whilst 
the clover would be sooner fit for use. But in this do as yon 
like best. — 

If Mr. Lfund] Washington is indebted for fish, the charge, 
J presume;, is on the fish acc fc and where that is I know not 
at present. — 

I wish you well— and 

am Your friend 

G° Washington. 




Philadelphia Feb y 1 st 1795. 
Mn. Pearce, 

I write to you this week, more for the sake of letting you 
know that your letter of the 25 th ult° with the reports, came 
bate, than because I have anything to communicate that is in 
any degree material. 

I have no doubt of Ceder making a good hedge— but I 
have very great ones of your getting them to live, when 
transplanted ; — and if they should not, your labour as well as 
the plants will be lost. "Were there not Cedar berries sown 
in the Vineyard last year ? or the year before \ and whether 
did they come up or not ? 

There are various opinions as to the proper season for re- 
moving these trees : — some say spring : — some say autumn : 
— and others insist upon it that mid summer is the proper 
season. — I never succeeded even tolerably, until I removed 
them in deep frosts; with a block of frozen earth hard bound 
(by the frost) to their roots. — In this manner few or none 
will be lost ; but in all probability the winter is too far spent 
for the adoption of this mode of transplanting them. — My 
opinion is, that any trees or shrubs that will bear to stand 
close together without injuring each other, will do for par- 
tition fences against horses, cattle, and even sheep ; — but that 
nothing short of a close rail fence, or stone wall, is secure 
against hogs. — This, among other reasons has made me anx- 
ious to try (as an experiment at least) to raise these animals 
in Sties from pigs. — It has succeeded well where tried.- — 

It is happy for old Betty, and her children and friends, 

that she is taken of [f] the stage; — her life must have been 

miserable to herself, and troublesome to all those around 

her. — 

I am — Your friend tfcc* 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia Feb y 8 th 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter with its enclosures, came to my hands as usual, 
by the Mail of yesterday. — 

The general accounts, as I mentioned in a late letter, may 
remain for settlement, until my arrival at Mount Yernon, and 
up to the close of the last year. 

I do not, among the things sent to Mount Yernon by Mrs. 
Styles (as in the possession of Austin) see any shirts men- 
tioned. — "Was it an omission, or were there none sent? — 
Some of the articles, I presume, belonged to himself, and 
were designed for his wife, which she may still have if they 
ai*e known. — 

I had doubts myself, whether the little old field at the 
ferry could be got in good order, in time, for Oats and clover, 
when I suggested the idea to you ; I consent very readily 
therefore to your tending it in Corn, and laying it down in 
Wheat and clover, — (what quantity is there of it, that is how 
many acres will there be cultivated in the piece) — and if 
there is the least reason to apprehend that the field by the 
white gates will be wanted for pasture, or cannot be well cul- 
tivated, I as readily give this over also — for you will recoiled 
that my constant admonishment has been never to undertake 
more than you can (in the common course of weather, and 
other circumstances) accomplish well. I agree likewise to the 
arrangement which you propose with respect to the fields .No. 
1, 3, and G at Muddy hole; — and desire that you would, at all 
times, surest any plans which you think may be advantageous ; 
— always keeping in mind, that 'immediate profit is not so much 
an object with mo as the restoration of worn out and gullied 
fields ; — bringing them in condition to bear grass ; — reclaim- 
ing and laying swamps to meadow ; making live fences (espe- 


dally where hogs are not suffered to run) ; — and ornamenting 
the grounds about the Mansion house. — 

The old clover lot at that place it is my wish should be 
planted this year with Potatoes; and the poor parts thereof, 
as far as your means will extend, to be well manured. — 

You should take care to advertise, in time, the horse and 
Jacks for covering, the ensuing season. — Let them stand at 
the same rates they did last year. — If they were lower I might 
get more Mares to them, without adding much to the profit ; 
especially as my pastures would be injured (that is to say 
eaten barer) thereby. — 

I am sorry to hear that your WJa* fields have been so thinly 
covered with snow, during the late frosts and wet weather. — 
If this should continue to be the case, it is much to be feared 
that the remainder of this month, and the succeeding one, 
will prove very injurious. — 

Herewith are the garden seeds which Elder wrote for : — 

but tell him that such seeds as he can save, he ought to save. 

— It is shameful for Gardeners and farmers to be buying 

seeds that their own soil and climate will produce, after being 

once furnished. — 

I remain Your friend 

G° "Washington. 


Philadelphia Feb y 15 th 1795. 
Mr. PexUice, 

Your letter, and the reports of the preceeding Week, came 
duly to hand. — 

It is my earnest wish to have my land on four-mile run re- 
surveyed, and the bounds thereof ascertained ; that the pre- 
tence of not knowing the lines may — no longer — be an excuse 
for the trespasses which are committed thereon, to the great 
diminution of its value ; — the wood being the more important, 
as the land is of a mean quality. — For the purpose of survey- 


ing, it was, that I left the papers with you ; and more than 
once have called your attention to this business. — It might !.«• 
well to agree upon some day with Mr. Washington l and 
others, (amongst whom a Mr. Terret joins) that are knowing 
to the lines, and interested in the business; that it may he 
effectually done if every thing is clear, and no difficulties sh ! 
arise with respect to title, or bounds. — If these, or either of 
them, should happen, enter into no agreement that will he j 

obligatory on me. — I attempted, as will appear by some notes 
amongst the papers I left with you, to Survey this land my- 
self ; but having no person with me who was acquainted with 
the lines, I was unable to find more than two or three of the 
Corners. — A Moses Ball, if living:, must have some knowledge 

of the lines : — Mr. ■ also, but as he is interested in this 

business, and is accused of being a pretty considerable tres- 
passer on the part which, joins him, it would not be strange if 
corner and line trees both are cut down ; — nor very strange, 
if it has not happened from entire ignorance, if he should not 
endeavor to perplex, and mislead, thereabouts. — As the Survey 
is not in consequence of a law suit, and made by order of the 
Court, there is no necessity of employing the County Sur- 
veyor, unless he possesses more skill than any other who can 
readily be got ; and will do it upon as moderate terms, as any 
other. — Do not let my papers go out of your hands — or any 
copies be taken from them. — The Surveyor, if he is a man of 
Science, will know what the variation of the compass is, and 
what allowance to make for it, if any difficulty should arise 
from the want of the Corner, and line trees. — 

I am sorry to hear that it is not likely I shall have more 
than a 1000 bushels of Oats to spare. — The crop must have 
fallen far short of my calculation, or the quantity consumed 
much greater than I had conceived, to reduce the stock on 

1 Lund Washington. The survey may have been suggested in the con 
mltation (p. 106) with Col. Simms (eminent as an officer and a jurist, — a 
pll-bearer of Washington.) (Appendix F.) 


hand, so low. — From the appearance of them growing, I had 
hopes that nearer four than three thousand bushels would 
have been produced by the several fields and lots, which were 
in this article, last year. — I am not disposed to take half a 
crown (that is 2/6) for them, yet — they certainly must be 
higher before the Month of April passes off, or they will bear 
no proportion in price to other grain. — 

I have no objection to your transplanting the young cedars 
which grow in the nursery ; but not knowing the number 
there may be of them, I am at a loss to what fence they should 
be removed. — If there was a sufficiency of them, to plant them 
thick enough for a hedge, from the gate which leads into X° 
1 at Union farm to the Barn (along the ditch) and from thence 
onwards as far as that ditch runs I should prefer this as a 
hedge of them, to any other — next to this, I should prefer an 
avenue of them from the Mill road up to Union Barn (along 
the fence on each side). — If they are incompetent to this pur- 
pose also, perhaps it would be best to make good the hedge, 
with them, at River farm; which is of Cedar from the river 
up to the Woods. — If they are insufficient for either of these 
purposes, plant them wherever you think they will answer 
best. — You say that the seed which was sown last year did 
not come up. — In what manner it was prepared and sown 1 
know not ; but if they are not soaked in water (warmed I 
suppose would be best) and all the gum, or coat that is around 
them rubbed off, quite to the naked seed, it will be to no pur- 
pose to sow them — for without this is done, or they pass 
through the body of some animal, the gathering of the seed — 
preparing the ground — and sowing them, will be entire lost 
labor. — 

If the lot between the Stable and the spring is not well, and 
thickly taken with Lucern, and entirely free from grass and 
weeds I wish you would put a heavy harrow with sharp teeth 
thereon, and tare the ground in a manner to pieces — without 
regarding how much the lucern plants are torn and maimed. — 


In a word, make the top of the ground fine, and perfectly free 
from grass and weeds ; and then sow it at the rate of 5 lbs of 
Lucern, and the same quantity of red clover, to the acre.— It 
none of the former has been saved from that which you grew 
in the Vineyard, let me know your want, and it shall be sent 
from hence. — If the Lucern, in the lot I have been speak In tc 
of is too thin, or overdone with grass or weeds, I would prefer 
plowing it up first, and then harrowing it until it is in the 
most perfect order imaginable, before it is sown in the manner 
before mentioned. 

If you depend upon me for Linnen to cloath my Xegros, let 
me know without delay the quantity necessary, that it may be 
sent in time. — And let me entreat that proper care and atten- 
tion may be given to the Bacon, to prevent spoiling ; and that 
we may find it good when we come home. 

Enclosed you will find two letters, one from Smith, respect- 
ing the fishery at Union farm, and the other from old 
Butler. — My answer to the first, left open for your perusal 
before it be sent to him, will be a sufficient indication of 
what will be best for you to say to him on the subject of 
his application. — To the other I have given no answer ; — 
but would have you enquire from time to time into his real 
situation, and afford him such relief as his necessities shall 
appear to require. 

The tedious manner in which my carpenters seem to execute 
every thing they take in hand, is extremely to be regretted. — 
They seem, from the reports, to have been weeks getting 
scantling for the Sheds at D: Run ; when, from the idea I 
had of this work, I presumed a few days would have sufficed.— - 
I beg therefore that you will make them report how much 
hewing, — and how much sawing they perform in the Week. — 
One may know then what it is they have really done ; and 
can judge, by what is known to be the performance of others, 
at this season in similar timber, and of similar work. — I re- 
quire no more of them than others do; — but this I must have 


by fair means, or by coercion, — the first would be vastly more 
agreeable, to me. 

By the Reports 1 perceive also, that for every day Betty 
Davis works she is laid up two. — If she is indulged in this 
idleness she will grow worse and worse, for she has a disposi- 
tion to be one of the most idle creatures upon earth ; and is, 
besides, one of the most deceitful. — 

I remain Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 22 d Feb. 1794. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 15 th inst* and the reports, have come to 
hand as usual. 

I was affraid the open weather we have had, with frost, 
would have injured the Wheat. — A short crop of this article 
two years running, wo d fall heavy upon me ; as it seems to be 
the only thing, to any sort of amount, from which the means 
is derived, by which the various, and heavy expences of my 
estate, is borne. — If the Wheat is thrown much out of the 
ground, and the roots exposed, try the roller thereon — re- 
peatedly — as soon as the earth is a little settled, and the roller 
will pass over it without its sticking thereto; — over the parts 
I mean (of the fields) that are injured. I tried this method 
one year with very good success ; and it is a practice strongly 
recommended by all the Books on farming. — I have, myself, 
seen bunches of Wheat the roots of which have been entirely 
out of the ground, take again by the Rollers compressing 
them to the earth : and the chance of doing it is well worth 
the expence, and time which is required by the Roller, drawn 
with Oxen. 

Put such part of the field (intended to be enclosed) at the 
Mansion house, into Corn, or other things, as you shall judge 


best; — regarding however, what I have repeatedly mentioned, 
that profit from any thing that can be raised there (at the 
Mansion house I mean) is not so much an object with me, as 
cleaning the ground ; — beautifying it with trees ; — and laying 
it to grass. — I had no idea of there being 70 acres within the 
bounds you have described ; — nor do I perfectly comprehend 
your description of them ; — or rather, the length of each line 
is greater than I had any conception of. — For in the first 
place, I had no idea of its measuring 80 perches from the 
black gate (in the hollow) to the turn of the road by the cor- 
ner of the clover lot ; — or, that from thence to the declivity 
of the hill, towards the Creek, could be S7 more. — I do not 
mean that the fence from thence, sh. descend the hill lower 
than merely to hide it from the house, and from the road 
going up to the house. — To what part of the outer fence you 
propose to join the last mentioned course, I know not ; and 
therefore cannot judge so well of the distance. — 

I am a little at a loss for an answer to Mr. Tin/ 11 — s 

request, respecting the Jack. — I should have no objection to 
letting one of my Jacks stand on the Eastern shore, if entire 
confidence could be placed in the person to whose care he was 
entrusted; but from the loose, and dissipated character of the 
above named Gentleman so far as I have heard it spoken of, 
I have doubts of the propriety of committing one of them to 
his management: — and besides, it is almost, if not quite too 
late now, to negotiate this matter with him, or any other at a 
distance; as the season would be too far advanced before the 
removal could be made, and sufficient notice thereof given for 
Mares to be bro* to his stand. — A year or two ago I was 
offered by a Connecticut man (who could, and would have 
given good security for the performance of the agreement) 
Five hundred guineas for four -(or five) years service (I am 
not certain which) of the Maltese Jack ; although he would 
(for he went to Mount Vernon to see them) have preferred 
the one which I think is named Com/pound— and if I ever 


part with another, it shall be in that way ; in order that I 
mat know certainly what I am to receive. — Letting one on 
shares, I never will ; — for in that case expcnces are trumped 
up; — one may be told of difficulties in collecting money; — 
and many other things, when accounts come to be settled : 
with a view of staving off payni* which, if they do not breed 
disputes, are at least unpleasant things, and ought to be 
avoided. — The Connecticut man whom I have before men- 
tioned, would have paid the money down, and run the risk of 
the Jack's living. — The advantage of which was very con- 
siderable ; as it was the best security possible for his care of 
the Animal. — 

If yon, who ought to know Mr. II as well as any 

body does, should be of opinion that he would pay five hun- 
dred guineas down, or give security for his doing it within a 
year ; and should moreover th k that his care of the Animal 
might be depended on, — you might write him word that 
upon these conditions, he might have either of the Covering 
Jacks for four years ; at the expiration of which he is to be 
returned in good condition, if living. — As there is a young 
Jack from Royal Gift coming on, I believe it w T ould be best to 
part with Compound, but it is not, to me, very material 
which of them is disposed of, on the terms before men- 
tioned ; as I do not know to which of their colts to give 
the preference from any knowledge I have of them. — If 

you should write to Mr. R , and he should accede to 

the terms here mentioned, the agreement must be drawn 
up in writing, by a professional man (that is by a lawyer, 
Mr. Ch s Lee l for instance) and all the objects of it clearly 
expressed. — 

"Charles Lee (1758-1815). "born at Leesylvania, Westmoreland, Va. , had 
been in the Virginia Assembly, and the Continental Congress, and was given 
prominent command in the expedition against the Whiskey Rebellion ; he 
was afterwards naval officer of the Potomac, until 1795, when he was ap- 
pointed U. S. Attorney General, after the death of William Bradford. 


Mr. Pearce Bailey may be informed that I never lower mv 
price of land ; it is infinately more likely that it will be en- 
creased, than to stand at even what it has been offered for. — 
This he might reasonably expect, as landed property is rising 
fast in value every where; from the number of emigrants, and 
others who are wanting to vest their money in that species of 
property. — 

I am sorry my letter was so long getting to the hands of mv 
Nephew Col° Washington ; ' — for if I have not formed a very 
erroneous, and unjust opinion of the conduct of my Kegro 
Carpenters — there is not to be found so idle a set of Rascals. — 
In short, it appears to me, that to make even a chicken coop, 
would employ all of them a week ; — buildings that are run tip 
here in two or three days (with not more hands) employ them 
a month, or more. — 

I will cause enquiry to be made here, into the price of 
Oznabrigs, but have little expectation that it can be bought 
on better terms in this City, than in Alexandria — for every 
thing is amazingly dear here. — 

By the Trial, Capt n Hand (I believe the Masters name is) 
I have shipped three bushels of Clover seed ; — two bushels of 
honey locust seed ; and a keg of scaley bark hiccory nuts ;• — 
the two last are in one Cask: — the high price of clover seed 
prevented me from sending more ; — what goes, is fresh and 
good. — Tell the Gardener he must plant the hiccory nuts in 
drills; — as the Illinois nuts herewith sent, must also be: — 
and they may be put near together in the drills, as they will 
be to be transplanted when they get to a proper size. — 

Have your ground for the honey locust seed in readiness 
against the arrival of the Yessel, which will leave this, it is 
said, tomorrow; — or as soon [as] the fluting Ice in the river 
will permit her to go down. — The sooner the locust seeds are 
in the ground the better. — I do not care where you put them, 

Wm. Aug. Washington, of Westmoreland. 


so they are under a secure fence ; at the Mansion house, or 
at any of the farms where they will be attended to, will be 
equally convenient, and agreeable to me. — 

I am Your friend &c fc 

G° "Washington. 


Philadelphia March 1 st 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I have to acknowledge the rec* of your letter of the 22 d 
ult°, and shall give you my sentiments upon the several mat- 
ters required. — 

With respect to the fishery, I am of opinion, that, selling 
them all to one man, is best : — and that if Mr. Smith will give 
five shillings p r thousand for herrings, and twelve shillg 5 a 
hundred for the shad, and will oblige himself to take all you 
have to spare, that you had better strike, and enter into a 
written agreement with him. — By which agreement, he must 
be bound to receive or pay for, all you do not want for my 
own use, and to fill the 100 bar 13 you are getting made ; — for 
you will recollect, that both these species of fish run in what 
are called gluts ; at which time if he is not prepared, for their 
reception, and compelled to take them, I shall loose the 
market ; and fishing therebv will become rather a loss than 
benefit ; — as, without this, he being the only purchaser, you 
would only draw the Sein as he could (conveniently) cure the 
fish by w ch means, when the fish are moving up in a body 
and when ten for one (at another time) might be caught, he 
might not receive them ; and, of course, your harvest would 
be lost. — Having an hundred barrels of your own, will, in 
some measure secure you against the extent of this evil; but 
it ought, nevertheless, to be guarded against. — Another thing 
is to be understood between you, and that is, that he is not 
to interfere with the house where your fish and salt will 


be. — 1 never chose to sell to Waggoners; — there horses have 
always been found troublesome, and themselves indeed not 
less so, being much addicted to the pulling down and burning 
the fences. — If you do not sell to Smith, the next best thing 
is to sell to the Watermen. — 

I do not know for what purpose an order of Court is to be 
obtained (by Mr. Washington 1 ) for the purpose of surveying 
the land which he, for himself, or others, hold on four milt- 
run. — If all the parties concerned agree to survey, and make 
their boundaries, it may be done without the interference of 
the Court. — If they do not (as there is no suit pending) I 
should not like to have any line marked that is to establish 
my boundary without being present myself, to see that I had 
justice done me. — As far as I am able, at the present moment, 
and under probable events, to form an opinion I expect to be 
at Mount Yernon about the 15 th or 20 th of April. — If there- 
fore the parties interested, will endeavor to accomodate 
matters to that time, I will endeavor to be present at the 
Survey of the Lands adjoining to mine. — It is to be observed 
however, that public business will not put it so much in my 
power to accomodate myself to their convenience, as it may 
be in their power to yield to mine ; which obliges me to 
speak more in "general terms of being at Mount Yernon — 
than definitely. : ™ 

I agree to your taking up the young Cedars along the Creek 
side, and transplanting them in the lane you propose ; and am 
glad to find you have managed the Cedar berries in the man- 
ner you have mentioned ; they certainly will make a good 
hedge ; and are a tree of quick growth. — 

I agree also, and indeed strongly recommend, your break- 

1 Lund Washington. 

9 The Jay Treaty despatched from England on 20 Nov. 1794, did not 
reach the United States till 7 March 1795. Congress was to adjourn on 
March 4, and it was supposed the Treaty would have to lie over 90 days. 
Congress was convened, however, on June 8. 


ing up the lucern lot by the Spring; and wish that it may bu 
extremely well plowed, harrowed and prepared for lucern and 
clover seed mixed ; the former of which (if any fresh and 
good can be had) I will send from hence. — 

Oznabrigs also shall be sent from hence : — but do not let 
the work stop for want ; — for I do 'not suppose it is to be 
purchased upon much, if any better terms here, than in Alex- 
andria. Do you not mean to spin, for linnen, the flax that 
lias been raised on the Estate the two last years ? — 

You may inform Mr. Bayley, when occasion offers, that It 
is not certain now, that the same price for which I oifered the 
small piece of land I hold on Difficult run, 1 would tempt me 
to part with it ; since I find by enquiry, that lands of worse 
quality, and not more convenient to the federal City, on the 
Maryland side of the Potomack, are selling from twenty to 
30 dollars p r Acre without any extra : advantage to recom- 
mend them, whereas mine has a good HNXill seat on the Main 
run of Difficult; and, in my opinion, a still better one on what 
is called the Bridge branch thereof ; and a considerable — [re- 
mainder of letter missing]. 


Philadelphia 8 th March 1705. 
Mr. Peakce, 

I am sorry to find by your letter of the 1 st of this inst 1 en- 
closing the weekly reports — that the Wheat on the ground is 
in so unpromising away. — Another short crop of this article 
will fall very heavy upon me. — How does the Barley look '. — ■ 
It was not my intention to use the Pollers until the frosts 
were over, and the ground was settled. — 

If the absconding of French's Paul did not proceed from a 
quarrel with, or threats from, his Overseer, it will be found, 

1 On the Va. side of the Potcrainc Falls, into which it empties. Pearce 
Bayley was Collector of Truro Parish. 


I expect, that he lias been guilty of some piece of roguery; of 
the discovery of which he was affraid: — pains therefore ought 
to be taken to apprehend and bring him to punishment. — 

What sort of lameness is Dicks (at D. Run) ; that he should 
have been confined with it for so many weeks ? — and what 
kind of sickness is Betty Davis's, that it should have had a 
similar effect upon her? — If pretended ailments, without ap- 
parent causes, or visible effects, will screen her from work, I 
shall get no service at all from her; — for a more lazy, deceit- 
ful and impudent huzzy, is not to be found in the United 
States than she is. — 

Is it Sarah that was among the Spinners at the Mansion 
house that is now in child-bed ? — If so, she seems to have be- 
gun in time. — 

I have bought about 1000 yards of Oznabrigs (German) for 
cloathing of my people at Mount Vernon ; but there is no 
conveyance for it at present. — It shall be sent by the first 
vessel direct to Alexandria ; but you must not delay this work 
on ace* of the non-arrival thereof. — 

. I have made considerable enquiry after lucern seed, but do 
not find, as yet, that I have any certainty of getting that which 
is good. — You had better therefore see if any, on the good- 
ness of which reliance is to be placed, can be had in Alexan- 
dria. My enquiries shall not cease on that account. 

How does your Kew Overseer at Mansion house and at 
Union farm conduct themselves ? — Is Allison sober, industri- 
ous and attentive ? — Is he not too much on a level with those 
he overlooks, and of course too familiar with them ? — Or dou^ 
he keep them at a proper distance, remain always with them, 
and turn the labour of those hands who come to his aid, to 
the best advantage ? — To do this is a matter of considerable 
importance; — otherwise the labour which will be lost at the 
respective farms, will not be gained at the Mansion house. — 
I wish you well and am Y r friend 

G° Washington. 



What price does flour bear in Alexand a now 1— Superfine 
bus again got up to ten dollars in this City and line flour to 
72/ p r barr 1 . 


Philadelphia March 15 th 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I have received your letter of the 8 th ins fc with the reports 
of the preceding week. — 

By the Sloop Harmony, Capt n Ellwood, who talked of Sail- 
ing to-day, I send you as p r Bill of lading enclosed, a bale of 
Oznabrigs consisting of ten pieces, amounting to 072J yards. — 
The Box, and band box, therein mentioned, are for Mrs. 
Fanny Washington as marked ; and is to remain with Col° 
Gilpin 'till she calls for them ; — Besides these, and since the 
Bill of lading was signed, I have put on board another small 
box, containing seeds tfec 1 of various kinds; some of them 
rare, and valuable. — Enclosed is a list of them for your own 
information and government. — There is besides, on each 
parcel, a label descriptive thereof for the Gardener. — All 
these seeds, except the different sorts of Turnips; — the 
Chiccory ; — and Botany bay grass-seeds, may be given to the 
Gardener ; with very particular directions to use his utmost 
skill and care to raise plants from them ; — and that one 
thing may not be put here, and another there, and never 
thought of, or attended to afterwards (which has been too 
often the case with many curious and valuable seeds — 
stones — and nuts which I have sent to Mount Vernon) I 
desire he will prepare a piece of ground well for them ; 
and place them altogether, either in the Vineyard, or else- 
where, as he may think best, when he comes to examine 
the different papers; — taking especially care to distinguish 
by labels (that will not be injured by weather, for it seems 


some of the Seeds may not come up the first year) the 
particular spots where eacli sort is sown, or planted. — And a* 
all will be to be transplanted, and the seeds besides, (beiiii* 
imported), may not be good, he need not regard crowding 
them a little in the first instance. — Let him have also as 
much of each kind of the Turnip seed, and Turnip rooted 
Cabbage, as he can spare ground to put them in. — the rest, 
with the Chiccory and Botany bay grass seeds, I shall com- 
mit to your care, as there is enough of the former, that is 
of the different kinds of Turnips, if good, to sow a good 
deal of ground ; — but to prevent any waste of gr d , or mis- 
application of labour in preparing it for seed that may not 
come up, prove all that will admit of it, in time, to see 
if it will vegitate: for if the seed is old, or has been in- 
jured by crossing the seas, and will not come up, prepar- 
ing ground for it would, be lost labor and improper. — This 
trial may readily be made in time, of all the different 
sorts of Turnips, Cabbage, and possibly of the Chiccory 
and Botany bay grass seeds. — If the latter will come up 
I recommend the greatest attention to it. — The other, that 
is the Chiccory, is what I wrote to you some time ago 
to save all the seed you could from that grow g on mv 

I have not been able to get any Lueern seed in this City ; 
I wrote on Friday last to ^sew York for five pounds of it ;— 
if I succeed there, it shall be sent by Post : — in the mean 
time, let the ground intended for it, be got in the very led 
order ; and the natural grass and weeds totally eradicated 
therefrom; that they may not spring up and choke the lueern 
as was the case when sowed before. — 

Let Sam supply the place of .Bristol, until I come home : 
unless (which does not occur to me at present) a likely and 
well disposed young fellow of man's growth, or near it, should 
be found on my estate fit to make a Gardener of. — If one, 
not among the Dower ^egros, could be selected, it would or 


prefered — Honesty, with some degree of acuteness, are desir- 
able; but in whom am" my people these are to be found, 1 
know not. — Sam has sense enough, and lias had a little ex- 
perience, but he wants honesty, and every other requisite; 
particularly industry. — Cyrus, besides being a Dower slave, is 
strongly suspected of roguery and drinking ; — otherwise he 
would do very well, as he is likely, young, and smart enough, — 
The children of Daphne at the river farm are among the best 
disposed negros I have, but I do not recollect whether there 
be any of a fit size. — 

I have no objection to your complying with the promise 
yon made Mr. Smith, provided his salt is kept distinct from 
mine; and the latter is guarded from embezzlement. — I again 
repeat, that when the Schools of fish run, you must draw night 
and day ; and whether he (Smith) is prepared to take thorn or 
not, they must be caught and charged to him : — for it is then, 
and then only — I have a return for my expences ; — ami then 
it is, the want of several purchasers, is felt ; for unless one 
person is extremely well prepared, he cannot dispose of the 
fish as fast as they can be drawn at those times and if the 
Sein, or Seins do no more than to keep pace with his conven- 
ience, My harvest is lost, and of course my profit; for the 
herrings will not wait to be caught, as they are wanted to be 

If Mrs. Fanny Washington does not draw a Sein at her own 
landing, herself, or rent it with a reservation of fish for her 
own use, let her get what she wants for this purpose, at my 
landing; — and at any rate, when you have occasion to send to 
xVlexanclria, always send some for her Table. — And tell Doet. c 
Stuart if you sh d see him, or send him word if you should not, 
that he may always get fish for the latter purpose, by sending 
for them — so may Mr. Lund Washington. — 

I)o you receive Rent from Gray or make him account for 
H when you pay for the weaving he does for me ? — 

Presuming you saved all the seed you could from the India 


hemp, let it be carefully sown again, for the purpose of gettii .• 
into a full stock of seed. — 

I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington, 

Among other things sent by Capt n Ellwood, is a small paper 
bundle of Pair graffs of an extraordinary line kind w ch desin 
the Gardener to be particular attentive to. 


Philadelphia 22 d March 1705. 
Mk. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 15 th and the reports of the precedi;;:; 
week, have come duly to hand. — 

I am glad to hear that your new Overseers turn out ?o 
well. — Of Groves I had not the least knowledge; — my feai 
of Allison was, that he would be too familiar with those 3i< 
overlooked, and of course would carry no authority. — Jf l.» 
avoids this error, and is sober, honest, industrious, and stay.- 
at home and with his people, when at work, it is all that can 
be required of him ; for I never meant to entrust anything to 
him that did not pass under your directions. — 

I received twenty pounds of Lucern seed from Xew York. 
as a present from a gentleman there of my acquaintance ; — < n 
the goodness of which entire dependence may be placed. - 
Five pounds of which shall accompany this letter, that the !« ■ 
for which it is intended, may be more plentifully sown With 
this seed than I at first designed, under the bad prospect I 
then had of obtaining any at all of it. — Not knowing how 
much ground the lot contains, I am unable to direct t:.- 
quantity of seed which it ought to receive :— but I would have 
you allow at the rate of eight pounds of lucern, and the like 
quantity of clover mixed, to the xlcre. — And as I know that 


ErrOtmd was extremely foul, it has occurred to me to ask you 
(who can judge better on the spot than I can at a distance) 
whether it might not be advisable to delay sowing it until 
August; — plowing it in the meantime as often as it shall ap- 
pear to require. — If it is not already sown, and you should 
prefer August (for the reason I have assigned) to the present 
time this work may be delayed. — All grasses ought to be sown 
on dean and well prepared ground, especially those near a 
dwelling house, w ch attract the eyes of all visitors. — 

This observation applies to grain as well as grass ; — for 
which reason, however desirable it might have been, to have 
got the Oats in the ground soon, I had rather hear it was de- 
layed than that it should be sown before every thing was in 
perfect order for it ; for it is a fixed principle with me, that 
whatever is done should be well done. Unless this maxim is 
attended to, our labor is but in vain, and our expectation of a 
return, is always deceptions ; whilst we are ascribing our dis- 
appointments to any thing rather than the true cause, nattily 
not laying (by proper preparations) a good foundation, on 
which to build our hopes. — 

I observe what you say of Betty Davis &c fc — but I never 
found so much difficulty as you seem to apprehend, in dis- 
tinguishing between real and feigned sickness ; — or when a 
person is much afflicted with pain. — Nobody can be very sick 
without having a fever, nor will a fever or any other disorder 
continue long upon any one without reducing them: — Pain 
also, if it be such as to yield entirely to its force, week after 
week, will appear by its effects; but my people (many of 
them) will lay up a month, at the end of which no visible 
change in their countenance, nor the loss of an oz of ilesh, is 
discoverable ; and their allowance of provision is going on as 
if nothing ailed them. — There 'cannot, surely, be any real 
sickness under such circumstances as I have described ; nor 
ought such people to be improperly endulged.' — It should be 
made one of the primary duties of every Overseer to attend 


closer, and particularly to those under his care who really 
are. or pretend to be, sick ; to see that the first receive aid 
and comfort in time, and before it is too late to apply them ; 
and that the others do not impose upon him. In the first 
case you ought to be immediately notified, as delay is often 
dangerous; and in the second, where the matter is at all 
doubtful, you ought to be the judge, for I am as unwilling to 
have any person, in my service, forced to work when they 
are unable, as I am to have them skulk from it, when 'they 
are fit for it. — 

It is highly probable Paul has left the parts (by water or 
land) — If Mr. Dulany is disposed to pursue any measure for 
the purpose of recovering his man, I will join him in the ex- 
pence so far as it may respect Paul ; — 'but I would not have 
my name appear in any advertisement, or other measure, 
leading to it. — 

Tell the Gardener, when he dresses the Artichokes, to put 
up a number of the slips, securely, for a Gentleman of my 
acquaintance ; and let them be sent by the first vessel after- 
wards, to this City. — 

I am Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 29 th March 1795. 
Mr. Pea roe, 

I have received your letter of the 22 d ins 11 with its en- 

Had Mr. Pierce Bailey accepted the terms on which I 
offered him my land on difficult run, without proposing an 
abatement of interest, after I "had declared I never would 
lower them, the bargain would have been concluded on my 
part. — As he did not, but is still attempting to make other 
terms, I shall suspend saying any thing further on the sub- 


ject until I come to Virginia ; which, if nothing unforeseen 
at present, intervenes, will be by the 20 th of April, as my 
intention is to commence my journey for Mount Vernon 
on the 13 th , or at farthest, the 14 th of that month.— I shall 
be better able to decide then, than now, what will be best 
for me to do in this matter. — Land situated as that of 
mine is on Difficult, with the advantages attending it, is in 
no danger of falling in price, when all the circumjacent 
lands are rising most rapidly in theirs, by the coming of 
all the world as it were to this country for the purpose of 
buying lands. 

I hear with concern, of the injury of the Kew Meadow at 
Dogue-run has sustained. — I had great expectation from it 
(knowing, as I do, the goodness of the Soil) — If you have Seed, 
let the parts which have been covered, — and all others that are 
too thin, be re-sown ; and a light harrow, or roller, run over, to 
bury the seed. — If the water (in freshes) has not sufficient vent 
at the bridge, would it not be proper to widen the passage at 
that place ? — It is a pity to subject so valuable a meadow as 
that might be made, to such disasters, where the remedy is 
at hand, and not difficult. — 

The weather since thursday has been worse than at any 
period through the winter : — what effect it has had, or may 
have on the growing grain ;— the grass ; — and the fields which 
are to be sown and planted : you, much better than I, can de- 
cide. — You may continue to write me as usual, informing me 
of these things ; for the letters that do not come here before 
I set out, I shall find on the Eoad, at one or other of the Post 
Offices. — 

If Moses at the Mill is of sufficient skill for the purposes of 
the Garden, I see no material objection to his being placed 
there — indeed with so little Merchant work as is done at my 
Mill, I never saw much occasion for him at the place. — for 
the Miller J^noics, that by his agreement, he ought to be Coop- 
ering himself, when he is not employed in the Mill ; — and he 



certainly knows too, that the Mill does not require half hi.- 
time: — in the summer, Scarcely any of it. — Hard therefore 
would it be, if Jack and Tom, with such occasional aid as 
himself and Ben could afford, is not sufficient to keep the Mil] 
in Barrels. — 

I did not expect Gray's rent w d otherwise be received than 
as a credit to his weaving ace 1 — If this is done, 'tis suffi- 
cient. — 

I perceive Isaac is still employed in making Ploughs, whilst 
Donaldson is working at the Carpenters trade. — The principal 
advantage I expected to derive from the latter, was the char- 
acter he had of being skilled in making of these, and other 
impliments of husbandry; and the insight the former would 
get by attending him in this work. — 

I send the Gardener a small paper of Pease, of which desire 
him to make the most seed he can, as they were given to me 
for a very valuable sort. — 

An English Gentleman, of family and fortune, of the name 
of Strickland, from whom I received the Turnip and many 
other seeds which were forwarded by the last Vessel from 
this place, will, I expect, be at Mount Yernon before I shall. — 
If this should hapen, (and he will have a line from me to yon) 
I request you to treat him withall the attention and civility 
in your power. — He is a plain man in his dress and manners, 
and being a farmer, may wish to go over my farms, if this 
should be the case, I request you to ride with him over them. 1 — 
As I expect you have (according to my former request) got 
some red wine, let him have of this, and some of that kind of 
Madeira which was left out by Mrs. Fanny Washington. — 

1 Mr. William Strickland brought Washington his diploma as Honorary 
Member of the English Board of Agriculture, concerning which Washing- 
ton wrote the interesting letter to L an don Carter, published in Appendix 
L. Concerning Strickland, Washington wrote to Sir John Sinclair, " Notb 
ing has, I believe, escaped his observation that meritted attention." For :» 
letter to Strickland see Sparks, xii. p. 820. 


Whether you have Porter in the house, or not, I am unable 
to say; but I desire it may be there, as well for him, as 
against I come home. — 

I wish you well, and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 5 th April 1795, 
Mr. Peakce, 

I perceive by your last report — enclosed In your letter of 
the 29 th ult° — that Carter Ben, 1 at River farm, has been laid 
np many weeks ; with a person to attend him, the whole 
time. — What is the nature of his complaint? — When these 
extraordinary cases happen, let the report respecting them, 
say what the cause is ; — without which, and at this distance 
from the scene, it is not easy for me to conjecture even what 
the matter is. — 

Whether would it be best to let the lot at Mansion house 
(intended for Lucern) remain a naked fallow, stirring the 
ground now and then until seeding time, or plant it early with 
Potatoes (which may be taken off by, or early in August) ? — 
The last, well manured, would be productive; and well cul- 
tivated, would prepare the ground for the Lucern which is to 
follow. — I leave it to you to do the one, or the other, as from 
circumstances shall appear best. — If the Potatoe plan is pre- 
ferred, let part (and not the best part, but every other row 
for instance) bo planted with the shoots, as directed in the 
Pamphlet I gave you the reading of last year; and which 1 
believe was, tho' not effectually, by the Gardener, tried last 
year. — I have promised to make the experiment accurately* 
and wish you to attend to it accordingly; either on the ground 
just ment d or some other. 

1 So called from having been purchased or hired from one of the Carter 
family: e.g., French Paul, etc. 


I am sorry for the impediments you have met with from 
the weather, in sowing your Oats ; — but over this there is n.» 
controul ; and nothing for us remains but submission.— 3 
have only to repeat on this head, that I had rather encounter 
delay, than not sow when the ground is in prime order fur 

As all danger from frost must now be over, your winter 
grain will have assumed its spring appearance (since vegita- 
tion is advancing rapidly, also) — and what is the appearance 
of your different fields? Do not neglect the Holler, if you 
can apply it to any advantage ; — and this I am sure it will, 
not only to the grain (the roots of which have been thrown 
out of the ground) but to grass also ; especially clover, if yon 
are in condition to use it. 

You know how much a friend I am, to cutting small grain 
before it is suffered to get too ripe. — The enclosed advertise- 
ment carries the matter farther than I sh (I incline to risque a 
quantity / but the ascertainment of so important a fact is well 
worth risking an acre or two, and it is my wish that it should 
be done ; — at the same time that I would have the whole har- 
vest begun at an earlier period than is usual, with most 

I hope the Honey locust seed are in the ground ; that they 
may vegitate and get above ground before the weather may 
become hot and dry. — 

I had no other objection to the advertising of Paul than 
that of having my name appear therein ; — at least in any 
papers Xorthof Virginia: and that he has not gone South of 
it, is natural to infer, if lie was governed by motives of policy, 
or by advice. — 

I still expect to be with you about the time mentioned in 
my last, and therefore shall only add that 

I am — Your friend <fec* 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia 12 th April 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 5 th , with its enclosures, I received yes- 
terday. — 

I propose to commence my journey for Mount Vernon 
tomorrow — but as the road through Maryland, by informa- 
tion, is almost impassible, and business will detain me a day 
or two at the federal city, I do not expect to reach home be- 
fore sunday (this day week). — 

This being the case, my letter will be short ; I shall add 
however, that I was, as you supposed, under a mistake with re- 
spect to the meadow which has been injured by the freshes.— 
Be this however as it may, the injured parts should be re- 
sown ; and as soon as the ground is in order for it, if you 
have seed to do it ; which is the reason of my mentioning it 
now, to avoid delay. — If that, or the other meadows, was once 
well taken with Timothy, floods would not wash of [f] the soil, 
nor in other respects be injurious. 

I am Y r friend 

G° Washington. 

Monday morning — 13 th April. — The day is storming I shall 
wait therefore until it ceases before I set out. 


Philadelphia 4 th May 1705. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I arrived in this city on Saturday at noon — about which 
time I rec cl your letter of the 20 Hl ult°. 

It gives me pleasure to hear that your grain and grass have 
benefitted by the late rains. — As both are liable to great 
changes from the viscissitudes of weather, mention every 


week what the then appearance of the fields and meadows are ; 
particular whether any grain is to be expected from the in- 
jured parts of the Wheat fields — especially from those in 
2s° 5 at Union farm — and whether the new sown grass in the 
Mill Meadow is coming on well. — 

Let the flour in the Mill be inspected ; and all that will not, 
or with difficulty, pass inspection, be disposed of for the most 
you can get ; — I was going to add — keep that that is good, 
until you coidd hear further from me — but as the quantity at 
any rate will be small, you may as well let the whole go, and 
deposit the money in the Bank of Alex. — If no danger was 
to be apprehended from keeping it on hand, I believe from 
the scarcity in Europe, and great demand for this article, one 
might command their own price. 

I am — Your friend 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

I expected the fishery was nearly over when I left Mt. 
Vernon. — I intended, but forgot when I was at Mount Ver- 
non, to measure the size of the picture frames in the parlour; 
which contains my picture — Mrs. "Washingtons — and the two 
child" l — I wish you to do it, and send me the account in your 
next letter. — Measure the frames (I believe they are all of a 
size) from out to out ; — and then on the inside, where they 
show the Canvas, or picture. — 


Philadelphia 10 th May 1795. 
Your letter of the 3 d instf, with the Reports of the pro- 
ceeding week, was received yesterday ; and I am glad to find 
by it that the "Wheat and grass continues to mend — I hope 
the warm days we have had, and the showers of rain (if they 

1 Eleanor and G. W. P. Custh 


have extended to you) have also brought on the Oats. — It is 
high time they were advancing, if much is to be expected 
from them. — 

Considering the quality of my ilour this year, and the 
smalness of the quantity, 1 am very well satisfied that you 
have got it off your hands at the prices it sold ; altho' flour at 
this market is at 12 dollars a barrel and rising. — In short, the 
scarcity of this article in Europe, and demand for it ; — added, 
to the failure of the last wheat crop in this Country will enable 
the holders to get any price they please. — Let me know the 
quantity of Midlings and Ship-stuff you disposed of. — And 
tell Davenport to make out, and to have sent to me, the Mill 
ace* for last year, that I may see what Wheat has gone into, 
and what flour has come out of, the Mill. — I have no reason 
to suspect that Davenport is otherwise than an honest man ; 
but regular and fair acc ts should be stated, and rendered by 
all Men. — In doing this with him, the Overseers acc ts of the 
Wheat sent to, and his of what is received in the Mill, should 
agree ; — so likewise ought his charges of the flour, Bran &c fc 
sent to Mansion house, the Overseers, etc* to agree with 
what is reported and credited. — This being done, and added 
to the different kinds of flour that are sold, and the shorts 
and Bran used, will (accounting also for the Toll Wheat) show 
the state of the Manufacturing business — which is not only 
satisfactory, but absolutely necessary ; — for I strongly suspect, 
notwithstanding it would appear by the experim^ which have 
been made of an hundred bushels that the balance is in 
favor of flour, — that the case is otherwise on the aggregate 
quantity which is ground. — That it is so this year, can admit 
of no doubt ; — it would be inconceivable otherwise that the 
[torn] of my last years crop of Wheat, and [torn] that of the 
year before, should yield only [torn] barr 18 of flour, besides 
what was consumed in the family. — 

If the boy at the Mill, is to go into the Garden, at Mansion 
house, the sooner it happens the better ; — and I really (con- 


sidering the little work my Mill does) see no reason why he 
should not.— I am sorry to find by your last reports that 
there has been two deaths in the family since I left Mount 
Yernon ; — and one of them a young fellow. — I hope every 
necessary care and attention was afforded him. — I expect little 
of this from M°Koy, — or indeed from most of his class; for 
they seem to consider a Negro much in the same light as they 
do the brute beasts, on the farms; and often times treat them 
as inhumanly. 1 — 

If I recollect rightly, it appears in some of the weekly 
reports, that Posts and rails were getting at Dogue-run to 
inclose the Barn yard at that place. — I forgot when I was at 
home, and on the spot with you, to fix on the manner of do- 
ing it. — I once pointed out my plans [?] to Green and Davis, 
and I think toM c Koy, but little attention seems to have been 
paid to these things afterwards by either of them. — To the 
best of my recollection, it was intended to run, from each end 
of the sheds, a Post and rail to the railing leading into the 
Barn, or treading floor of it, for the stable yard ; — on one side 
of which to have a gate, through which to pass into the yard 
which incloses the Barn on the other sides and intoK 5 also ; 
— then back of the two sheds at sufficient distances therefrom 
allowing full room to receive the litter, dung, &c t from the 
Stables, to run Post and Bail fences from the lane South of 
the Barn, to the fence of H° 5, which is back of the lots. — 

1 Rev. Dr. McGuire, for Botany years rector of St. George's Church, Fred- 
ericksburg, who married a daughter of Robert Lewis, Washington's nephew, 
relates: " Returning to his house one day, from a ride over his farm, lit 
[Washington] found his overseer in the act of chastising severely one of his 
servants Indignant at the sight as being in the mode or degree contrary 
to his orders, he dismounted hastily, and advancing towards the overseer 
with his horsewhip in his hand, the affrighted man retired towards the 
fence, exclaiming, 'Remember your character, General,- remember your 
character!' The General immediately stopped, and reprimanding him for 
disobeying his commands, admonished him to beware of again correcting his 
people in a manner so cruel." — The IMkffoua Opinions and Character of 
Washington. Ed. 1836, p. 400. 


Fences run straight, in the manner here described, and at 
hiifficient distances from the back parts of the sheds or stables, 
would afford ample room for the grain in stacks ; — and I 
believe it would be sufficiently capacious also for cow yards, 
but it would have a bad exposure ; and besides, is in low 
ground ; therefore a yard, or yards for this purpose (cattle and 
Sheep) might adjoin (one on each side the Stable yard) the 
Lane between iST° 3 and the lots — and the Stable yard fences ; 
as will appear more distinctly in the sketch enclosed. 

The number of Bricks which will be required for the Earn 
in the Xeck (Elver farm) will fall xevy little short of 140,000 
of those that are sound and good, as you will see by the calcu- 
lation herewith. — And that no other than hard [torn] bricks 
may be put into the Walls, letting it as soon as it is burnt, 
and cool, be immediately taken down and the — [remainder of 
letter missing]. 


Philadelphia 24 th May 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

I have duly received your letter, and the reports of the 17 th 
instant. — 

The enclosed sketches, will give my ideas so fully, of the 
Barn, proposed to be built at Eiver farm, as to leave me 
scarcely anything to add to it. — If 2 Inch (white oak) plank, 
is thought sufficient for the threshing iloor of the Barn, I do 
not want it to be got any thicker ;• — and if Inch and quarter 
(Pine) plank, is thick enough for the lower floor of the grain- 
cries, I do not wish it to be more. — Inch Plank is fully ade- 
quate to the floors over them, to support the grain in the 
straw. — 

I mention these things now, that the Oak plank may be 
sawed as soon as you are able to do it, that there may be time 
for it to season ; and that the Pine plunk may be got with- 


out delay, not only for the same purpose, but for security of 
the Bricks also, before they are burned. — Of the oak plank, 
it will require for the threshing floor, 30 feet square, 900 feet 
when laid ; — allowance for waste must be made. — Fur the 
lower floor of the graineries, the like quantity of 1 J (if that 
is the thickness resolved on) with the like allowance for waste, 
will be required. — And for the upper floor of the graineries 
precisely the same; — But as the pine plank will waste more 
than the oak ; — is more liable to be stolen — and besides will 
sustain injury in the Brick yard; and moreover may be want- 
ing for a variety of uses in the building; — you had better lay 
in 1500 or two thousand feet of each sort, at once. — And 1 
would have you enquire of those (who deal in that way) on 
what terms they would deliver at one of my landings, shingles 
of the following dimensions — viz — 3 feet, — 2 feet,— and IS 
Inches ; specifying the width, and thickness of each, they 
will warrant them to average. — When you furnish me with 
this account I shall be better able to decide on the kind of 
covering to bestow on the building, and the sort, and number 
of nails it will'require. — Of the last, I find they can be had 
in this city on better terms than in Alexandria ; and of course 
will be sent from hence. — 

The body of the Barn (as you always understood, independ- 
ent of the sheds) is to be GO feet long, and 30 feet wide. — ■ 
I have allowed 12 feet sheds only, which I conceive is suffi- 
cient, as the Backs and Mangers will be close to the wall 
(and not as those are at Union farm) — and in case I should 
not think of it at the time they are about, let the latter be 
duo* out of the solid wood. — Such will last as lon^ as the wood 
itself does, whilst those made of plank, however thick, are 
soon coming a sunder ; — wasting the grain ; — and requiring 
repairs. — 

What sort of Clay is found where you are making bricks? — 
Desire Mr. Stuart to keep a regular acc fc of the number that 
are made — or (as has been the case before) hundreds will be 


magnified into thousands; — and deception follow of course. — 
It is highly necessary too, that he should have an eye to the 
tempering, and beating the clay well before it is moulded ; — 
for on this the goodness of the bricks depend ; — especially as 
it was not exposed to the frosts of last winter. — 

I think as you do, that the Oak plank, and all the scantling, 
ought to be got off my own land ; — but this is not to with hold 
the Carpenters, or any others, from the Harvest field, when 
their services are required there. — In time, be laying shells in, 
or you will meet with disappointment. — Did you ever enquire 
particularly into the character of the carpenter who built Mrs. 
Peak's Earn ? — If so, what was the result \ 

I find I was mistaken, respecting Posts and Rails for the 
farm yard at Dogue-run. — The sketch of one — sent you in a 
former letter, may be preserved notwithstanding — it will serve 
when they are provided. — 

If you have transplanted any of the Honey locust plants (in 
the manner before directed) and find they succeed, continue 
the practice as long as the season will allow it. — 1 send a book 
for your perusal between this and my next visit to Mount 
Yernon, which contains many useful experiments, and ob- 
servations on Hedging &c t . — At that time it may be returned 
to me after information is got from it. (This book is written 
by a man of established character — of course, except what 
may proceed from difference of climate is to be depended 
upon — and followed by us.) — 

A bundle of Pekan, or Illinois nuts is also sent ; which de- 
sire the gardener to plant along with those I sent him some 
time ago. — These are fresh, and I have no doubt will come 
up. — Enclosed likewise, is the copy of a list of Plants which 
were sent by a Gentlemen of Jamaica to Norfolk, for me. — If 
they should have been forwarded to Mount Yernon desire 
Elhcr to pay particular attention to them. — 

Let Doct r Craik, if he has not already done it, examine the 
case of Cooper Jack and prescribe the needful for him. — No 


report of Carpenters work was among the enclosures of your 

last letter. — I am 

Your friend &c l 

G° Washington. 

. LXIX. 

Philadelphia 31 st May 1795. 
Mr. Peakce, 

I am quite surprized to find by your letter of the 24 th in- 
stant (which with the Reports came duly to hand) that your 
crops had stood in need of Bain. — There has been no three 
days together without it, at this place, since I arrived here ; 
and some times for whole days and nights, with little or no 
intermission. — 

The exhausted state of Provisions (bread) in Europe ; — the 
demand for flour there ; — and the bad prospect for grain 
where most of it was usually grown, leaves not a doubt but 
that every thing of the bread kind, or substitutes for it, will 
bear a high price in autumn. — Some time ago I recommended 
it to you to plant a good many Potatoes — this I repeat, and 
wish also that you w d lay yourself out for more Buck wheat 
than usual for a crop. — I have heard much of the white 
(homony) Bean as being very productive, and a ready sale : — 
suppose you were to devote an acre of Corn ground to this 
purpose, to see what the yield would be : — or, if they would 
do without something to run upon, and support them, to plant 
an acre or two without Corn, in X° G at Union farm ; by the 
side of the Corn you cultivate in that field. — 

Cut the forward Wheat in good season, and save all for 
Seed. — Doct r Stuart thinks it more subject to weavil than the 
common wheat ; — If so, you will judge whether it can best be 
preserved from them in stacks or otherwise, and do with it as 
shall seem best to you. — 

How does the hooey locust stand transplanting? — If well. 
follow it up as long as the season will answer. — 


The Gardener does not, I perceive, take any notice of the 
boy in his report. — this he ought to do. 

Has no remedy been discovered for the disorder in horses ? 
— If I should loose my Plough horses — or even have them 
rendered unfit for work, it will be unfortunate. — 
I am Your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 7 th June 1705. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 31 st of last month, enclosing the weekly 
reports, came duly to hand — yesterday. — 

Let the person who is to supply you with plank and 
Shingles, have the precise length of the first given to him, 
that it may not waste in cutting. — This length you will be 
able to ascertain from knowing the uses for which it is in- 
tended ; and by consulting the plan which I sent you. — The 
plank for the lower floor of the Granaries, as I mentioned at 
first, ought, I have no doubt, to be of Inch and half stuff ; 
and if the floors above them, were of Inch and quarter pine, 
they would not be the worse for it. — Care too sh d be taken 
that the shingles are of the dimensions (both in length, and 
the average width) that is agreed for; — nothing being more 
common of late than to contract for IS inch shingles, and give 
those of not more than 16 inches, — and in that proportion 
with respect to the two, and three feet shingles : — which is an 
unjustifiable imposition, as more nails, as well as more shingles, 
are consequently required. — 

Are the Cabbins at River and Union farms all removed, as 
were intended? — I ask because' I have seen work of this sort 
reported, but know not if it be compleated. — 

I wish you could find out the thief who robbed the Meat 
house at Mount Vernon, and bring him to punishment. — And 


at the same time secure the honse against future attempts ; — 
for our drafts upon it will be pretty large, I expect, when we 
come home ; — \v ch probably may be about the middle or 20 th 
of next month. — Nathan has been suspected, if not detected, 
in an attempt of this sort formerly; and is as likely as any 
one to be guilty of it now. — Postilion Joe has been caught in 
similar practices ; — and Sam, I am sure would not be re- 
strain [ed] by any qualms of conscience, if he saw an opening 
to do the like. — 

I am Your friend &c* 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 14 th June 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 7 th instant, and the "Weekly reports, were 
received yesterday. — On Wednesday night, thnrsday, and part 
of friday, we had a great deal of rain in this city, and as it 
appeared to be general, I hope you partook of it. — If the Com 
is not destroyed by the insect you complain of, I do not de- 
spair (on account of its backwardness) of making a good crop. 
yet. — It is in the months of July and August that this crop 
is to be made, or marred, by seasonable, or unseasonable 
weather. — 

It is fortunate that the distemper among the horses have 
ceased that you may keep it clean and in order for Wh 1 — it 
would have been a heavy stroke, if they had been rendered 
unfit for use at this busy season of the year, even if they had 
not died with it. — 

Are you selling Hay in Alexandria, that for several weeks 
passed I perceive the Waggon has been employed in trans- 
porting it thither ?— If so, what do you get for it ? — and how 
much will you, or have you, disposed of. — 

Let Mr. Halley know that I am not inclined to reduce my 


lot ia Alexandria without first viewing the part he wants for 
an allay ; and comparing the advantages, and disadvantages 
together ; — then., if no inconvenience will result to me, and 
the price to be given, is adequate to the real value, according 
to a judgment from circumstances ; I may, though I do not 
clmse to be under any engagement, suffer ten feet to he taken 
off for the purpose designated in your letter — viz — an allay. — 

Enclosed I send you a iNewspaper containing some ideas on 
the culture of Potatoes ; — on the different kinds ; — and on the 
manner of flaking them into bread. — It comes from the "best 
board of Agriculture in England, and may be worth attending 

I am your friend &c* 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

By the last Post, I received the enclosed letter from James 
Butler ; I wish you to let him know (and as soon as you con- 
veniently can, that he may be under no mistake in the case) 
that he must look to those who placed him where he is — (if 
they think him cjualified for the Office — ) for his money ; not 
a copper will lie receive immediately from me. — I allow £50 
p r annum to the Academy in Alexandria for the purpose of 
instructing the children of poor persons who are unable to he 
at that expence themselves; but I have nothing to do with 
providing, or paying the Master who is employed for that pur- 
pose. — This is left to the Trustees of the School, and I wish 
it may he found that my donation is as benilieialJy applied as 
my intention in bestowing of it, has been good. — Whether 
the Pev d Mr. Muir (to whom the money has usually been 
paid) has any "particular agency in the business, or not, I am 
unable to say ; but wish you to shew him Butlers letter on 
this subject and let me know what he says to the applica- 
tion. — 


G. W . 



Philadelphia 21 st June 1795. 
Mk. Peajrce, 

Your letter of the 14 th instant with the Reports were re- 
ceived yesterday. — 

I am sorry the rain you were wishing for, should have 
come attended with the disasters your letter represents;— but 
to these it is our duty to submit. — I never repine at acts of 
Providence, because I always suppose, however adverse they 
may be to our wishes, they are always for the best. 1 — Let the 
place of the young mule, that was killed, be supplied in the 
best manner the stock of them will afford. — 

I hope the shells you engaged were of what they call live 
shells. — Those from the bank, if not well cleansed, are so 
mixed with dirt as to make very weak lime. — As to the price, 
I do not expect to get them for less than others give. — Of 
course they must be landed at the Mansion house on ace* of 
burning them (to the best advantage, and with the least waste) 
in the Kiln made for this purpose. — 

I think it would be proper to fill in, between the logs of 
the Cabbins, as soon, and as fast as circumstances will admit ; 
that the clay may get dry before cool weather approaches. — 
Damp walls, are very apt to give Rheumatic complaints. — 
This filling may be done as well before, as after the Cabbins 
are covered. — 

I hope your crop of Wheat, as the prospect when you wrote 
was tolerable, and the almost certainty of the high prices con- 
tinuing, will meet with no diminution now from either the 
scab or rust. — If it had shed its blossom before the heavy 
rain, and was free from the Scab at the date of your letter, I 
think that it wod. receive no injury from it afterwards ; — and 

1 Appendix G. 



as the rain and thick weather was attended by wind, and was 
also cool, I hope it is free from the Bust likewise. — 

Whenever you have leisure to do it, it would be serviceable 
by way of stopping the progress of that gully at the mouth 
of the lane, at Mansion house — and indeed all others — to 
drive stakes across and wattle them at different distances, to 
catch and retain the trash that is swept down with the tor- 
rent. — They also serve to break the force of the water : and 
by degrees, with other assistance, fill them up. — The gullies 
I mean. — Without these obstructions, the descending water 
from very heavy rains sweep all before it, 

I am Your friend &c fc 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 5 th July 1795. 
Mr. Peabce, 

Your letter of the 28 th , with the enclosed reports, was duly 
received. — 

I think it very likely that I shall commence my journey 
for Mount Yernon about the middle of this month — but as 
business may detain me a few days longer than I expect, I 
will not speak positively at this time. — In my next, 1 shall, I 
hope, be able to name the day I shall leave the city. — But let 
not this prevent your writing as usual, as I shall meet the 
letter on the road, if it does not arrive here, before I set 
out. — 

If the dormant windows are not put in, on each side of the 
Pediment, front side of the stable, I could wish (if it docs not 
interfere with the more important work of Donaldson) that 
it might be set about; it would not only add to the look of 
the building, but the grain and hay both, would derive bene- 
fit from the air it w d receive from those windows ; — as would 
the Stables, if the back dormant windows could be compleated 



on the range with those already in, and of the same size, and 

Davy's lost lambs, carry with them a very suspicions ap- 
pearance ; — and it will be to be regretted, if he betakes him- 
self to Rogueries of that sort; — for in that case, nothing will 
escape, if he can avoid detection ; and grain will be less liable 
to it than animals. — If the lambs has been poisoned, or had 
died a natural death, or their deaths had been occasioned by 
any accident, their bones would have been forth coming, arid 
his not being able to produce them, is an argument both of his 
guilt, and of his not expecting to be called upon for that evi- 
dence of the truth of his assertion, and fair dealing. — This 
circumstance will make it necessary to watch him a little 
closer. — He has some very sly, cunning and roguish negroes 
under him ; among whom none has a greater disposition to be 
so, or who he can make a more useful agent of, than Nathan ; 
his mother and father. — 

How, when the Manufacturing season is over, or the water 
is scarce, is Ben at the Mill employed ? — Surely the Miller 
(who ought himself under these circumstances to be employed 
in Coopering) does not keep him in the Mill merely to save 
himself 'the trouble of taking off, and pulling on a few bags of 
grist, in the week. — I have often intended to enquire into this 
matter; but always, at the time of writing, forgot to do it. — 

What is the matter with Ruth and Ben, (not the Ben that 
cut himself) at River farm, that week after week they are re- 
turned sick? — The first of them, Ruth, has been aiming, for 
sometime, to get herself excused from work. — More than they 
are able to do in reason, I do not expect ; — but I have no idea 
of their being totally exempted, whilst work proportioned, and 
adapted to their strength and situation, can be found for 
them. — The example is bad, and will be too readily (as is the 
case at present with several more of them) attempted ; if. 
under the plea of pains, &C* &c fc they find they can carry their 
point. — ■ 


I am sony to hear you are indisposed, and that Groves is 
ill — I hope this letter will find you both recovered. — 
I am Your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Charlestown [Ya] 9 th Aug* 1795. 
Me. Pearce, 

The day before I left home, I rode by the field at Dogue- 
run called Davy's field — and intended to have had some further 
conversation with you on the subject of a second "Wheat field 
at that place this seeding time ; but the suddenness of my de- 
parture prevented it. 1 — 

1 The President had left Philadelphia for Mount Vernon on July 15. On 
July 26 the British Minister revealed to Mr. Wolcott, Secretary of the Treas- 
ury, an intercepted letter of the French Minister, Faucliet, which, ap- 
parently, involved the Secretary of State (Edmund Randolph) whose side 
Washington had taken, in refusing an unconditional signature to the British 
Treaty — in opposition to the rest of the Cabinet. The opponents of Ran- 
dolph, without his knowledge of the " cause, insisted on summoning Wash- 
ington to the seat of government. That he should have taken Charlestown 
en route is remarkable, as well as the speed by which alone he could have 
reached Philadelphia, as he did, on August 11, in time for dinner, to which 
Randolph was invited. Mr. Cabot Lodge (George Washington, ii. pp. 191, 
195) seems to think that "Washington was expecting a recall to Philadelphia, 
and -was going on to ratify the Treaty. The tenor of these letters, however, 
suggests that he did not intend to return, having resolved to await the ac- 
tion of the British government on a protest against the Provision Order 
which he had instructed Randolph to write. While he knew that the criti- 
cal negotiations might demand his presence at the capital, that he did not 
intend to return and ratify the Treaty is shown by an unpublished letter 
before me, to Major George Lewis (his nephew, at Fredericksburg) dated 
"Mount Vernon, 27 July, 1795," in which Washington writes: "Unless 
business should require my presence in Philadelphia sooner (and then I 
shall go thither alone) it is not likely I sluVll leave this place until the end 
°f Se|^A£&ber,;. If therefore you and Mrs. Lewis, my sister and Harriet; 
orany t*f you -can make it convenient or agreeable to favor us with a visit, 
we should be happy in seeing yon." For this important bit of evidence on 
a controverted point I am indebted to R. B. Lewis, Esq., of Washington, a 
grandson of Major George Lewis. 


In looking at the field above mentioned, it did not strike 
mc as sufficient, in addition to jS^° 5 for a wlieaten crop at 
that farm (if more can be got in, advanced as the Season is) 
— 1 st because the quantity of Acres in it is too small ; — and 
2 lly because part of it is very poor, and turning in the grass, 
in places, would be difficult ; — without which attempting it at 
all, at this late hour, could not be justified upon any true 
principle of husbandry. — for these reasons, I intended to have 
told you, that in my opinion, K° 7 ought to be preferred ; 
provided there be a moral certainty of getting it seeded in 
good time ; — and the work well done. — 

If you attempt this field, I have been considering further, 
whether it w d not be better to plow the same way it was laid 
last ; but to make the parting furrow where the ridge now is, 
— the work, I am confident, will be better executed ; and the 
growth now on it, turned in with more truth ; and to do this 
carefully, is all in all ; for if the sward, or one furrow is not 
turned immediately into the other, and an even face at top, 
made with the under earth ; that kind of husbandry, so 
strongly recommended on a clover lay and may succeed with 
other grasses, would be entirely defeated : — good plowing 
therefore is essential ; — and I would have you sow, as fast as 
you plow ; to be well harrowed, but not so as to bring the 
grass up again ; for it is the manure, occasioned by the fer- 
mentation and rotting of it, that is to benefit the land, and to 
produce the Wheat. — 

The storms of wind and rain, seems to have been mere 
severe in these parts than with you ; notwithstanding, I find 
seeding has begun on the other side Susquehanna in two or 
three places. — The roads are miserably torn up, and the Mill 
dams, bridges, ifcc* almost universally carried away. 

Among other reasons for preferring N° T at Dogue-run t<> 
what is called Davys field, is, because I see your chance for 
wheat next year is hurt by the laying down of the Corn — the 
delay it has necessarily occasioned in sowing — and the con- 


tennen't grassiness of the fields from that circumstance ; and 
the inability of keeping them clean with so much rain. — I am 
satisfied your forward Corn must be first taken from the gr d 
before it can be sown : — This also will be hurtful to the next 
years wheat — but this is to be preferred to any measures 
which may injure the Corn at this time. — ■ 

Do not forget to plow in some of your greenest Buck wheat, 
and sow wheat thereon immediately, for an experiment ; — if 
this should answer well, it would be proper, always to sow 
the Buck wheat (intended for manure) at such a period as to 
sow wheat thereon when it is not more than six or eight in- 
ches high, as is done upon a clover lay. — But if this mode is 
found to succeed^ the Buck wheat ought to be sown thick, 
otherwise it would not afford much improvement to the soil. — 

If the money is due for the flour sold let it be collected, 
and deposited in the Alexandria Bank.— 

I am your friend Szc 1 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 12 th Aug 6 1795. 
Mr. Peauce, 

I forgot to ask you, what prospect there was of your saving 
clover seed, sufficient for your next years purposes ? — If it is 
a good one, there will be no occasion of buying, if it is nut. 
the sooner I am informed thereof, the better. — I hope you will, 
not only of this kind of seed, but of all others, endeavor to 
save as much as will answer my own demands, as the purchase 
of them falls heavy upon me. — 

As soon as your ground, and other things are in order for 
it, I would have your Wheat sowing commence ; and prose- 
cuted with diligence until it is completed, as I have found 
that early sowing, four times out of five, has succeeded best 
with me.— If you attempt K° 7 at Dogue-run, let it be well 


ploughed, and in the manner mentioned in my letter from 
Charlestown unless reasons which do not occur to me, should 
render ploughing across the ridges more eligable. — 

Give me, in your next letter, after this gets to hand, the 
length, and breadth of the two pavements between the steps 
of the middle door — and those of the end doors of the Man- 
sion house. — Measure from the outer line of stone (each way; 
that encloses the brick tile. 

I am Your friend <fec* 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 16 th Aug fc 1795. 
Mr. Pkarce, 

Your letter, begun on the 9 th and ended on the 12 th ins*, 
with its several enclosures, came to my hands yesterday. 

It is to be regretted that the frequent, and hard rains 
should have involved you in such difficulties. — But all that 
can be done in cases that are not to be guarded against, or 
avoided, is to do the best under them that circumstances 
will admit. — More ought not to be expected; and I am sure, 
that more is not desired by me. — I fear, however, that if 
the forward corn is turned differently than it was by the 
first storm, — that all the roots have given way, and, of 
course, the plant must suffer — ; if not perish : — but of this 
you can judge better than I. 

I am anxious to get my Wheat in the ground as soon as 
possible, but would not, nevertheless, sow before the ground 
is in order for it. — It is some consolation to hear that ail 
your Wheat and Oats are in — I wish the Hay was also 
secured — and as free from damage as possible. — That which 
is so much sanded, will be' fit for little, or nothing, unless 
some method can be devised of threshing, or beating the 
sand of(f), before it is fed. — 

As Donaldson is going away, I think it best to decide, 


at once, to take the Carpenter recommended by my nephew 
Col° W m Washington ; although his allowances are high — 
particularly in Corn — for 1 cannot conceive how he is to con- 
sume 15 barrels of Corn in addition to the flour. — However, 
vou will want a man to carry on my Carpentering business ; 
and if from his appearance, and talking to him, you think 
he will answer, engage him positively, and firmly. — If he is 
competent to do Mill-work — Wheel-work — and is a tolerable 
plain Joiner, he will be very useful ; as my buildings are 
going very much to decay. — He may have the house and gar- 
den that Donaldson occupies, as his year will have expired 
before the first of jSovember. — Donaldson therefore must be 
taken at his word, as there is no other house and Garden that 
John Neale— the person offering — can have but that ; and 
the latter (if he is such a man as I conceive him to be, from 
the character given of him) will be of more service to me 
than the former. — I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 23 d Aug t 1795. 
Mp t . Peaece, 

Your letter of the 10 th instant, covering the weekly reports, 
came to my hands yesterday. — 

As you have begun upon what is called Davy's field at 
Dogue-run, I do not wish any change ; — and when to this is 
added the high, and dry parts of the Mill swamp Corn, and 
one of the lots by the P>arn, the quantity of ground in Wheat, 
at that farm, will be pretty well. — But I wish your sowing 
had kept pace with the plowing where one plowing only is 
intended, and the Wheat is to be harrowed in. — Let this be 
the case with the clover lot ; — and that it may have fair play, 
let the clover be icell turned in by good plows and good plow- 


men. — I wish the same had been done by the Buck Wheat, 
which you turned in for an experiment. — 

From the knowledge I have of the nature of the soil of my 
farms, I am very sensible that it is not in your power ?iozo 
either to get the wheat sown in such good season, or in such 
good order, as were to be wished: — but to do the best one 
can, under existing circumstances, is all that can be expected. 
— As some of your fields, however, may be drier, and in better 
order for sowing than others ; would it not be good policy to 
employ the force of other farms, besides the one to which 
[torn] belongs, in getting the Wheat sowed the [torn] first, 
and go on in that manner until the whole are compleated, by 
that kind of management (always taking that first which is 
in the best order for seeding) or till all the residue are in 
order, that the respective force may return to its own 
farm. — Grounds which are declining, or that have sand in 
them, may be in order to sow (as Muddy-hole fields for 
instance) when the flat land at the other places can not be 
touched. — 

I would have you, merely that it may be unequivocally 
ascertained whether Barley will do upon my land, sow some 
of it again this year. — If it will, diversifying the Crops will 
be an advantage. — 

How does the Wheat which has been threshed, or tread out, 
appear to yield, not only in quality, but as to the stack, or its 
bulk of straw also ? — Send me two bushels of the best of the 
early Wheat, by the first Yessel bound to this city. — I have 
promised it to a gentleman or two of my acquaintance in these 
parts. — Let it be well cleaned, and certainly of the true sort. — 
It may be consigned to Mr. Ivitt, my household Steward, in 
case I should not be here. — 

I recollect that, in one of your letters in the Spring, you 
informed me, that you expected there would be about 900 
bush ,s of Oats for Sale ; — and some time afterw d \ that you 
had sold (I think) 300 :— I forgot to enquire when I was at 


home whether you had sold any more, or what quantity there 
was on hand. — 

Have you secured overseers for Union and Doguc-run 
farms ? — This is the season for getting such as are good. — If 
delayed much longer you will be obliged to take indifferent 
ones perhaps. — 

I wish you well, and am 

Your friend, 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 2S th Aug fc 1795. 
Mr. Peaece, 

The enclosed letter for Miss Betcy Custis ! relates to a mat- 
ter, respecting which, I have made some enquiry in her behalf 
— Put it into her own hands, if she is at Mount Vernon — and 
as she might wish, perhaps, to revolve the subject a little, be- 
fore she communicates the contents to any other, give it to 
her when she is alone, with this letter also, which only serves 
to cover it.— 

I am Your friend 

G° "Washington. 
P. S. 

I shall write to you again at the usual time— viz — by Mon- 
days Post. 

1 Elizabeth Parke Custis, Mrs. Washington's grand-daughter, who after- 
wards married Mr. Law, kinsman of Lord Ellenborough, to whom the in- 
quiries may have related. The marriage was not happy, and in later life 
the lady resumed the name of Custis. It is notable that when this and the 
preceding, and several succeeding letters, were written, the Government 
was in the midst of a crisis brought on by the resignation of the Secretary 
of State (Randolph) and the death of the Attorney General (Bradford). The 
letters are more brief, but the hand of the writer does not shake, nor does 
he fail in thought fulness for the affairs of Betsy Custis. 



Philadelphia 30 th Aug* 1705. 
Mk. Pearce, 

I have written to you so fully of late, that little remains to 
be said in this letter, beyond the acknowledgment of yours of 
the 23 d instant. 

1 shall however add, that late as it is to be, in a manner, 
beginning to sow Wheat, I would rather have it delayed still 
longer than to be sowed in ground that is too wet; or in 
other respects unfit for its reception. — Xo seed will ever 
yield well when put in in bad order; or too much out of 
season. — 

This reminds me of the necessity there is for sowing, with- 
out delay, the lot by the Spring, where Potatoes are growing, 
with Lueern. — Prepare the ground well, and do not spare 
seed (trying the goodness of it beforehand). — Admitting that 
the Potatoes are not yet got to their full growth, it is better, 
notwithstanding, that they should suffer, than the Grass (by 
late sowing) from which permanent advantages are expected 
should be injured. — 

The Ploughs made by Isaac must be badly executed, or 
vastly abused at the Farms, from the continual employment 
he lias in making them. — A sett of Ploughs, made and taken 
care of as they ought to be, cannot, surely want replacing as 
often as mine are, by the Carpenters report ; especially as 
there are so few stumps and stones in any of my arable 
fields. — The Overseers ought to be attentive to this matter. — 
If they had the making, or paying for the making, them- 
selves, there w d not be this demand for them I apprehend — 
and it is no good reason why they should be constantly calling 
for them, because they are done within myself. — 

I hope from the character given of Mr. Xeale, that no dis- 
appointment will follow — but if the mode of communicating 


with him was not direct and certain you had better not rest 
it upon a single letter. — I wish you well, and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia G th Sep 1 1795. 
Me. Peakce, 

I was glad to find by your letter of the 30 th of August, and 
the reports of the preceeding week, that you had recommenced 
seeding, with more favorable weather. — If the latter should 
continue good, and the ground can be put in tolerable order, 
all the Wheat, sowed by the middle of this month, will be in 
the ground in good Season ; and if the Autumn is favorable, 
any time before the end of it, may answer very well.— I fear 
however, if what is called Davy's field, at Dogue-run, was too 
wet to sow after the Plough, it must have been too wet also 
for the latter ; — for such land as mine, when plowed wet, 
always bakes hard. — 

As I expect to set out in two or three days for Mount 

Vernon I shall add no more in this letter than that I wish 

you well and am your friend 

G° Washington. 


Head of Elk, Monday Even. 

19 th of Oct. 1795. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Owing to the bad weather, and the siekness on the road of 
both Washington and one of the Postilions (Joe) I am no 
further advanced yet ; and do not expect to reach Philadel- 
phia at soonest, before tuesday afternoon. 

As my Wheat would be a heavy loss to me, if the Weavil 
should get much into it ; I must again request that no time 


may be lost in getting it out of the straw, and ground up as 
fast as the Mill is able to do it.— As the River farm has no 
place in which the threshed Wheat can be secured, let that be 
the first cleaned and sent to the Mill. — At the other places let 
it be got out of the Straw and lye in the chaff, to be cleaned 
as fast as the Mill can grind it, and no faster. — 

I wish also that you would have your Corn taken out of the 
field as soon as you think it can be done with safety, altho' it 
may not be dry enough to loft. — Xothing injures the growing 
Wheat among it, more than running Carts over it when the 
ground is in a freezing, and thawing State. — The Wheels, the 
feet of the Oxen, and [torn] those of the People also press 
[torn] about buries, and tares up (wheu the ground has been 
frozen, and thawed at top) a great deal of it. — Corn this year 
is drier, I conceive, than is usual at this season. — To this 
cause, or to want, I know not which, I have seen several fields 
gathered on the Eoad I came. — 

Do not delay gathering (before the birds thin them) all the 
berries of the White thorn — and lay up a large store of Cedar 
berries in due Season. — On this subject, and hedging, I shall 
write to you more fully after I get to Philadelphia ; but men- 
tion them now that the White thorn berries (which I fancy 
are rather scarce) may be got while they are in being. — 

The sooner your Potatoes are up and secured the better. — 
The weather seems to be getting cold ; and if it should be 
freezing, will prevent them from drying and keeping well. — 
Order the Overseers to be particularly attentive where these 
and corn grow together, to measure each separate from what 
may grow in other places, that I may know the comparative 
yield of both. — 

Desire the Gardener not to trim either the Lombard)' 
Poplar or Yellow Willow until the season shall arrive for 
putting out the cuttings; as I may want them for Hedging. — 

I am Your friend &c a 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia 25 th Oct r 1795. 
Mr. Peakce, 

The Post of yesterday, brought me your letter of the 21 st 
instant, and the Reports of the preceding "Week. — 

I am sorry to hear you have been sick, but glad to find von 
have recovered. — That the fly should be much in your Wheat 
is to be regretted ; but proves the necessity of converting it as 
speedily as possible into flour: or even selling it in grain, if 
it cannot be ground in time; and a good price can be had for 
it in that way. — 

The disappointment you have met with in the Englishman 
for an Overseer, is more unlucky on ace* of the lateness of the 
season, than for any other reason ; but since it has happened, 
I think you had better take the chance of o-ettino; a jrood one 
from the Eastern Shore (as you are going there) than to en- 
gage an indifferent one before you go. — 

From George Town, I enclosed you a certificate for Donald- 
son ; — and from the head of Elk I wrote you again, and prom- 
ised to be more full on the subject of Hedging — (than which 
nothing is more interesting to me) — when I got to this place ; 
but the pressing, and. important business which has accumu- 
lated in my absence, will oblige me to postpone it to an hour 
of more leisure. 1 — I shall, -however, refer you to a Book (or 
pamphlet) I sent you some time ago on that subject, contain- 
ing many useful experiments, and hints ; whilst I inform you 
that you can have no dependence (I presume) on the berry of 
the White thorn from your friend in ^Newcastle. — I did not 
come, it is true, through Xewcastle, but I observed all the 

1 The Secretary of State, Edmund Randolph, had resigned Aug. 21, and 
the Attorney General, Bradford, died on the 23d. The President's unex- 
pected unconditional signature of the Treaty, which both Hamilton and 
Randolph opposed, had caused a critical situation. The President was 
vainly trying to fill adequately the vacancies in his Cabinet. 


Hedges about Christiana, and from that to Wilmington, and 
do not believe a gallon of Seed could be gathered from the 
whole of them. — This makes it more necessary to secure all 
you can at home ; — Cedar berries, — <vjc a - — &c a — 

I send you another Pamphlet on the subject of Manures 
(which I request care to be taken of.) — By reading it atten- 
tively at your evening, or leisure hours, you may, by following 
the precepts contained in it, benefit me, and yourself too, 
hereafter. — 

As that trusty old negro Jack has taken leave of the 
troubles of this world, you must supply his place at the 
Stable, or rather at the Provender for it :• — and I should think 
Allison had better keep the key of the corn loft ; — for I know 
of no black person about the house that is to be trusted. — 

I want a Green Pocket book, w tCK is to be found in the hair 
trunk, which is usually put on my writing Table in the Study, 
with my Land papers. — The key of this trunk is under the 
lid of the writing Table. — it is tied to a bunch of other keys, 
by a twine. — This Pocket book is of green parchment, and 
contains the courses and distances of many surveys of the 
grounds &c a in, and about my farms. — let it be put under a 
cover, and sent to me by the first Post, with the reports — I 

Your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

The Pamphlet on Manures is the newest, and supposed to 

be from the best source of any that has been written. 


Philadelphia 22 d Xov r 1705. 
Mr. Peaijce, 

I received no letter from you yesterday, nor the Saturday 

before ; nor have I written to you for several weeks, on 

account of your proposed journey to the Eastern Shore : 


postponing it until the time I expected your return from 
thence. — 

In one or two of the letters I have written to you since I 
left Mount Vernon, it was intimated that I should be more 
full on the subject of Hedging whenever I was at leizure. — 
This will hardly happen I believe, while I am in this city. — 
But, as there is nothing which has relation to my farms — not 
even the Crops of grain — that I am so solicitous about as get- 
ting my fields enclosed with live fences, 1 cannot too often, 
nor too strongly inculcate this doctrine upon you ; and I find 
it more necessary to do so, as it is considered in the light of a 
subordinate object, and made to yield to other things. — 

It is a useless expence and trouble, to buy, or gather seeds; 
— to put them in the ground ; — or to transplant from the 
nursery to the hedge ; if they are not attended to afterwards 
with as much care as a field of Indian corn : — nay, as plants 
in a garden ; until they are too powerful to be injured by 
Weeds or grass. — Unless this is done, every antecedent ex- 
pence and labour is thrown away ; — and disagreeable as that 
is, — it is not to be compared with the loss of time : in effect- 
ing this plan year after year. — 

At least 15 years have I been urging my managers to 
substitute live fences in lieu of dead ones — which, if con- 
tinued upon the extensive scale my farms require, must 
exhaust all my timber ;— and to this moment I have not one 
that is complete : — nor never shall, unless they are attended 
to in the manner before mentioned ; and if plants die, to 
replace them the next season ; and so on, until the hedge is 
close, compact, and sufficient to answer the purpose for 
which it is designed. — 

It may be said, and with great truth, that the latter part 
of last summer was so wet as to- render it impossible to keep 
weeds and grass under — of course that labour was greatly 
multiplied ; — but this is an evidence also of another thing 
which I have been equally anxious to adopt, and that is to 


tend less ground — and to manure and cultivate the smaller 
quantity higher. — Sure I am, the profit will be greater : — wliv 
else will a particular spot of ground, if it is well dressed and 
prepared, yield five and twenty or 30 bushels of Corn or 
Wheat to the acre, when the circumjacent land (of the same 
original quality) will not, at most, produce more than eight 
or ten? — The reason is obvious; — the ground, in the first 
place, is kept clean ; — is well prepared ; — and well culti- 
vated ; — and in the next place, the manure which is put on 
it, and would hardly be perceived in an hundred acre field, 
would be sensibly felt m one of 50 acres. — But this is not all 
— a small quantity of ground, proportioned to the force that 
is to cultivate it — may, under all circumstances of weather. 
be kept in order ; — for if the weather be bad, it still can be 
managed ; if good, it not only can be managed, but time is 
afforded to get up mud, and do many other advantageous 
things on a farm ; — Whereas a full crop, is hardly manage- 
able as it ought to be even in good weather, and is much 
injured, if not lost, if it proves unfavorable ; whilst every- 
thing else of smaller magnitude is ruined. 

The last paragraph is a digression from the subject of 
Hedging, but serves to shew my ideas of aiming at too 
much ; — at the same time that it serves to prove what are 
really facts, that hedging, ditching, and putting my Meadows 
in prime order, would be infinitely more agreeable to me, 
and ultimately more profitable, than an attempt to encrease 
my crops of grain. — But to return to hedging. — 

At the proper season let all the English thorn, in the 
Vineyard, be transplanted (I do not care where, so it be) to 
places where the strongest inner fences are required. — Let 
the long string of fence from the gate at Union farm (going 
into jS«" 1) quite through to the branch be planted with the 
honey locust, if they are of a size proper for it. — Continue 
the Cedar hedge from the Barn at that place, to the Mill 
road ; or as far as you have plants for the purpose : — and 


then (on both sides of that lane) in ground properly spaded, 
or well hoed np, and formed, into a bed, sow the Cedar ber- 
ries in a single straight row ; after rubbing off the skin, or 
Mutinous substance' which surrounds the seed, in the manner 
which has been mentioned to you ; and which, it is said, is 
necessary to their vegitation.— But with respect to these, and 
other berries, the vegitation of which is said to be promoted 
by their passing through the body of an animal, I have often 
thought, that if they were put into a pot with water suffi- 
cient to moisten the whole mass of them, and kept warm 
(but not hot) from morning until night, and then to have 
the skin rubbed off as before mentioned, it would answer as 
well as the heat' of the animal body. — The only danger 
would be from carelessness, in letting them get so hot as to 
destroy vegitation altogether. 

The cross fences, where hogs are not suffered to run, 
might, in my opinion be made from the cuttings of the Lom- 
bard} 7 poplar ; which being quick of growth would, wattled 
in the manner I have described to you, soon form a hedge 
against horses, cattle and Sheep : and might, if necessary 
hereafter, have a hedge, on the contrary side of the ditch 
made of locust. Thorn, Cedar, or something equally substan- 
tial, tho' of slower growth ; to aid, or supply the place of the 
first, if it should decay soon.-— But it is useless to attempt 
more than can be executed ; — and a folly to begin on fresh 
ditches until those which are planted on the old ones, are 
made good. — 

Xo hedge, alone, will, I am persuaded, do for an outer in- 
closure, where tico, or four footed hogs find it convenient to 
open a passage ; but I am equally satisfied, that any hedge 
will do for partition fences, where no hogs are suffered to 
run ; — consequently those that can be quickest raised, will 
answer my purposes best; if I am even obliged to have a 
double hedge, in the maimer before mentioned, to be ready 
for the decline of the first. — 


On board of Capt a Ellwood, I sent you, to the care of Mr. 
Hartshorn, or CoJ° Gilpin?, 2S-?r lbs of Cliicory seed in a 
bag ; twelve pounds of w ch I request you to sow in the lot bv 
the Spring, at Mansion house (once intended for Lucern) as 
early in March as you can get the gr d in perfect order. — You 
may sow it alone, or with Oats, very thin ; The residue of 
this Seed, sow, at the rate of twelve pounds to the Acre, on 
the Wheat in the lot by the Barn at Dogue-run. — Let this be 
done in February or March, on a slight Snow; and sow tin- 
residue of that lot, at the same time with Lucern seed, at the 
rate of at least 15 lbs to the acre. — The rest of the Lucern 
seed you may sow at the other farms, as convenient to the 
Stables as you can find suitable gr d ; that it may be handy for 
soiling the work horses in its green State ; or where else yon 
please. — 

The Chiccory being a very light seed, should be mixed with 
Sand, ashes, or something of this sort to make it sow regular. 
— The enclosed paper will give you some idea of its worth. — 
So much has been said of the value of this plant for feeding 
horses, cattle and Sheep, that I have been induced to give 
upwards of Six pounds Sterling for the small bag I now send 
you. — this circumstance alone, makes particular attention to 
it necessary. — 

Give the small papers enclosed, to the Gardener, and de- 
sire him. to pay particular attention to them. — - 

The small sketch enclosed, shews the course of the Road 
from the white gates in Front of the Mansion house, to the 
end of the little old field ; and I could be glad, if circum- 
stances would allow it, if a new road was opened along the 
streight line A B if you can, without a compass, lay it on 
streight or if it was to strike the road a little beyond the 
field, next the Gum spring no other disadvantage than 
lengthening of it, and increasing the labour in opening of it, 
would result therefrom. — This road would leave out a small 
part of the inclosure by the White gates, and would cross a 


rising by the little old field ; but if I Lave a proper recollec- 
tion of it, the assent in going to the house will be very easy, 
and none elsewhere in returning — and a good view of the 
house would be had from it. — If this road was opened, a sub- 
stantial ditch (as soon as the ditchers could be spared from 
the Mill race) might be thrown up along it as far as the fence 
at C where the line I laid off the morning I left home, would 
meet it, and a good fence be placed thereon. — 

Urge the Miller to grind up my Wheat as fast as he can. — 
Let me know how you have gone on in getting it out — and 
what the quantity, and quality of it is likely to be — How 
your Corn turns out — And how the growing Crops look. — I 

wish you well, and am 

Your friend 

0° Washington. 


Have you got an Overseer yet for Union Farm. 


Philadelphia 29 th Xov r 1T95. 
Mr. Peakce, 

The Post of yesterday brought me your letter of the 26 th 
inst*, and the weekly reports of the 14 th and 21 st preceeding. — 

I am sorry to find by them that you have had much sick- 
ness among the Xegros ; and that the prospect of a good crop 
of Corn, as well as a tolerable one of Wheat, is diminishing. 
— As the latter of these is got out, and the horses more at 
liberty, I hope every diligence will be used in breaking up 
the fields intended for the ensuing crop, when the weather 
will permit, and the ground is in order for it : — and I request 
also, that your shelters may be prepared for the reception of 
the different species of Stock, at all the Farms, by, or before 
the season requires them to be used ; for if Cattle suffer in the 
early part of winter, they rarely recover it. — 


By the Eeport from River farm I perceive shelter is pre- 
paring for the horses at that place ; — what this means I kn<r.v 
not ; but it reminds me of the necessity of giving substantial 
shores to the Barn and Stables there : — otherwise some very 
disasterous accident may befal not only the horses, but negros 
also, in a high wind, or storm, — 

How does Xeale seem to conduct himself in the superin- 
tendence of the workmen ? — I hope he will have a little more 
command over them than Green or Donaldson had ; or he 
will get little more done by them than they did. — I take it 
for granted, that by his agreement, he is to work himself. — 
If then, you perceive any backwardness in his doing so re- 
mark it to him at first appearance of it. — Xeglects of this 
sort come on by degrees ; and increase in proportion as they 
are overlooked. — Let him cast his eyes round, and see what 
kind of work is, or will be wanting, and can be done- within 
doors ; — when the weather is such as to prevent the people 
from working out to advantage, or with safety ; and have the 
materials previously lodged in the Barn, to go on with 

Among these, I recollect at once — Dormant "Windows to 
the Barn ; — Sashes to the Kitchen where they are falling to 
pieces ; — Plank tried up for the iSTorth end of the ^Mansion 
house, that is now rotting ; — (Plank of a proper width and 
thickness, and without sap should be procured for this pur- 
pose) — the same for the Pillars of the covered way going into 
the Kitchen ; — Locust Posts for the circle before the door ; — 
Harrows, Ploughs, rakes, Wheels, Carts, cradles for the grain 
harvest ; — repairing spinning Wheels, and many other things 
which might be thought of, and executed within, to advan- 
tage, when the weather is rainy, snowy, very sloppy, or very 
cold.- — If he is a man of industry and contrivance, and will 
give his attention to these things, more will be done by a 
proper arrangement of the business than can easily be con- 
ceived ; and by such an arrangement, work might be so for- 


warded out of the rough, as to supereeed the necessity per- 
haps, of calling hands in, to do occasional jobs ; — or keeping 
Isaac and Joe always, as it were, from the other people, doing 
less, it is presumed than they would do, if they were under 
the eye of a man who would attend to them. — 

Enclosed, is a copy of the Invoices of the Oznabrigs and 
Blankets ; — there are, as you will perceive, two kinds of each, 
— let the better sort of Linnen be given to the grown people, 
and the most deserving; whilst the more indifferent sort is 
served to the younger ones and worthless. — I request that 
particular attention may be given to the cutting out that, 
there may be neither waste, nor embezzlement if it is cut out 
by the Xegro women ; and a piece at a time only used. — the 
number of yards in each piece appears by the Invoice, and it 
is easily ascertained what quantity a shirt ; or shift will take 
(of the different sizes) and calculate thereby. — xill my People 
that want blankets (or rather all that are entitled to them) 
must be supplied ; giving to the grown Negros the larger, 
or better sort. — Many have lately been given to the laying 
in Women, — but where the children are living, it is usual to 
let them come in with the rest notwithstanding; — but where 
dead, not to do so. — 

You said something to me about Sein twine, but nothing 
was fixed that I recollect; if you depend upon me for it, not 
a moment is to be lost in sending round, as the Navigation 
may soon be stopped by Ice. — ■ 

Have you rec d the money yet for my flour and Corn ? — Pay 
yourself, Overseers, and everything I owe with it, and let me 
know how the acc fc stands. — Charge Peter to be careful of the 
Mules designed for my own particular use — and let the num- 
ber be Six instead of four. 

I am Your friend, &c a 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia 6 th Dec r 1795. 
Mr. Peaj?ce, 

I have received your letter of the 29 th ult° with the Weekly 
reports of the 6 th and 2S th of November. 

I wish you to make the most you can of the materials you 
have within yourself, for hedging ; for I do not believe you 
will get any berries of the white thorn from Newcastle; for 
the reason given in one of my letters after I arrived at this 
place, from Mount Vernon last. — I hope the Ceder berries 
will prove better than you expect, that you may, as soon as 
possible, get the lane from the New barn (at Union farm) to 
the Mill road compleated with that kind of hedge on both 
sides. — Make good the hedges as you proceed, in this busi- 
ness ; otherwise you will have incomplete ones, that will 
render no service. — Anxious as you perceive I am, to substi- 
tute hedges instead of dead fences, I have full confidence in 
your exertion to raise them ; — and as I have observed in a 
former letter, those for inner and cross fences, where no hogs 
are suffered to run, may, in the first instance, be made of any- 
thing that suits the soil, and will grow quick ; altho' they 
should be doubled hereafter. — "When I speak of tilling too 
much land, and add that a less quantity would be more pro- 
ductive than the greater quantity, which is now tended in 
order to produce an adequate quantity of Corn ; I would not 
be understood to mean that half of one of your fields in the 
condition they now are, would produce you as much corn (or 
other things) as the whole of it would do ; — that would be 
absurd ; — but for example, suppose ten hands are necessary 
to cultivate a field of 100 acres (more or less) and that this 
quantity, in common seasons, can be cultivated as well as 
usually is done, but will allow no spare time, or labour for any 
extra work — my idea then is, that- by turning half that field 
out, or rather let it be enclosed, and nothing suffered to run 

and MOUNT VERNON. 215 

upon it (that all the grass and weeds it produces may fall, rot, 
and ameliorate the soil) — Cultivate the other half better than 
vou could do the whole ; — and bestow all the spare labour of 
the ten hands in raking, — scraping, — collecting and carrying 
out all the manure that can be obtained from Swamps, ponds, 
trash about houses, and in the lanes, — and even leaves and 
rotten trees from the woods ; that more would be produced 
in a year or two from the 50 acres, than is now got from the 
hundred : — and by this means gullies might be filled up — and 
many other improvements made on the farms that are not, 
nor cannot be done, with a full crop. — Is it not better to get 
20 bushels of Wheat (and other things in proportion) from 
one acre of ground, than from two acres ? — That worn land, 
undressed and unimproved will not produce the latter, that is 
20 bushels, and when well cultivated and manured, will pro- 
duce the former, is known to every man who has attended to 
these things; — and yet, such is the force of habit, that people 
will not quit the path their fathers have trod in. — Besides, I 
am so well persuaded of the injury, land sustains from the 
growth of Indian Corn, I never desire to raise more than 
enough for my [Negros (who cannot do without it ;) substitut- 
ing other species of food for Horses, Hogs &c a — or even buy- 
ing, from the sales of other crops if I cannot do this. — 

I agree to your putting N° 1 at Muddy-hole in Oats instead 
of N° 6. — And one object which makes me desirous of clear- 
ing ground at the Mansion house, and tilling what has been 
grubbed, is to relieve those worn out fields at the former; 
whilst the principal design, is to improve and beautify the 
grounds about the latter. — But altho' I wish very much to 
have the new road (sketched out in one of my late letters,) 
opened, yet I cannot, nor do not request it, if more essential 
matters arc to suffer by it. — perhaps it may be done on a 
straight line from the sweep by the white gates, to the inter- 
section of the proposed road, and the fence, which was marked 
out the morning I left home. 


I am glad to hear that your growing grain looks well. — 
take care to make drains, in time, to take the water from ail 
low places ; — and let me know, as soon as the matter is ascer- 
tained, the amount of your "Wheat and Corn Crops at each 
place ; and in each field ; if the acc ts have been kept di.»- 

tinct. — 

I remain your friend and well wisher 

G° "Washington. 

What Hogs have you put up for Porke ? and when will 
they be fit to kill ? 


Philadelphia 13 th Dec r 1795. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 6 th inst*, enclosing the "Weekly reports, 
has been duly received. 

I am glad to find by it that the sickness among my people 
is abating. — If Cvrus 1 continues to give evidence of such 
qualities as would fit him for a waiting man, encourage him 
to persevere in them ; and if they should appear to be sin- 
cere and permanent, I will receive him in that character 
when I retire from public life, if not sooner. — To be sober, 
attentive to his duty, honest, obliging and cleanly, are the 
qualifications necessary to fit him for my purposes. — If he 
possesses these, or can acquire them — he might become useful 
to me, at the same time that he would exalt, and benefit 

When you receive the money for my last years flour and 
Corn, I wish that every demand, of whatsoever nature or 
kind, may be discharged. — I never like to owe anything, lest 
I might be called upon for payment when I am not possessed 
of the means. — A Dun, would not be agreeable to me, at any 

1 A negro boy. 


time; — and not to play money when it is due, and might 
really be wanting, would hurt my feelings. — 

Wheat in this market is at from 15 to 20/. p r bush, and 
flour thirteen dollars and an half p r barr 1 . — Probably this 
may be occasioned by the desire of Shipping it before the 
frost sets in, to stop the Navigation. — I therefore request 
that the Miller would exert himself in grinding mine ; and 
if you can get the above price (allowing for the deduction of 
freight from Alexandria to this City) to sell, on a reasonable 
credit, all the flour he has, or can get ready, at that price. — 

I will make enquiry for Sein twine and if it is to be had 
on better terms here than in Alexandria, and a Vessel offers 
(which is not the case at present) I will send a quantity 
round. — 

Two more mules (altho' they may be older than the four 
now up) may be turned over to Peter — Let him chuse those 
which are most promising, and nearest in colour. 

I am Your friend tfee 1 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 20 th Dec r 1795. 
Mr. Peaiice, 

Having received neither the Weekly reports nor a letter 
from you yesterday, as usual, I fear you are unwell, or some- 
thins: else is the cause of it, as I got other letters by the 
Southern Mail. — 

Flour keeps up to 13 J- dollars p r bar 1 . If I have any there- 
fore on hand, to dispose of, I wish it were sold at that price, 
on a reasonable credit ; allowing for the freight to this place ; 
which is all that the purchaser ought to require, unless lie 
contends for Insurance also. — One cause for this price is, to 
get it out before the frost sets in, so as to impede the Naviga- 
tion. — -Whether a fall afterwards may be permanent, or not, 


I will not undertake to decide ; — but I had rather sell at that 
price than run the hazard of its doing it. — 
' I could buy Sein twine in this city at j- this money, but no 
Vessel offers for Potomack, and probably will not before the 
river closes; you must do therefore what seems to you best 
under these circumstances — that is to buy there — weight, and 
take the chance of getting it from hence in time — or to rent 
the Landing for a certain sum ; obliging the Hire, er of it, to 
furnish you from the first running, with as many Shad and 
Herrings as you usually put up for family use. — Sometime 
last year, I wrote you a letter on this subject which may con- 
tain (altlio* I dont know that it does) some useful ideas, if the 
latter mode should be preferred. — 

I am your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 3 d Jan. 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 27 th with the reports came to hand 
yesterday — and I am glad to find you have met with a supply 
of twine in Alexandria, as there is no prospect that has yet 
openedj of getting it from hence in time and J have no doubt 
that under all chances fishing yourself will be more profitable 
than hiring out the landing for Sixty pounds. — 

I am not disposed to take any thing less for my Hour than 
it sells at here (allowing for freight and Insurance) for if it is 
well manufactured, it will pass Inspection in this Market, and 
of course command the price of other flour, without the credit 
which is required in Alexandria and would be for my interest 
to bring it hither, rather than sell at an under rate. — In any 
case, however, I request that Davenport may hasten the grind- 
ing as much as possible, that you may be enabled to take the 
advantage of a Vessel wanting a quantity to dispatch her, and 


the badness of the roads, which may prevent its coming from 
the upper country by land ; "vvhieh. must be the case now y from 
the openess of the winter, hitherto ; and will be the case in 
the spring when it is breaking up which circumstances are 
favorable for a good sale if you keep a good lookout. — 

My letter to you, must have been opened after it went 
from me, for I think it never could have left my hands with- 
out a seal. 1 — But letters for sometime past have been opened, 
to come at Lank and Post notes ; and some persons are now 
under trial for this practice. 

I am Your friend &c a 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 17 th Jan. 1790. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letters of the 3 d and 10 th inst fc are both before me, — 
the last came yesterday, and the first on tuesday. 

I should be sorry if Davenports disorder should prove fatal 
to him ; it would be a heavy stroke upon his family at any 
time, and unlucky for me at the present. — ■ 

I am under no concern for the fall which has taken place 
in the price of flour — that it will be up again, and higher 
than ever in the spring there is but little doubt — indeed some 
well informed Merchants declare they should not be surprized 
to find it at twenty dollars p r Barrel at that season. — 

There can be no question, in my mind that herrings will be 
at 10/. p r Thousand and Shads at three dollars at least p r hun- 
dred for which reason, my advice to you is, not to take less 
from Mr. Smith, or any other who may offer to contract, be- 

You may manage the fields at Union farm in whatever 
manner you think best — My great object (more than making 

See Introduction. 


crops) is to preserve the land and the mode you have sug- 
gested for the ensuing crop, may answer that purpose. — 

I have no objection to your disposing of all the fallen tim- 
ber to Waggoners that you see no prospect of getting up 
vourself upon the best terms you can obtain. — taking care to 
prevent, as far as possible, impositions and inconvenience- 
from admitting them within your outer fences. — To keep 
which up, is an object of great importance ; and I wish it to 
be done as far as it is in your power without neglecting 
things of greater moment. — It was always my intention, and 
is my earnest wish, to get a hedge of the honey locust, or 
some plant of quick and stubborn growth upon the outer 
ditch as soon as possible. — ■ 

How does your winter grain stand this open weather? — It 
lias been fine for grubbing, and I hope that business has, and 
is going on well. — Have you a prospect of getting all grubbed 
within the line I laid off the morning I left home ? — and is it 
likely you can do anything towards the Kew road from the 
White gates this winter or Spring ? 

As Allison knew that it never was contemplated to bring, 
or have a married man about the Mansion house as an Over- 
seer, lie would be rightly served to be turned of [f] ; but as it 
might be difficult to supply his place at this season I can give 
no direction about it, but leave the matter to yourself to act 
as circumstances dictate. 

It is hardly possible it can be three years since I subscribed 
to the Salary of Mr. Davis 1 — how then can there be two 
years due when one has been paid \ Surely it was not the 
terms of the Subscription to pay ten pounds at the beginning. 
and ten pounds at the end of the first year. But you can as- 
certain this matter by having recourse to the paper — or, Mr. 
Herbert, who was the gentleman that obtained my name to 

1 Rev. Thomas Davis. (See ante.) 


It is not want of water, but the great quantity of it that is 
wasted, that makes the scarcity at the Mill, and this will con- 
tinue to be the case until the Xew race is done and all the 
rotten and week parts below it are thoroughly repaired. — 
after which, except in very dry summers I do not conceive 
there will be much cause for complaint. — 

I remain your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 25 th Jan. 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

The letter which accompanies the two parcels of Rice 
herewith sent, gives all the information I am able to trans- 
mit, respecting the cultivation of them ; — and to which I 
request you to pay particular attention. — 

As these small things may be laid by, and forgot when the 
season for sowing or preparing ground for them arrives ; — and 
even after sowing them, may be forgotten in the due cultiva- 
tion of them — It would be proper to avoid the first, to put 
them in places where they cannot be overlooked — and as a re- 
membrancer of the latter, to note down in your book of re- 
ports the time — and place — where and when, they are put 
into the ground. — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Phil a 31 5t Jan y 1706. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 24 th inst. with the reports, came to 

hand, at the usual time, yesterday. — And I am sorry to find 

by them that sickness is so prevalent among the people. — 


It is occasioned I presume by the changeableness of tin 
weather; — and will I hope, be carried off by the steady cold 
which seems to be how setting in. — 

Has your grain been covered with snow ? — If not, how 
does it, and is it likely, to withstand these open frosts ? 

If you cannot get a Miller until the first of June — (I mean 
who will remain with you until that time) — let me know ir. 
and I will endeavor to send one from hence : — but the season 
will, in a manner, be passed away before one could reach you 
from hence ; for which reason, if you could get a lit character 
nearer home, it would be better. — I hope the loss of Ben will 
not be added to that of Davenport. — Let care be taken of 
him, and all the rest of the sick. — 

As I am almost as confident as I can be of anything, thai 
depends upon a bad memory, that it is not three years since 
I subscribed to a Salary for Mr. Davis, I cannot discover 
upon what ground it is he claims three years payment ; 
unless my subscription anticipated a years payment, of which 
I have no recollection ; — but which must certainly be known 
to Mr. Herbert who was the Gentleman that solicited my 
name to the instrument. — I am always willing to pay what 3 
owe— but never that which I do not owe. 

I wish you well and am y r friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 7 th Feb y 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter, begun on the 31 ?t of last month, and ended the 
2 d of this, came, with the Eeports enclosed, duly to hand 
yesterday ; together with the Hot of Dower a^egros which are 
taken exactly as I wished.— I now wish you would forward t" 
me a list of all the remaining Xegros on the Estate ;—dis- 


tingnisliing French's from the others ; and both made out in 
the manner of the last — giving the ages &cV 

After I hear from you again, respecting a Miller, I shall be 
better able to determine than now, whether to send a Miller 
from hence or not ; — especially as, all circumstances con- 
sidered, it may be found as well to sell the Wheat in grain as 
to grind it, if the Mill can be rented on Advantages terms 
before the next Manufacturing season comes on — of which I 
request you to be particular in your enquiries that I may 
know the utmost she will Bent for. — 

Let me know in your next (for the Mill report gives no ac- 
count of it) what quantity of flour is ground : — and I should 
be glad to know as nearly as you can give a guess from what 
you have already got out of the Straw, the quantity remaining 
in it. — In short I wish to know as nearly as may be con- 
jectured (with certainty I am sensible it cannot be) the whole 
amount of the last years crop, of this article. — 

I never was under any apprehension, from the fall in the 
price of Wheat or flour in Alexandria, that I had missed the 
market for mine ; — and I am more convinced now than ever, 
that both will be higher than it ever has been. — The high 
bounty given by the British Parliament for the importation 
of both these articles into that country ; — the scarcity in 
Europe generally, and the great demand for the latter in the 
"West Indies ; will raise the market beyond any thing ever 
known in this country. — Wheat at this moment is at 20/. p r 
Bushel, and flour at fourteen dollars p r Barrel and rising in 
this City. — Keep me advised of the Alexandria prices. — 

If you can get a good workman who will be industrious 
and sober (and not extravagent) it would not only be my 

1 The exact date of Washington's Will is unknown, a blank being left 
after " seventeen hundred and ninety — ." The information requested of 
Pearce was probably desired for the preparation of that characteristic docu- 
ment, in which his own negroes are carefully distinguished, from those of 
his wife, for immediate emancipation. 



wish to have the North end of the Mansion house thoroughly 
repaired, but every other part of it ; with the Pillars of the 
Piazza — covered ways to the Kitchen and Servants hall, com- 
pleatly repaired also ; — together with the sashes of all the 
houses where they require it. — And I would have Venetian 
blinds made for the Windows above, on the west side of the 
house like those below, but to fit better than they do. — Or, if 
the windows are so framed as to permit it, these Venetian 
blinds would look, and be better on the out side ; to open and 
shut (by means of hinges) like those on the front door, but 
in a neater Stile. — If they are made for the outside above, 
the same must be below, in order to correspond ; or it would 
have an odd appearance. — In that case the blinds now in use 
may be worked up. — It must be a good workman to execute 
these several jobs (for I would have none of them done in a 
bungling manner) — and that they may come lighter to me, as 
jobs of this sort must be undertaken at day wages, let Isaac 
and the boy assist, under his direction, in slitting out and 
trying up the stuff from the rough. — 

The check which Doct r Stuart has given you on the Bank 
of Alexandria you may lay out in Stock (or shares) therein. 
— I do not know the cost of a share, but if it wants a little 
aid to complete a share, or certain number of shares, and you 
have the means of affording it, I would have you do so. — But 
tell Doct r Stuart when you see him, that I apprehend he is 
under a mistake in charging me three years hire of Peter. — 
The last time he paid me money (which cannot be three 
years ago) the hire of Peter was allowed for therein ; and a 
receipt taken for the same ; or else my memory has failed me 
exceedingly. — This however, if an error, can easily be recti- 
fied by having recourse to that settlement, or to the receipts. 

If Mrs. Davenport means to remove to Norfolk, you may 
aid her with a little money to do so; — to the amount of 
three, four or five pounds, according to circumstances. — 

You will perceive by the enclosed advertisement, which is 


intended more as an essay to see whether I can rent my 
farms — [remainder of letter missing']. 


Philadelphia 21 st Feb. 1796. 
Mr. Peaece, 

Since my last to yon, I have received yonr letters of the 
7 th and 14 th Instant. 

I am under no apprehension of flour falling ; but keep me 
advised of the Alexandria price. — The fears expressed by the 
purchasers, of its falling, is calculated to alarm the Sellers. — 
They know full well, it is not likely to happen. — The scarcity 
and demand being so irreat. — 

As I wish, after this Crop of "Wheat is Manufactured, to 
Rent my Mill, it would scarcely be worth while to send a 
Miller from hence, even if I knew where to get one, but 
that I do not : — and therefore would have you do as well 
as yon can to procure one yourself, to grind up the present 
crop. — 

The Gentlemen who think 250 dollars a sufficient Rent 
for my Mill diiler very widely from me. — This sum would 
not bring me 2§ p r C fc for the money w ch has been expended 
on her, the Pace, &c* — Mr. Digges' Mill near Bladen sburgh 
Rented for £300 Maryh 1 Money p r Ann. and it was supposed 
would go much higher when the term (which is now about 
expiring) was out. — But of this you may get particular in- 
formation from Col° Fitzgerald (one of the Executors) which 
I wish you would do, and let me know. — Mr. Diggers Mill 
may have a more constant stream of Water than mine, but in 
no other respect is better ; — and a considerable alteration will 
take place in mine, when the Xew Pace is compleated. — 

Those tenants which you speak of, near Mrs. French's, 
must pay more than 20/. Pent for every acre of tillable land 
they possess ; few of them, if I am not mistaken, having 


more than ten, 12, or fifteen Acres cleared: and it was the 
cost of the cleared land I was enquiring after; — not what 
they paid for a lot, when eight-tenths of it might be in 
Wood ; which could produce them nothing. — Mine Leii:_; 
cleared, and fit for the plough, I wanted to know what others 
got, as some rule to fix a value thereon. — 

I do not understand the Alexandria Printers 1 meaning. 
when he talks of not having tipes to spare for my Adver- 
tisement. — Does it take more tipes for that, than any other 
piece of the same length ? — If not, would he not have the 
same tipes to use in the interval, between every publication 
whether of a week, fortnight, or any other given time? — 

I am willing to encourage the Bank of Alexandria if it is 
not at too great a loss, in the purchase of ]Sew shares, and 
therefore leave you at liberty to apply the money that way 
under that restriction only. — 

The repairs to the Xorth end of the Mansion house, and 
perhaps some others, are so essential, that you must engage 
the person whom you had in view to do them, upon the best 
terms you can ; whether he is aided by the iN'egro carpenter.- 
or not.- — 

I see by the last weeks report that Caesar lias been absent 
six days. — Is he a runaway ? — If so, it is probable he will 
escape altogether, as he can read, if not Write. — 

I thought to have given yon the terms on which I propose 
to let my farms, but other matters have eno-a^ed me so much, 
that I have not had time yet to digest them to mv satisfac- 
tion ; but you shall have them as soon as lam able to do 
it. — In the mean time, if any enquiries have been made, let 
me know it and the tendency of them. — 

I am sorry you entertain a doubt of remaining with me 
another year ; for whether'I retain the farms ; — Rent them : 

1 The "Columbian Mirror and Alexandria Gazette," which was first issu< ■* 
21 Nov. 1792. It had a precursor in "The Times and Alexandria Adver 
User," which was in existence as early as 17SG. 



or do both, in part ; your services would be equally essential 
to me: and my unwillingness to look out for another Manager 
would be equally great: — especially as I should, so soon after, 
quit public life, and settle myself once more in Peace, under 
my own Vine and fig tree ; and could, thereafter, attend more 
to my own business than I am able to do at present — And as 
it is probable too your health may be better, after you are 
more innured to a Water situation. For these reasons I hope 
your determination is not so fixed but it will be altered. — 
I wish you well, and 

am Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 9 th Mar. 1706. 
Mr. Pearce, 

As I did not receive your letter of the 2S th ult°, until eight 
o'clock last night ; — and am hurried this morning in prepar- 
ing other letters for the Post. — I shall do no more than in- 
form you, that besides the Cask of Clove Seed by Capt n Hand, 
— there went a small box of Apple grafts for the Gardener. — 
The apples are of a most extraordinary large size, and good 
for eating. — Desire Ehler (as I hope he will receive them in 
time) to graft them carefully. — I do not know what name the 
Apple goes by ; — but he may distinguish them by — the large 
Apple. — 

If you have not already purchased shares in the Bank of 
Alexandria, desist until you hear further from me ; — but if 
you have done it, take no notice of this countermand. 
I wish you better health and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia 13 th March 1706. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 28 th of Feb y (as I mentioned in a short 
letter written to you on Wednesday last) did not reach un- 
hands until tuesday evening ; — and I had it not in my power 
next morning, before closing the Mail, to mention some things 
which I am about to do in this letter. — 

The scarcity of Corn, and high price of that article in all 
the Southern States, and in the Southern and western parts 
of Virginia, gives serious alarm.- — Whether I have enough to 
serve me, or any to spare, I know not, but in either case, I 
request the utmost care and parsimony may be observed in 
using it. — In many places I am told it is at six and seven dol- 
lars a barrel already ; and expected to rise. 

When you have got the whole of the iNew ground at Man- 
sion house properly cleaned up, and fit for the Hoe and plough : 
calculate what force of hands, and horses it will take to culti- 
vate it ; and well ; in Corn this year ; and that you may be 
certain of accomplishing it as it ought to be; (as my great 
object is to kill the roots, and destroy the sprouts, so as to lit 
it for grass) I would, if there be any doubt of effecting this in 
the manner here expressed, have the Corn ground else where 
reduced : — especially too as I should like to have the waste 
ground, adjoining to the last years corn, at the same place, 
also brought into cultivation ; and for the same purpose as 
the other ; — that is — that it may be thoroughly reclaimed 
from Hoots, sprouts and Shrubs ; and laid to grass. — As there 
were many ugly gullies in the part last mentioned, I hope you 
have had, or will have them tilled up, with the brush &e fl 
from the other parts.— Xot being sure that I gave you a plat 
of these grounds, I do it now; that by knowing the exact 
quantity you may calculate your force accordingly ; — allowing, 
as no doubt you will, for the extra : labour of working 2Cevr 


ground, where there will be so many interruptions by roots 
\V'C a ; and old ground, where the Plough w d run smooth and 
easy. — Let all the Trees w ch have been left, (as well this year 
as formerly) except where they stand in clumps, be trimmed 
to one even height from the ground ; and as high as they 
well can be, by means of a Chizzel and Staff. — To do this 
properly, will have a two fold effect ; — 1 st , by lopping off so 
many limbs, and so high up, the shade, and of course the in- 
jury to the corn, will be less;' — and 2 d!y , it will add beauty to 
the appearance of the trees, when they get to be of larger 
growth. — 

Altho' I am under no apprehension of Flour falling in 
price (but, on the contrary, that it will continue to rise, 
especially if the British forces have arrived in the West 
Indies, of which I believe there is no doubt) I would have 
you keep me regularly informed of the Alexandria price of 
this article, and the terms of payment; that I may know 
when to strike. — And that it may all go together, I beg you 
to exert your best endeavors to complete the grinding of my 
Wheat as soon as possible. — Let me know the number of 
Barrels you have on hand, and how many more there prob- 
ably will be from the supposed quantity of Wheat yet to 
deliver. — If the Miller's weekly report was to contain the 
quantity of flour on hand it would save me these enquiries. 
— Whenever it is sold, take care to reserve a full quantity 
for my Table — and the demands of those who are to be sup- 
plied by agreement. — 

I wish to know from Col° Fitzgerald what the Bent of 
Mr. Digges Mill near Bladensburgh is. — What Bickets pays 
for Bird's near Alexandria ; — and that you w d extend your 
enquiries as much as you can, and let me know the result. — 
I cannot speak with certainty for want of the accounts, but 
should suppose that £100 p r Ann. for my Mill would fall far 
short of the common interest of the money she has cost me ; 
including the labour of my own People. — 


v iii 


I never supposed you had made any mistake in giving an 
ace 11 of the Rents which Airs. French, and about her, 
received for their Lands, by the hundred acres. — The tend 
ency of my enquiries was to ascertain a fact — viz — If She, in 
they, give leases for lots containing- 100 acres each, what pro 
portion of that hundred acres is cleared, and in order fur 
cultivation? — If the Tenant gives fifteen pounds for an 
hundred ac s and there is only fifteen acres of that hundred 
cleared, he does (until more is arable) actually pay 20/. per 
acre for the cultivable Land. — Therefore, as the Land I 
propose to let, is already in order for the Plough — 1 
wanted to draw a comparison between what I ask for 
fields, and others give by the acre for cleared land, alreac 
order for tillage. — I do not know that my conjectures with 
respect to the tenements about Mrs. French's are well founded ; 
—but if they are, and in a hundred acre lot, there be not 
more than 15 or 20 acres of arable, those tenants pay double 
what I ask for my land ; supposing a dollar to be the medium 
price of a Bushel of Wheat ; — and yet I have not much 
expectation of letting my farms on the terms I offer them ; 
as sounds, of ten terrify more than realities. — The truth is, if I 
do not get what I conceive to be an adequate Rent, and good 
tenants, who will do justice to the land, I shall not rent them 
at all. — The terms have been forwarded to you in a former 
letter. — It is not my intention to let the Xegros with the 
farms. — But you may, nevertheless, when enquiries are made 
know what could be obtained for both, e\:c a . 

Until all danger from frost is over, mention in your let- 
ters how the Winter grain looks : — and when this danger 
is past, inform me how it appears; whether the ground i> 
sufficiently stored with it; and whether the naked place- 
are numerous and large. — Do not spare the Boiler if you 
should be of opinion that good would result from the use of 

My public duties press so much upon me, that unless some- 


thing occurs, to remind me of my private concerns they 
escape me altogether. — This would have been the case with 
respect to the Jacks, and Stud horse had you not mentioned 
Allison's request. — Had it occurred in time, I intended to 
have informed you, that both Col° Ball (near Leesburgh) and 
Mr. Eob fc Lewis (near Fauquier Court house) had sug- 
gested, that one of my Jacks, at either of those places, would 
have Many Mares sent to him. — And I should have added, 
that I did not object to the measure ; but would leave it to 
you and Peter (the last of whom ought by this time to know 
which it would be best for me to retain) to say which should 
go. — Xow, I presume it is too late in the Season to change 
their destination ; for before one could be got to either of 
those Gentlemen, and notice thereof given, the covering sea- 
son would be far advanced. — After mentioning these things 
I still leave it to you to do what you conceive will be most 
conducive to my interest. — If either of those Gentlemen was 
to get either of the Jacks, two things I should insist upon — ■ 
l 5t the utmost care of the animal ; — and 2' lly ]S o credit to be 
given ; at least for the part which is to fall to my share, for 
there is no collect 3 debts of this sort. 

I know nothing of Thomas Allison's circumstances, respon- 
sibility, Plan or terms, — consequently can say nothing relative 
to his offer. — But as he lives in the same neighbourhood, and 
cannot, I should suppose, be provided with either Stable, 
Forage or Pasturage fit for such purposes, I do not see what 
more is to be expected from sending the horse there, than 
keeping him at Mount Vernon ; (especially as his profits 
would be to be deducted from the earnings of the coverings : 
and besides, I thought the horse was necessary to be with the 
Jacks, to try the Mares by. — 

As you have already taken ten shares in the Alexandria 
Bank, I am very well satisfied thereat; and that it should so 

Open and Mild as the winter has been, will you not have 


Hay to sell? — In that case, how much, and what is the price 

of it in Alex a — I remain Your friend 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Your letter of the G th instant came to hand yesterday, but 

there is nothing contained in it, that is not already noticed in 

the aforegoing letter. — 


Philadelphia 27 th Mar. 1790. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Yesterday brought me your letter of the 20 th instant, with 
the Eeports of the preceding week. — 

I am sorry to find by it that your winter grain has change*! 
its appearance, for the worse ; and that your fences have been 
so much deranged by the high wind you have had — in a 
greater degree I think than it was here — tho' it was very 
violent with us also. — These being acts of Providence, and 
not within our controul, I never repine at them : — but if the 
Poller will be of any use to the grain I beg it may be applied. 
— Let the damage which the Cupulo, and other things have 
sustained from the wind, be repaired as soon as possible. 

I would not have you undertake more of the New ground 
in Com than you can cultivate Well with the Mansion house 
and Muddy-hole hands ; assisted as much as possible (at con- 
venient times) by those from the other farms. — It was always 
my intention and expectation, that the vjhole would have been 
tilled in Corn ; and the field at Muddy-hole which, otherwise, 
would have been in this article, would have lain over to an- 
other year. — I went upon the principle that it was of very 
little use to clear and grub ground, if it was not cultivated ; 
because in a year or two it would be as foul as ever. — How- 
ever, I do not make this observation with a view to stimulate 
you to attempt more than you can execute cornpleatly ; for 
that would not only defeat the view of preparing the held for 


grass, but .by not cultivating it well, would be the loss of the 
Crop. — 

I am under no apprehension, or fear, that flour with you, 
will not again take a start ; — it is now at 10 dollars in this 
city ; and every account from Europe developes more and 
more the scarcity of it there, besides the demand for it in the 
A\ r est Indies ; but dispose of yours (if you can) on the terms 
mentioned in a former letter; and let me know from time to 
time what the current price is. — 

You say Compound may be spared, but do not add that he 
will, or to ivho?)i, altho' I left both altogether to your own 
discretion. — Xo time is to be lost if he goes at all — Mr. Lewis 
would, probably attend more to him than Col° Ball— and is, 
besides, an Agent of mine for other purposes. — 

From the present state of the business in Congress, I see very 

little prospect of its rising before June ; — of course I shall not 

be able to visit Mount Vernon at an earlier period. — From 

hence you can form as good a judgment of my wants as I can, 

of Hay. — 

I am Your friend tfce a 

G° Washington. 

Enclosed is a Letter, and some certificates from Mr. Butler. 
— Let the letter be given to him ; and if his distresses are 
truly represented, give him five or Six dollars ; — or more if it 
appears that lie merits them : — But tell him at the same time, 
his claim on me is no greater than on any other ; and there- 
fore not to think of establishing it. — And with respect to the 
school, I have nothing to do in providing Tutors for it. — 


Philadelphia 3 d xVpril 1796. 
Me. Peaece, 

Your letter of the 27 th ult°, with a Postscript of the 29 th , 

came duly to hand yesterday. — 


As I have expectation that by the time this letter will have 
reached you, a Vessel from Liverpool called the Commerce, 
will have arrived at George Town with eight bushels of the 
field Pea ; — as much of the Chiccory as will sow four acres of 
land ; — and eight bushels of the Winter Yetch — for, and on 
my account, I request you to have the two first sowed as soon 
as you are able. 1 — By looking into some of the farming books 
I lent you, you will discover what quantity of the Pease to 
allow to the Acre. — If these sh d be silent, allow two bushels 
sowed broad cast : — at any rate do not give as much as the 
English husbandry directs, for the quantity allowed in that 
country (formerly at least) greatly exceeds ours. — I sent for 
as much Chiccory as would sow four acres of ground, but nut 
mentioning whether in drils or broad cast, I am unable to give 
you any particular direction on this head ; and therefore must 
leave it to yourself to judge from the quantity of seed, whether 
it is designed for four acres broad cast, or four acres in drills 
that the seed is adequate to. — The Vetches must be secured 
in the Seed loft for fall sowing. — 

If the Chiccory is as valuable for Soiling horses (that is 
giving it to them green) as I am told it is ; I think it would 
be desirable to allow a proportional quantity of it to each of 
the four farms ; — to be sown as convenient as may be to the 
Stables. — As you did not, in enumerating the different places 
in which Oats were to be sowed, mention any for the ground 
that was in Potatoes, near the quarter, at Mansion house ; 1 
think, if it is yet unsown, it would be a good spot (or as much 
thereof as is necessary) to sow the Pease in : — and I see no 
reason why clover may not be sown with them, as well as with 

1 On the 22 May 179G Washington sent through Mr. Pinckney, in London, 
his thanks to Lord Grenville (with whom the Jay Treaty had been negoti- 
ated), "for his politeness in causing a special permit to he sent to Liverpool 
for the shipment of two sacks of field peas, and the like quantity of winter 
vetches, which I had requested our Consul at that place to send me for seed, 
but which it seems could not be. done without an order from the govern- 
ment. " 


Oats. — If this ground should have been seeded already — sow 
them wherever you please; and with as little delay as pos- 
sible. — Do the same with the Chiccory, as the Season is get- 
ting late — and if it continues dry they will come to nothing 

In one of my letters, I mentioned planting the vacant 
ground in the Corn field, at Mansion II , with Corn, along 
with the jSTew ground; — but in my next letter, I suggested 
the idea of putting it in Oats, to avoid letting the other part 
lying waste, or the expence of a fence. — But I leave it to 
you to do what you think best, or rather what you are able 
to accomplish. — My plan always was, and always will be, to 
attempt no more than can be executed tcell. And this made 
me desirous of cultivating all the Xew ground ; being well 
convinced that it will soon, be as bad as ever, if the roots 
and sprouts are not destroyed by this means. — 

In one of your late letters, speaking of the damage done by 
the Wind, you mentioned its having blown down many 
Trees: — it did not occur to me at that time, that this might 
have happened to the Trees in the yards, gardens, or Lawns. — 
If this was the case, I hope they were set up again. — 

If the locust Posts for the circle, are ready, let them be put 
up. — And if you should sell the flour on the terms I have 
mentioned, take care that the payment is well secured. — 

Mr. Minor has recommended a Mr. Darnes, 1 as a Tenant, 
whom he thinks would preserve my land near Alexandria 
from the Tresspasses it undergoes ; and I have, in the en- 
closed letter (left open for your perusal) requested him to 
put the said Darnes on. — Let the letter be sent to him that 
he may certainly get it. (And let Mr. Darnes have the field 
you speak of, and more ground ff necessary, to put a house 
on. — But make your agreement 'with him in writing - ; that 
there may be no mistakes. — I should not incline to give him 

1 Mr. George Minor and Mr. Darnes were both overseers of the poor. 


a =n?efy of the place for more than 5, 6 or 7 y 1 " 8 — for the rest 

I ears not.) 

Unless 1 rent my Farms, and I have very little expectation 
of doing it, for the next year, I shall be indifferent about 
renting my Mill ; unless tempted by a good price : — but with- 
out letting this be known you may learn from Mr. Gill what 
Lis friend, or any other, would give for her, for the term of 
years I have offered her. — 

Let me know the exact size of the Chimney in the New 
room, at the Mansion house; — that is, how wide at the 
front, and at the back, and how deep at the sides; — and 
whether the sides are of Marble. — Let me know also how 
far the chimney piece projects from the plaistering above 
it; — whether there is a middle part that projects more than 
the rest;— how much, and the width of it, &c a ; and what 
the whole length of the chimney piece at top is, from side 
to side or end to end. — 

I am your friend and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Mk. PeaECE, 

If Mrs. Green and her family are really in distress, afford 
them some relief ; — I cannot say to what amount, because that 
depends upon the nature and extent of it. — But in my opinion 
it had better be in anything than money, for I very strongly 
suspect that all that has, and perhaps all that will be given to 
her in that article, is applied more in rigging herself, than in 
the purchase of real and useful necessaries for her family. - 
To aid her in this w r ay is notnry intention — but you will, from 
enquiry, know what her real situation is, and govern yourself 
thereby. — 

If She cannot support her children she ought to bind them 


to good Masters and Mistresses, who' will learn them Trades 

and do that justice by them which the Law directs. 

I am Yours &c a 

G° Washington. 
4 th April 1796. 


Alexandria March 23, 1796. 

I am sorry that I have to trouble you once more in craving 
your Assistance but my Situation and Distress is such as in- 
duces me to intrude on your Generosity Myself and Children 
have been for some time sick and still continue so ; if you 
please consider my Distress and helplessness and send me 
what relief you may please to think proper your past kindness 
to me gives me a hope that you will still Regard the petition 

of your Hum b Ser* 

Sarah Green. — 


Philadelphia 10 th April 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 3 d instant, with the Weekly reports, was 
received yesterday ; and I have also seen Mr. Lear, who ar- 
rived here yesterday about the same time. — 

As there is no prospect from the last European accounts 
(down to the first of March) of Peace ; but on the contrary, 
every appearance of a vigorous prosecution of the War — at 
least for another Campaign — and they speak (tho' tlour is 
low in some parts) of a general scarcity, and rise of it in 
others ; — particularly in London : — I am not under the small- 
est apprehension of getting fifteen dollars p r barrel for mine, 
even at a shorter credit than Six months ; but as I wish to 
have it oft; my hands, as the warm weather is coming on. 
which may occasion it to sour, besides being liable to other 



accidents, I consent to your selling it to Mr. Smith for fifteen 
dollars on a credit of Six months; provided he will give . ; 
negociable note, with a good Endorser, on the Bank of Alex- 
andria. — But, as there will have been a lapse of time betweei 
the conversation you had with Mr. Smith's Clerk, and the r 
ceipt of this letter, it would be prudent, before you offer 
the flour on the above terms, to sound, and to discover from 
him, whether he is still disposed and authorised to make such 
a contract. — and if he is, — or if Mr. Smith himself sh d be re- 
turned from jSTew York (which I think highly probable) to 
see if you could not sell it to him at a shorter credit ; but if 
you cannot, then, and in that case, to dispose of it at a credit 
of Six months for fifteen doll" per barrel. — get rid of the 
midlings and Ship stuff also — that the whole may be off your 

1 am sorry to hear that the only rain (and that a light one) 
which you have had of late, should be attended with such high 
and destructive winds to your fences. — I fear your Overseers 
do not see that the fences are well made, by their meeting 
with such frequent accidents. — The winds have been very 
high here also, but the same disasters have not resulted from 
them. — 

You have either misunderstood me, or I must have ex- 
pressed myself very odly about the Jacks, for I never had any 
idea of parting with more than one of them ; and left, or in- 
tended to leave it, to you and Peter, to determine whether 
that one should be Compound, or the Knight of Malta ; ' not 
intending to use the young Jack at all, this season ; or if any. 
at least very sparingly. — As the Season is now, or soon will 
be far spent, you had better part with neither ; unless one of 
them is actually gone, or engaged to go to Mr. Lewis. — 

Keep a little good Hay for my horses, as 1 should prefer 

1 The grand name was probably given by Peter, a negro who supervised 
Washington's stud, and of whom he once wrote that he (Peter) seemed '* to 
regard it as a degradation to attend to horses of plebean birth." 


old to new for them, — and may, tbo' I do not expect it, be at 
ML Vernon before June. — 

1 hope the Gardener tried the Graffs all ho' the Season was 
late, as they were of a peculiar kind of Apple. 

I wish the end may be better, than you represent the be- 
ginning, of your fishery to be ; as continual bad seasons would 

be discouraging. — I am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 17 th April 1796. 
Mk. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 10 th in at* with a Postscript three days 
later, came to hand in due course of Post. — 

I am sorry to hear that Maria continues unwell — and that 
Charles Washington 1 was siezed with a fever: Let them want 
for nothing, and whenever it is needful, get Doct r Craik to 
attend them. — 

It would be unlucky, as my crop of Wheat last year turned 
out but indifferently, and the prospect of a good one this 
year, bad ; if I should have missed the best Market for flour. 
— If there ever was good cause for flour's selling for fifteen 
dollars per barrel, hitherto ; there is none, that I know of, 
for the fall in the price of this article now ; for all 
accounts from Europe agree, that the Crops of Wheat are 
very short, and the apprehensions of the Want of bread, 
great. — Under these circumstances I am at a loss to what to 
ascribe the reduced price, and therefore will keep mine up for 
the price mentioned in my last ; until I have better evidence 
than appears to me at present, for this fall. — but authorise 
you, as I did in my last, to take Mr. Smiths offer, if you can- 
not obtain better terms. 

If a good occasion offers, I will make some enquiry of Mr. 

A neero. 


Christie into the character of Mr. Joseph Gallop, and his 
brothers; — not that I expect there is any chance of agreeing 
with them ; first, because I do not want the Land and Kegros 
to go together. — and 2 dly because 2000 bushels of "Wheat p r 
ann. for River farm is very little more for the land, Negros 
and Stock, than what I ask for the land alone ; as there is 
1207. acres within the present fences, of ploughable ground. 
— I knew, that by fixing the Rent in Wheat (while it bore so 
high a price) would make it appear high ; — but I believe no 
reasonable person expects, when Peace is established, that it 
will, be more than a dollar. — and if it was more, that the 
trouble or expence in raising it would be greater. — Besides, as 
Wheat is a staple article, it will be the standard or regulating 
price of other articles : and is equal and just, for both Land- 
lord and Tenant ; for otherwise, if instead of a bushel and 
half of Wheat p r acre, I was to set a dollar and half, and the 
former should rise, by degrees, to 25/; and other things (which 
I might have occasion to buy) in proportion ; a money rent, 
under such circumstances, would be ruinous to me / on the 
other hand, if it was at £5. p r Bushel, the Bent (for the reason 
already mentioned, namely, that it costs the Tenant no more 
to raise it) would not be oppressive to him ; and even if it 
were to be bo* if the price of a Cow, a sheep, or a hog bore a 
proportionate price, the difficulty in paying for it would not 
be greater than if it was at G/. and the price of other articles 
was governed thereby. — 

Are all the repairs to the Mansion and other houses com- 
pleted ? — If the windows in the Corn and hay lofts, over the 
stables, and on the back side, are not put in, I request they 
may be ; as both lofts and Stables wants Air exceedingly. — 

If Mr. Bobt* Lewis has not been to M* Vernon, keep the 
enclosed until his arrival — but if he has been there and gone 
let it go to the Post Office. — 

I am Your fr d cv/c a 




Philadelphia 24 th April 1796. 
Mr* Peakce, 

I am sorry to find by your letter of the 17 th instant, accom- 
panying the reports of the preceeding week, that the drought 
continued ; and that the prospect for good crops of small, 
grain was so unpromising. — I should hope, however, that they 
cannot be so much injured yet, as not to be recovered by sea- 
sonable weather. — If the grain stands sufficiently thick on the 
ground, I shall not regard the backwardness of it, occasioned 
by the want of rain ;• — running much into straw is no service 
to the grain. — I had flattered myself (until your letter was 
received) that the fine rain which fell in these parts on Sat- 
urday the 16 th instant had extended to you. — The alteration 
occasioned by it, both in grain and grass in the neighbourhood 
of this city, is very great indeed. — 

I wish, as your prospect for grain is discouraging, that it 
may, in a degree, be made up in a good fishing season for 
Herrings ; — that for Shad, must, I presume, be almost, if not 
quite over. — 

As I can see no permanent cause for the fall, in the price 
of flour, and believe it will rise again ; I am not, at this time 
at least, disposed to take less for mine than has been men- 
tioned in my former letters to you : — but continue to advise 
me, always, of the Alexandria price of this article ; that I 
may know better how to govern myself. — 

I expected Mr. Robert Lewis's collection would have 
amounted to more than £169.17.0 — and the promised draught 
for forty pounds, which you had not, at the time of writing, 
received. — This, and other money, except for current ex- 
pences, had better bo deposited in the Bank of Alexandria, 
as a place of security ; and from whence it can be drawn 
when wanted. 

Since the receipt of your letter of the 10 th , I have seen Mr. 


Hughs, to whom Joseph Gallop and his brothers are tenants, 
on Spesusa Island. — He speaks of them in favorable terms ; 
as honest, industrious men, and good farmers. — But it is some- 
what extraordinary that the one who was with yon, should 
entertain an idea of giving no more than 2000 bushels of 
Wheat as a rent for River farm, with all the Kegros and 
Stock thereon ; when, for 450 acres only, (about the half of 
Spesusa Island, for Mr. Hughs says they have no more ground 
tho' they are allowed the use of the Marsh for their Cattle to 
run upon) they pay him annually 1200 bushels of Wheat and 
1500 bushels of Indian Corn : — and before those men had it, 
the same part rented for 30/. p r Acre.— This, reckoning two 
bushels of Indian Corn for one of Wheat, makes 1950 bushels 
of the latter, or more than four bushels of it to the acre ; 
without labourers, or stock of any kind furnished by him. — 
It is true that the Land on the Island is good, and there is an 
advantage in the Marsh, as a range ; but these are far short 
of compensating for the difference between Six pecks of 
wheat, which is all I ask as rent p r acre for mine, and 174- . 
pecks which (allowing 2 bush ls of Corn for one of wheat) he 
gets for his. — I fixed mine at a moderate rent because I 
wanted to induce good farmers to settle thereon — and would 
wish to see them thrive ; which would enable them to do 
justice to, and improve the premises ; which will be a primary 
object with me. — 

What prospect have you for fruit this year? — Has it sus- 
tained any injury yet from the frosts ? — Have you altered the 
fields 2s° 2 and 3 at Dogue-run, agreably to the line of stakes 
set up while I was last at home. — Is your Lucern seed sown * 
— and how does that, the Chiccory, and Clover seed come up.— 

I am glad to hear that Maria and Charles have got well 
again. — 

I wish you health and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 



Philadelphia May 1 st 1796. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Your letter of the 24 th ult° has been received, and I am 
sorry to find by it that the drought still continued with you. — 
On this day week there was a very good rain here, and on 
Wednesday following a great deal fell*; but the weather has 
been windy, cold and disagreeable ever since: — notwithstand- 
ing which, the Grain and grass in these parts look extremely 

I am glad to find that you were, at the date of your letter, 
so near the completion of Corn-planting ; and hope, if you 
have had the late rains, that it will have come up well, for I 
think this happens best when it is planted dry, and rains 
come after. — 

I wrote you on friday last (and put the letter under cover 
to Air. Lear) informing you, that the Seeds were arrived at 
last ; at George Town : — and expressing an earnest wish that 
the Peas and Chiccory might be got into the ground as soon 
as possible and that the Peas, as they were of two distinct 
sorts — might be seperately, and distinctly sown. — I wished 
also, that the Chiccory might be sown as convenient to the 
Stables at the different farms, as fit ground could be obtained ; 
as it was designed to be cut and fed green to the work horses. 
— The Winter vetch must be carefully preserved till Autumn, 
as that is the season for sowing it. 

I am sorry to find that flour continues to depreciate in price ; 
but the present cause for this is, the dispute in the House of 
Representatives respecting the provisions for carry [ing] the 
British Treaty into effect ; which has, for sometime past, oc- 
casioned a suspension in purchasing, shipping, and the Insur- 
ance of all sorts of property: but as the discussion is now 
brought to a close, it is to be hoped, and expected, that mat- 


ters will recover their former tone again. 1 — At any rate, I will 

risque there getting worse, rather than take the present Alex- 
andria price for my flour : — but I repeat what I have said 
in former letters, that 1 will take 15 dollars, at 6 months 
credit. — 

By a letter which I' received from Mr. Rob fc Lewis (dated 
in Alexandria, the 21 st of last month) he informs me that lie 
had left for, and on my ace*, in the hands of M ess rs Bennett & 
Watts, of that place, the Sum of Forty pounds; which it would 
be proper yon should receive, and place it with the sum he 
paid into your own hands. 

I am surprized to find by the Reports so few calves pro- 
duced from my stock. — Does it proceed from indifferent 
Bulls, or the "Want of them. — Be it either, or from any other 
cause, a remedy should be applied. — And I wish, the same 
with respect to the Bams, as the number of my Lambs are 
not equal to what they formerly were. 

I would have you again stir up the pride of Cyrus; that 

he may be the fitter for my purposes against I come home ; 

sometime before which (that is as soon as I shall be able to 

fix on the time) I will direct him to be taken into the house, 

and clothes to be made for him. — In the meanwhile, get him 

a strong horn comb and direct him to keep his head well 

combed, that the hair, or wool may grow long.' — I wish you 

well and 

am Your friend 

G° Washington. 

1 The Jay Treaty conditionally ratified by the Senate, and signed by the 
President, had been amended and exchanged in London, without further 
submission to the Senate for ratification of the same in its altered form. 
This doubtful procedure, and the ofi'ensiveness of the Treaty itself to the 
Representatives, cansed an effort in their House to defeat the Treaty by re- 
fusing the means necessary for carrying it into effect. The President in- 
sisted that the House had no choice in the matter, and a serious collision 
was escaped only by a surrender on the part of the Representatives. This 
doctrine was repudiated by Jefferson (Letter to Giles, 31 Dec. 1795) and the 


?. S. 

By a Vessel which says she will sail from hence to Alex a on 
Wednesday next, I shall send two doz' 1 Windsor Chairs which 
the Capt n has promised to land as lie passes Mount Vernon, — 
Let them be put in the New Room. — 


Philadelphia 8 th May 1796. 
Mr. Peaece, 

I am glad to find by your letter of the first instant, that the 
rain w ch fell here on the 27 th ult° had extended to you. — The 
cold and drying Winds I knew would deprive the plants of 
some of its good effects ; but benefit must have resulted to 
them notwithstanding. — If the frosts which accompanied 
those Winds have injured the fruit (as you fear) it will be 
a circumstance much to be regret 3 altho' not to be avoided. — 

I wish you had sowed all the Peas as soon as they were 
received (as the gr d was prepared) altho' the season was far 
advanced, and the Books spoke of February as the proper 
period for depositing this Crop in the ground. — They may 
not come up another year ; but admitting they would do it, 
and it shall be found that they are A Crop worth cultivating, 
your prospect for getting into a good stock of seed would have 
been better by sowing the whole quantity, than an Acre only, 
and keeping the residue of the Seed until next Spring. — In- 
deed, dry as the weather has been with you, it is a question 
whether sowing at the time you did was not better than to 
have done it a month sooner; .especially as it is to be hoped 
that the fine rains which fell here on thursday night and all 
day friday were general. — Ko alteration, or addition to what 
you have already done can take place after this letter gets to 
hand, with either Peas or Chiccory, as the Spring will be too 
far advanced. 

If the clover seed which vou sowed did not vegitate, and 


perish with the drought, it is to be hoped it may yet come to 
something. — It will be unfortunate if it should not; more ?<> 
on ace' of the want of the Crop than on ace 4 of the high price 
of the seed though both are bad enough. — 

Did you begin your lane at Dogue-run at the 2 a gate, next 
the Overseers house, or at the outer gate, so as to extend it 
across the Meadow ? — The last if you had had time, would 
have been best on two accounts ;— first by throwing that 
meadow into two divisions — and 2 dly by making both more 
secure ; — for the gates being often left open Hogs and other 
things are frequently getting in and doing injury; and be- 
sides, having space enough, the Carts are cutting different 
tracts which form new gullies ; w ch would not, nor cannot be 
the case in a lane. — 

Let me know the amount of your receipts for Fish sold. — I 
do not want the particulars, but the aggregate sum of what 
they have fetched, or will fetch, when the money is all re- 

If an acc s was kept of the times my Coach Mares went to 
the Jack — particularly when those called aSTancy and the blind 
Mare, were covered, let me know it in your next letter. — The 
two whose names are mentioned I am pretty sure are with 
foal, and I want to know at what time it may be expected 
they will bring them, that I may regulate their movem^ on 
the Road to Mount Yernon. — 

It is expected that Congress will rise between the 20 th and 
last of this month. — But admitting the fact, it is impossible 
for me, at this time, to say precisely when I shall be at Mount 
Yernon. — I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 

Mrs. Washington sends a memorandum enclosed which 1 
pray you to have attention given to. — 



Philadelphia 15 th May 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the S th , with the Reports, are at hand ; — and 
I am glad you sowed all the Peas (except the small reserve 
mentioned in your letter) and the Chiccory : as I think it 
better than withholding them, until next Seed time. — I am 
glad also that you have got your flour off hand (as warm 
weather and accidents were against keeping it longer) altho' I 
am convinced that if I had held it up a month or two longer, 
I could have obtained a better price ; — or an any rate the 
same price on a much shorter credit. — Deliver it as soon as 
possible for two reasons. — first, to be exonerated from risque, 
by fire or otherwise ; — and 2 dly that the day of payment may 
not be prolonged, by the detention of it in your posses- 

I am sorry to hear you speak of no more than showers of 
Pain ! — On friday the 6 th instant it rained here, and through- 
out the whole of this country, from before six in the morning, 
until after seven in the evening without ceasing ; and in the 
best manner possible ; and showers have fallen since. — Such 
weather if it had extended to you although it has been a little 
cool, must have changed the face of everything with you ; 
and would have brought on the Oats, Peas and grass seeds of 
all kinds, finely, as it has done here. 

I do not, now, know where to advise you to get supplied 
with good Rams, unless Mr. Gough (near Baltimore) has 
them for sale. — He imports both cattle and sheep, and is 
curious I am told in the Breed of them, and sells their de- 
scendants high. — But this ought not to deter you from the 
purchase of (at least) one good Ram, to go to a score or more 
of your choicest ewes. — from such an experiment and begin- 
ning, you might, by the year following, have Rams enough 


for the whole flock. — This method I pursued some years ago 
to the very great advancement of my breed of sheep. — 

If Mr. Darnes is a man in whose integrity and activity full 
reliance can be placed, and he will agree to watch, diligently, 
in order to prevent the depredations which are aimed at my 
land on four mile run, 1 I will give him a surety of living 
thereon Rent free during his life ; and the priviledge of clear- 
ing a small, but defined quantity there-of : — and an agreement 
conformably to these ideas, you may enter into with him as 
soon as you please : — and the sooner the better. — 

To What height, lias Davis raised the Walls of the Barn 
at River Farm? — Does he raise the shed Walls at the same 
time?— If not, the' work will not appear so well united, even 
with pains and proper attention ; and without them, they will 
have a disjointed look. — Do you frame the inside upon the 
same plan as that of Union farm? — I think I directed it to be 
done so, but cannot speak with certainty. — 

Let the house in the upper Garden, called the School house, 
be cleaned and got in order against I return ; — Glass put in 
the windows if wanted ; — and a lock on the door. — I cannot 
yet say with certainty when I shall be able to visit Mount 
Vernon, but hope it will be by, or before the midle of June. — 
Have good meats ready for us by that time ; and tell the 
Gardener I shall expect an abundance of every thing in the 
Gardens;— and to see every thing in prime order there, and 
in the Lawns. 

I am with best wishes 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 

Paschal seems to be pretty regularly reported sick, Six 
days in the Week. — What is the matter with him ? 

1 Appendix F. 



Philadelphia 22 d May 179G. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 15 th inst*, enclosing the Peports of the 
proceeding "Week, came duly to hand. — 

I am glad to hear that the weather has been seasonable of 
late ; but sorry indeed, to find by your letter that the grain 
and grass has received so little benefit from the rains which 
have fallen, here, in great abundance. — And it is peculiarly 
unfortunate after giving so high a price for Clover Seed, that 
it should either not have come up, or been destroyed after- 
wards, by the droughts. — Has your Corn come up well, and 
how does it thrive ? — And how does the Oats — Peas — Chic- 
ory — and other things which have been sown, and planted 
this Spring come on ? — ■ 

It is much to be regretted, and I do regret exceedingly, 
that the Honey locusts which have been set out, should have 
perished. — It would seem I think as if I never should get for- 
ward in my plan of hedging. — With respect to the trans- 
planting of Cedar (or any other evergreen) I am persuaded 
there is no other sure way of getting them to live, than by 
taking them up in the winter with a block of frozen earth 
around the Roots (and as large as it can conveniently be ob- 
tained — proportioned to the size of the plant). — This not only 
gives them their mother earth, but by its adhesion to the 
principal roots, it nourishes the body until the fibres from the 
former shoot sufficiently to secure the vegitation and thrifti- 
ness of the plant. — I transplanted thousands of Pine and 
Cedar without getting scarcely one to live until I adopted the 
above method ; after which, so long as it was practised, I 
never lost one. — Witness the pine groves by the Gardens ; 
both of which were planted in this manner, and to the best 
of my recollection not one of them died : — whereas, out of the 


first planting, just as they now are, not more than two or 
three of them lived. — 

I am very sorry indeed to hear of the damage which the 
family piece of the Marquis de la Fayette has sustained. — 
and am unable to account for it. — If the window shutters had 
been left open, I should have attributed it more to the sun, 
than to the dryness of the xVir. 

Ask Peter, if some of the Mares w ch I took down with me, 
when I went alone to Mount Vernon in April of last year, 
did not go to the Jack at that time? — If they did not, their 
foaling will be much about the time I shall be on the Eoad 
which will be unfortunate. — 

For what purpose is the "Well house from the Mansion, car- 
ried to Union Farm 1 — Save a plenty of the best Hay of last 
year for my horses, as I had rather they should be fed upon 
old, than the Hay of this season, when I come home. — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 29 th May 1796. 
Mr. Peaiick, 

Xo Mail beyond Baltimore (Southerly) was received at the 
Post Office in this City yesterday ; — consequently, I got no 
letter from you ; — what may have been the cause I know not, 
unless the considerable falls of rain which happened here 
during last week, may have rendered the waters between 
xilexandria and Baltimore (if they extended so far) impassi- 

You have never mentioned in any of your late letters, nor 
has it occurred, at the time of writing mine, to ask, whether 
a Pipe of Wine, and box of Tea, which was sent from this 
place for Mount Vernon, had arrived, and in what condition. 
— It was in March, or the beginning of April they left this - 


And another Vessel with Windsor Chairs and sundry other 
articles for the same place, have been gone from hence long 
enough to have heard of their arrival 'ere this. — These occur- 
rences ought always to be noticed in your letters, to relieve 
one from the suspence which otherwise follows. — Before we 
leave this, we shall send several other matters round, but 
whenever they are shipped you shall have notice thereof that 
they may be taken from Alexandria so soon as they arrive 
there ; — at which time procure a groce of good Porter to be 
taken down along with them. — In the mean time, have a few 
Bottles of Porter there, and some wine for particular com- 
pany, who may be particularly recommended to you by my- 
self : — among these Mr. Aimes, 1 a respectable member of 
Congress (travelling for his health) will, I expect, be one ; as 
he proposes to set out from hence for the Federal City about 
the middle of this week, and is one I wish to be well treated, 
while he stays. — I have requested Mi*. Lear to shew him the 
way down to Mount Yernon. 

Is Maria and the two boys at that place now, or where are 
they ? — ~Ko mention has been made of them for some time. — 
When (from present appearances) will your early Wheat be 
ready to cat 1 — and how does that, and the other small grain, 
Peas, and grasses come on ? — What was done with the Seed 
saved from the India Hemp last Summer ?— It ought, all of 
it, to have been sown again ; — that not only a stock of seed 
sufficient for my own purposes might have been raised, but to 
have dissiminated the seed to others ; as it is more valuable 
than the common Hemp. — 

Congress talk of rising about the middle of this week ; but 
there is no dependance on it. — In about ten or twelve days 

1 Fisher Ames (1756-1803) of Massachusetts; served in Congress 1789- 
1797 ; author of the Address of the House to Washington on his retirement 
from the presidency. The speech of Ames in favor of the appropriation 
for the British Treaty probably secured the majority of three by which it 
passed the House. 


after the Session closes, it is likely I shall commence my jour- 
ney homewards : — as soon as I can fix the day, I will advi.-e 
you of it. — 

I have several times spoke concerning a necessary for the 
Quarter People, at Mansion house ; and once or twice shewed 
Thomas Green the precise spot to place it — viz — in the drain 
that leads from the old brick kiln back of the Well, towards 
the gulh" leading towards the gate; — that, having this advan- 
tage the offensive matter might be washed off by the -Rain 
water that collects in the gutter. — I wish vou would have this 
done before Ive come home that the yard of the Quarter may 
be always clean and Sweet. — If the old necessary on the brow 
of the Hill can be moved with more ease than building a new 
one, let it be done, as it is not only useless where it is, but is 
an eyesore. — Order the other two to be well cleaned and 
kept in good order. — During my stay at Mount Vernon I ex- 
pect much company there, and of the most respectable sort, 
it would be pleasing to us therefore to find everything in nice 
order. — 

I wish you well and am your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 5 th June 1796. 
Mr. Peaece, 

Since my last I have received your letters of the 22' 1 and 
29 th of last month. — The first came to hand on Tuesday, tire 
other on Saturday, as usual. — 

On Wednesday last Congress closed their Session ; but 
there is yet a good deal for me to do, before I can leave the 
Seat of the Government. — My present expectation however 
is, that I shall be able to do this on tomorrow week : but as 
this is not certain, and as I shall travel slow, to avoid what 
usually happens to me at this season — that is — kill nig, or 


knocking up a horse ; and as we shall, moreover, stay a day 
or two at the Federal City, it is not likely we shall arrive at 
Mount Yernon before the 20 th , or 21 st of this month. — 

In a few days after we get there, we shall be visited, I ex- 
pect, by characters of distinction; I could wish therefore that 
the Gardens, Lawns, and every thing else, in, and about the 
Houses, may be got in clean and nice order. — If the Gardener 
needs aid, to accomplish as much of this as lyes within his 
line, let him have it ; and let others rake, and scrape up all 
the trash, of every sort and kind about the houses, and in 
holes and corners, and throw it (all I mean that will make 
dung) into the Stercorary and the rest into the gullied parts 
of the road, coming up to the House. — x\nd as the front gate 
of the Lawn (by the Ivies) is racked, and scarcely to be 
opened, I wish you would order a new one (like the old one) 
to be immediately made — and that, with the new ones you 
have just got made, and all the boarding of every kind that 
was white before, to be painted white again. — If oNeal and 
my own people cannot make the front gate, above mentioned, 
get some one from Alexandria to do it — provided he will set 
about and finish it immediately. — This must be the way up 
to the House. — 

Let the Rooms in the Servants Hall, above and below, be 
well cleaned ; and have the Beds and bedsteads therein put 
in order; after which have a good lock put on the door of the 
west room, above, and order Caroline, or whoever has the 
charge of those rooms, to suffer no person to sleep, or even to 
go into it, without express orders from her Mistress or my- 
self. — Let exactly the same things be done with the Rooms 
over the Kitchen ; as there will be a white Cook with us that 
will require one of them ; and the other may also be wanted 
for some other Servants, or use. It being likely, there will be 
a call for all these places and things. — And I hope, especially 
as there is no Ice to keep fresh meats, that you will have an 
abundant supply for the demands that will probably be made 


thereon during our stay at home. — And besides, will ascertain 
from the Butcher in Alexandria, the stated days on which 
r.eef and Yeal are killed, that we may know what dependence 
to place on him. — Tell the Gardener, I shall expect every- 
thing that a Garden ought to produce, in the most ample 
manner. — 

There may be many other things necessary to be done, as 
well for appearance as use, that do not occur to me at this 
mom 4 but as you can judge from what I have said, what my 
wishes are, I have no doubt but that you will contribute all 
you can to accomplish them ; and give the whole as neat, and 
clean an appearance as they are capable of. — 

About the time you were employing a Joiner to do the 
North end of the House, I directed Venetian blinds to be 
made, and painted green, for all the windows on the West 
side of the House; and mentioned the manner in w ch I 
thought it best to execute them : — but have never been in- 
formed what, or whether any thing has been done in conse- 
quence of it. The omitting to give information of what has. 
or what cannot be done in consequence of such requests, often 
throws me into a disagreeable suspence, and frequently occa- 
sions me to write often on the same subjects. — I am equally 
ignorant whether the dormant windows are yet put into the 
stable, and Corn lofts ; both of which, for the purpose of Air, 
is indispensably necessary ; besides adding to the appearance 
of the building. — 

Take care to keep a sufficiency of Oats, and the best of 
your old Hay on hand. I shall have eight or ten horses of 
my own with me, and there will be many others with 
Visitors. — 

You had better, I conceive, get the Midlings and Ship-stutl 
off your hands at what they will fetch ; as the weather is get- 
ting warm, and the flour may turn Sower. — Unless you want 
the money for current expences, it might be sold on such a 
credit as to receive payment on the same day your demand 


upon Smith, for the other flour, will become due: so as to 
have the whole at once. — This credit may enhance the price, 
and will be (if the money is not wanted for the purposes be- 
fore mentioned) no disadvantage to me in giving it. — 

I hope, at your last shearing, there was a complete cull, and 
seperation of all the old, scabby and disordered Sheep. — I do 
not know how to account for the weekly loss you sustain, in 
this species of Stock, unless it be by keeping such poor and 
diseased sheep in the flocks as contaminate others. — 

I have no doubt but that you will endeavor so to arrange 
matters, as to keep your grain, and Hay harvests from inter- 
fering as much as possible with each other ; and this too with- 
out either suffering, by standing too long, if it can possibly be 
avoided. — Begin the former as soon as it can be cut without 
loss. — 

If Miss Nelly Custis ! should apply to you for a Cart to 
Transport her Trunk and other things from Doctor Stuarts 
to Mount Yernon — let it be sent as soon as applied for, and 
something to cover and secure the contents against Rain — in 
case any should fall while they are on the Road. — 

I perceive Mrs. Washington's Mem m herewith sent contains 
nearly the same requests that are made in this letter — but 1 
send it notwithstanding. — 

I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 

Direct your next letter to me, to be left at the Post Office 
in Baltimore till called for. — If I set off according to my 
present expectation, I shall, probably lodge in that Town on 

1 Mrs. George Washington's granddaughter, whose marriage with the 
General's nephew, Lawrence Lewis (his only sister's son), 22 Feb. 1799, 
made the romance of Washington's last years. Washington (who adopted 
her on her father's death, when she was a child) was much attached to 


thursday Night ; — which is the Night the Mail of that day 
from Alexandria reaches that place. 1 — 


Philadelphia 5 th Sept r 1796, 
Mk. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 31 st of Aug* from Chester Town, came duly 
to hand ; but as you did not acknowledge the receipt of the 
one I wrote you from hence, this day week, I presume it had 
not got to hand ; — Owing, I conceive to a misapprehension of 
mine as to the time of closing the Mail for the Eastern shore 
which I find is an hour and an half earlier than those which 
go Southerly or Easterly. — I put my letter under cover to the 
Postmaster in Chester Town with a request to forward it to 
Mount Vernon if you should have left that place. — 

As you appear (by your letter above mentioned) to have 
attended to most of the matters which were recommended 
in mine, your not receiving it at Chester Town was not very 
material. — 

By my letters from Mount Vernon I find the weather up to 
the date of them has continued extremely wet — of course 
Seeding must have gone on slowly, if not badly. — 

1 On Juno 26, Washington wrote from Mount Vernon to his nephew, 
Robert Lewis: ''We arrived at this place on Monday last, where it, is 
probable I shall remain till the middle of August, when public business will 
require my attendance in Philadelphia, until towards the end of September. 
I shall then return to this place again for Mrs. Washington, with whom, in 
the latter part of October, I shall make my last journey, to close my public 
life the 4th of March ; after which no consideration under heaven, that I 
can foresee, shall again withdraw me from the walks of private life.'' 
"My house, I expect, will be crowded with company all the while we shall 
be at it, this summer, as the ministers'of France, Great Britain, and Portu- 
gal, in succession, intend to be here — besides other strangers.'' (The 
new French Minister was M. Adet; and the British Minister, Mr. Liston, 
— the same that stole Arthur Lee's papers in Berlin during the Revolu- 


Washington Cnstis 1 writes me that Mr. Stuart, at the River 
farm was very ill of a fever, on thursday last. — I hope it will 
not prove a fatal one, and thereby add to your present diffi- 
culties in providing good Overseers. — If Scoon is a first rate 
Overseer, I had rather give him £75 Maryland curr y than run 
the risk of getting an indifferent one ; especially if he can 
bring another whom you know to be a good one, along with 
him ; although the wages of that other should exceed 133£ 
dollars. — I do not know what Violet's and Cash's present 
wages are, I did not care to increase it with them (although 
they may be industrious men) as they c d have no plea to ask 
higher wages for the year to come, than for the year past. — 
Men who are old, experienced, and of established reputation 
and skill, have better ground to stand upon, than they. — 

Washington [Custis] in his letter mentioned further that 
the Weavil was very much in Stuarts Wheat. — If this is really 
the case, it is much to be regretted, but there is no other 
remedy but to get it out as quick as possible ; — and as he has 
no place to keep it securely in the Chaff, — to grind it up with 
all the dispatch the Mill is capable. — He said something also 
about one of the Bolting cloths beins; out of order, or unfit 
for use — this will require attention. — 

Write me by the first Post (fridays) after you get this letter, 
how every thing is, and going on ; for if I can accomplish the 
business which bro* me here, I hope by Wednesday, or thurs- 
day in next week, to leave this, on my return to Mount Ver- 
non. — I wish you well and am Your friend 

G° Washington. 

1 George Washington Parke Custis, Mrs. Washington's grandson, adopted 
by Washington, on the death of his father, John Parke Custis, in 1781. 
Washington Custis (1781-1857) wrote "Recollections and Private Memoirs of 
Washington.' 1 He married Mary Lee Fitzhugh of Chatham, Stafford Co., 
near Fredericksburg and these were the grandpareuts of Gen. Robert E. 




Philadelphia 11 th Sep. 1796. 
Mb. Pearce, 

Tour letter of the 4 th inst fc came to ray hands yesterday, 
and the one you wrote me from Chester Town has also been 
received. — My last would have informed you of the reason, 
which, probably, prevented your receiving a former one at 
that place, but which I expect has got to hand ere this ; as 
the Postmaster was requested, in case you had left it, to send 
it by the Mail to Alexandria. 

As your letter says very little with respect to the situation 
of Matters on the Farms, I have the less to say in answer to 
it. — But wish that the Wheat may be sown as soon as pos- 
sible ; — but not faster than the ground can be put in good 
Order for its reception; especially for that which was sent by 
Mr. Lewis. — 

Having made no mention of Stuart, I hope he has got well 
again ; from the Tenor of Washington's letter, I began to ap- 
prehend he was in danger. — As you have said nothing con- 
cerning the Fly, in your stacks, I hope his account in this 
respect also was more the effect of his fears, than of accurate 
examination ; but let it be closely attended to ; — for neither 
interest nor policy will suffer a Crop made, to be lost, in order 
to prepare for another which a thousand accidents may 
destroy before it gets into the Barn : and when, possibly, and 
even probably, the price may be lower than it is at present by 
50 p r C fc . — This, supposing no danger from the fly, is a strong 
reason for grinding up — and selling the flour before the 
Market is glutted with this article, from Wheat of this years 
growth. — 

Do not let the proper Season escape you, for sowing the 
Winter Yetch — I should conceive it ought not to be much 
longer delayed. — But among the Books you have, of mine, it 


is probable the precise time, and quantity of Seed to the 
Acre, may be mentioned. — Let these be attended to ;— and 
unless the directions are given in some authors of modern 
date, be more sparing of your seed than is mentioned by 
them. 1 — I recollect a year or two ago to have sent some rape 
Seed to Mount Vernon, but do not recollect what has been 
the result of it : — but particular care ought always to be paid 
to these kind of Seeds as they are, generally, given to me, 
because they are valuable — rare, — or curious. — 

1 hope you have received favorable answers from the per- 
sons you were in treaty with on the Eastern Shore. — It is very 
interesting to me, at all times, to have good Overseers; but 
may be particular so next year. — Did you receive any benefit 
from Doct r Perkins's Metallic application. — which, possibly 
ought to be repeated and continued for some time. — I wish 

you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Federal City, 26 th Oct. 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Cyrus was obliged to come on to this place, in order to take 
the horses back, which Mr. Frestal and Mr. Lafayette " 
rode, which is the cause of his delay. — 

Mrs. Washington desires me to inform you that there was 
some Butter left in the Cellar, and some Beef in a Tub 
which (after supplying James) may be applied to any uses 
you think proper. — 

1 Appendix L. 

Son of the Marquis, Mr. Frestal being his tutor. On his father's impris- 
onment at Olmiitz young Lafayette came to America and sought Washing- 
ton's protection. In view of the excitement of the anti-French party, 
Washington confided the youth to his friend, Colonel Hamilton, for a time ; 
hut he passed a year or two under Washington's roof in Philadelphia and 
Mount Vernon. 


Let my Study be cleaned out, and the Room afterward.-, 
locked up. — Do not miss the opportunity of getting our Bag- 
gage, and James, round by the first Vessel to Philad* — taking 
a Bill of Lading for the several parcels, and. sending it in a 
letter, that we may know when we eret them All. — 

When your family quit the house they are now in, and you 
remove to the Mansion, let Dinah and the other girl join the 
Mansion house people and Mrs. Washington may, afterwards 
chuse either for a Washer woman. — 

Have the Earth removed from the stone quarry where I 
showed you — that Mr. Blagden may be able to examine it 
when he calls there. — 

Let all the Saddles and Bridles that I have left at home be 
cleaned and locked up — or they will be hacked about, injured, 
and perhaps lost. — 

The Mules for my Carriage — the two Colts from the 
Chariot Mares — and the one from the Augusta Mare must be 
well kept and attended to, till I come home. — I shall write 
you more fully as soon as I get to Philadelphia in the mean- 
while I remain your friend &c a 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia II th Nov 1 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 6 th was received (with the Reports) on 

Saturday ; — but I do not clearly understand by it, whether 

James Wilkes re embarked with, or without a bed, — or is yet 

at Mount Yernon. — If the latter, he had better (if his health 

is sufficiently restored) offer himself to Mr. Law 1 as A 

Coachman ; for before he could get here, and be well settled, 

I shall be making my arrangements to return to Virginia ; 

An English gentleman, who married Elizabeth Parke Custis. {Ante.} 


when I sliall have no further occasion for hired Servants, un- 
less to carry me there, — 

I am extremely sorry that Mr. Alex r Smith will not be able 
to take up his note when it becomes due. — I wish that may be 
the worst of it, notwithstanding the Language he makes his 
Book of Accounts speak. — However dangerous and incon- 
venient it is to me, to lye out of the money (for the reasons 
which were given to you in my last letter or Memorandum)— 
I have informed him in a note of this date, that I should di- 
rect you to make an estimate of the several sums which were 
wanting to pay of [f] every farthing that is due from me, be- 
fore you go (which is my earnest desire) and that i£ he will 
give you unequivocal surtty of paying you the aggregate 
amount of them, on, or before the 24 th day of December, J 
would (however inconvenient it was to me) wait until the first 
day of March next for the balance; — Provided he would give 
indubitable security for the payment of botli sums at the 
times above mentioned, witli interest thereon, from the time 
his note becomes due. — 

You will perceive I lay a stress upon the goodness of the 
Security, and the surety of payments. — I do it, because I 
know speculators (without meaning to apply the term to Mr. 
Smith, whose pursuits I am unacquainted with) may be men 
one day, and mice the next. — If he is a responsible character 
he can find no difficulty in giving the security required. — If 
he is not, the sooner I take effectual means to secure the debt, 
the less risk I run of loosing it. — 

I hope Richmond was made an example of, for the Rob- 
bery he committed on Wilkes Saddle bags. — I wish he may 
not have been put upon it by his father (although I never had 
any suspicion of the honesty of the latter) for the purpose 
perhaps of a journey together. — : This will make a watch, with- 
out its being suspected by, or intimated to them, necessary ; 
nor w d I have these suspicions communicated to any other lest 
it should produce more harm than good. 


The drought here, is also very severe. — It is unlucky that I 
cannot get my "Wheat ground into flour, on ace* of the sale af 
it, and the fly also ; — but the latter, I hope, is not very bad, 
or you would have mentioned it, that I might decide whether 
to await the operation of the Mill, or sell the grain unground, 
if it should appear to be in much danger. — ■ 

Did you get the Quarter at River farm removed without 
much difficulty, or injury? — and is it now, or soon will be, 
comfortable to its inhabitants? — Let that at Muddy-hole be 
made tight, if by patchwork only, as I am unwilling the 
people should suffer. — 

As I wish to have Venetian blinds for all the Windows in 
the West front of the Mansion house — on the outside — I re- 
quest you will give me the dimensions of the window frames, 
above and below ; — and though Xeal is not a competent judge 
of the manner of hanging them, — or precisely where the 
hooks should be drove, on which the Venetian Shutters are to 
be hung — yet understanding that these hooks are to go as far 
back as there is solid wood to drive them into (the shutters 
being double, and coming together as they do at the front 
or West door.) he cannot be much at a loss to give the 
width, and height, of those in the first and second stories ; — 
allowing them to cover as much of the frame on both sides, 
and at top, as the Mouldings will permit: — into which the 
hooks, on which the shutters hang, might be drove, if there 
be solid wood to receive them (for this is all important, other- 
wise the hooks would get loose, and be a constant plague) ; — 
the Shutters, or blinds would, in that case, go from moulding 
to moulding at the sides and at top. — The shutters which are 
now to the lower Windows will be to be taken away alto- 
gether, as two sets cannot be on the outside ; and there is no 
place for them within. — I wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 




If Mr. Smith cannot give unquestionable Personal security 
and has real property (unincumbered and) adequate thereto, 
you had better have me secured that way, and in time. — I pay 
but little regard to fair promises ; — as I know that distressing 
times are coming upon the Merch td for their Speculat n . 


Philadelphia 20 th }\ov r 1796. 
Me. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 13 th ins fc , and the Reports of the pro- 
ceeding week, were received yesterday. — 

I am sorry to hear that the growing Wheat is suffering for 
want of Rain — but hope you had some on Tuesday last (three 
days subsequent to the date of your letter). — If the fact how- 
ever is otherwise, let the ground in which the Egyptian 
Wheat was deposited, be watered, and continued to be so 
until the Eains fall. — ■ 

I have no doubt but that the Causey through the Swamp 
would prove a pretty heavy job to execute the work in the 
manner I proposed ; — but when so done— I shall have no 
plague with it thereafter ; — and the other part will be much 
less tedious and laborious. — To form a judgment however of 
this matter, when the Causey is completed, work onwards to- 
wards the Mansion until you cross (or rather come to) the in- 
tended road leading from Muddy hole Barn. — Working thus 
far — as it will pass through as grubby ground as any there is 
in the whole road, you will be able to form a judgment of the 
time necessary for the completion of the whole; — and be- 
sides, after this junction is formed, there can be no mistake 
afterwards. — Let Davy know, and Mr. Anderson 1 also, that 
where the Road turns on the top of the Hill (South of the 

James Anderson succeeded Pearce as Superintendent at Mount Vernon. 


Causey) the fence is to turn also ; and run with the road until 
it strikes the line of the other fence, in which the Gate 
stands ; — which fence is to be continued streight until the two 
meet, by the side of the Road. — 

I expected the line of the Road, when extended back to the 
River, would have struck it nearer to Hell hole, by several 
hundred yards, than where Cupids house stood. — What sort 
of ground does it go over? — and, if you can form a judgment 
from your present view of it, would the River, or vessels 
passing thereon be seen in travelling along it from the Causey 
to the White Gates?— 

I had no idea that Oznabrigs was scarce in Alexandria after 
the great Importations we had heard of ; — or that the price 
c <l have been so high. — I will make enquiry into these matters 
here, and inform you of the result in my next ; — as I shall 
also do ab fc Paints and Oil ;— but when you spoke of White 
Lead ground in Oil being 24/. p r Keg, you ought to have men- 
tioned what the Keg contained, as they are of various sizes 
from 25. to 100 lbs weight. — 

As Mr. Lear is very frequently at his farm, I wish you 
would consult him with respect to Mr. Alex r Smiths circum- 
stances; and the best mode of having the sum he owes me, 
and the payments, according to my last to you, perfectly se- 
cured. — I can run no risks in this matter; — the sum is too 
large to be trifled with ; — and I am not one of those who 
place implicit confidence in strong assurances, or in outward 
appearances, unless they are corroborated by corresponding 
actions. — You might, at the same time, advise with him on 
the prices of Oznabrigs— Paints — Oil — Xails &c a that I may 
decide in time whether to provide them here — or in that 

I presume Mrs. Washington's Bed Chamber is the same 
pitch of the other rooms on that floor — but that I may be 
certain of it, I wish you would measure the height from the 
iloor to the ceiling, and inform me thereof. — I request also 


that you w d let me know the exact width, and height (in 
front of the fire place) of the Chimney in the Xew di g -Koom, 
that, if I should want to get a stopper (or chimney board) for 
it, as in some of the other rooms, I may be at no loss to fit 
one to it. — And with respect to the Cellar windows at the 
South end of the Mansion house, I did not, in my former re- 
quest, describe, clearly, what I wanted — which was, to know 
how far it was from the top of the frame which is about the 
level of the brick pavement and projecting into it without, to 
the top — or within an inch of the top of the window frame. — 
This, and not the whole size of the frame, I wish now to 
know. (Is the f 2- x Ti width, and f l- x 2 height of the Cellar 
windows in front — the dimensions of the frame from out to 
out of it — or from in, to in? — Are the Stone Gills, at bottom 
of these window frames, wider than the wood frames thereon ? 
— And how much ?) 

Order Peter to take good care of the three young (as well 
as the three covering) Jacks this Winter ; and to feed them 
in such a manner as to keep them in very thriving order, that 
I may turn them to a good Account hereafter. — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 
P. S. 

Let me know the size of the blue Parlour — that is the 
length and breadth of it — and how far it is from the hearth 
on each side to the sides of the Poom that the size of the 
hearth may be taken out — the Carpet as it now is with the 
[torn]. The dimensions of the 4 sides must be sent also. 


Philadelphia 27 th Xov r 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 17 th under cover from Mr. Lear came 
duly to hand, as did the Weekly reports of the 10 th yester- 


I am disposed to let Mr. Smiths debt stand upon the 
security you have placed it — unless before the 2i th of next 
month any circumstances should occur to render other meas- 
ures necessary — or, on that day he should be unprepared to 
make payment and require further indulgence. — In either of 
these cases, it is my desire that you will consult with Mr. Lear 
and pursue effectual measures by requiring additional personal, 
or real Security, or both, to place my debt out of danger.— 

As you mentioned nothing relative to the Farms in your 
last letter I have nothing to add in this but to request infor- 
mation, and answers to the queries contained in my last let- 
ters — and a wish, to know how the Winter grain and Yetches 
look, and How your Wheat and Corn is likely to yield. — 

I am Your friend 

G° Washington. 

In one of your letters, you mentioned, that you had recov- 
ered eleven dollars of Ja s Kirks money, but do not say 
whether it was returned to him or not. — If it was not, give 
me credit for it, as he will be paid here. — 


Philadelphia 4 th Dec r 1796. 
Mr. Pearce, 

Getting no letter from you by the Post of yesterday — nor 
receiving any account from home, leads me to conclude that 
something more than common has happened, as your last 
letter is dated the 17 th of November. — 

Hearing nothing of the state, in which my business is, for 
so long a time, — especially too as the weather, for the Season, 
has been severe— I have but little to found my letter upon at 
this time. — 

Enclosed you have a bill of lading, and Invoice of Goods 
shipped on board of Capt n Elhvood, on my account. — Let the 
Oil and paint be put into some secure Cellar, there to remain 


until I come home ; — and such of the Oznabrigs as is neces- 
sary for cloathing the people (most wanting) to be cut out 
and made up as fast as circumstances will permit. — In doing 
this, I beg every care and attention may be used to prevent 
waste or embezzlement in the Act of cutting out ; — and by 
taking a list, to be left, of all who are served ; — otherwise the 
same persons, if they thought they could succeed, would apply 
over and over s^ain. — Give out but one roll of Oznabriirs at 


a time, and see how that is cut, — worked up, — and disposed 
of, before another piece is delivered.— How far the Gardeners 
wife, or Allisons wife is to be depended upon in a business of 
this sort, I know not ; — but this I know, it is as little as either 
of them can do for the inconvenience I sustain by their living- 
there, and the attendance they receive from my People. — 

The enclosed letter to the Gardener, relative to the planting 
of shrubs, seal and deliver to him after you have read it ; — 
and if such freezing weather should arrive, before your de- 
parture, as I have described, give him all the assistance you 
can to improve it ; and in case it does not, let Mr. Anderson 
know what my wishes are respecting this matter. — 1 repeat 
to you my solicitude to have the Ice house prepared for, and 
well filled, and rammed, when Ice is formed. — It will be of 
immense importance to me when I get home. 

I hope Frank has taken particular care of the Tarriers.- — I 
directed him to observe when the female was- getting into 
heat, and let her be immediately shut up; and no other than 
the male Tarrier get to her. — I wish you well, and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia 11 th I)ec r 1796. 
Mr. Peakce, 

Since my last to you was dispatched, I have received your 

letters of the 30th of Xov r and 4 th insV— 


I am sorry to hear that your Wheat begins to heat. — If it 
does this in a degree to do it much injury, it ought to be dis- 
posed of for the best price you can get ; — but otherwise, as I 
have waited so long to grind it, and shall have occasion for 
the Bran, I had rather Manufacture it myself. — 

It is a matter of astonishment to me, that the lower floor 
of the Barn at Dogue-Bun has given way so soon. — How it 
was laid at first, being from home, I know not ; — but if it 
had been extended according to my directions, and the end of 
the sleepers, by the tenons had rested on a Wall, it could not 
have given way until the Sleepers themselves had failed. — As 
the case is, I must endeavour, after I come home, to make the 
floor without the circle, of some well tempered earth, or com 
position, to guard against the expence of such frequent de- 
cays. — In the meantime, the best shift that can, must be 
made. — 

I must remind you of having the Pork killed and salted 
before you go away ; — and above all things attend to the Ice 
house, as it is of serious importance on account of fresh meat 
next summer, that it should be filled. 

Isot perceiving by the weekly rep ts , that any of the Trees 
at the Mansion house have been taken up, or trimmed ; and 
as little, if anything, can be done at it now, give Mr. Ander- 
son all the information you can relative to this business ; and 
turn the string of Memorandums (which I sent to you some- 
time ago) over to him. 

Belying on Mr. Smiths making you the first payment (on 
the 521 th ins 1 ) according to promise, I request again, that no 
demand against me may be left unpaid ; — among these pay 
Gray the Weaver ; — and let all that is owing to me, be re- 
duced to promissary notes. — 

I hope all the Shelters for the Cattle are up, that they may 
be secure from Snows, Bain and cold weather ; for it is al- 
ways observable, that if they suffer in the early part of the 
Winter, they rarely get perfectly recovered of it. — 


Ml'. Craik informs me that Clark (I think his name is) 
whom you recommended to him, has been very sick, but, not- 
withstanding, has given evident demonstrations of his fitness 
as an overlooker. — I wish you would make it a point to see 
Clark, and fix him to me, as agreed, for the next year ; — 
otherwise I may have more difficulty in doing it, than at the 
present time ; from causes which you will be at no loss to 
conjecture. — It was extremely unlucky, after waiting so long 
to get an answer from the Eastern Shore, that I had not 
waited a few days longer — until Clark arrived — Pray did you 
see the person on the Eastern shore, when last there, from 
whom you had been expecting to hear ? — and what excuse 
did he make for not fulfilling his promise of writing to 
you i — 

In my next letter, I will send you a certificate of my satis- 
faction in your Services as a Manager. — I would have done it 
now, but am hurried, and it will be in time then. — I am Y r 

and well wisher 

G° Washington. 


Philadelphia lS th Dec r 1796, 
Mr. Pearce, 

Your letter of the 11 th , with the enclosures, came to my 
hands yesterday; and I am sorry to find by it that so late as 
thai, you were still without rain. I hope what lias fallen 
to-day, will have extended to you: — here it has rained the 
whole day without ceasing. — 

I do not know whether I understand Mr. Alex r Smiths 
proposition, with respect to putting the note for 4S39 dollars 
in the Bank, to be discounted- at the end of Sixty days; 
making the Bank (instead of himself and securities) liable 
therefor. — If he means, that at the end of the Sixty days, 
I am to receive that sum from the Bank without interest 


tliereon for that time, I shall not accept the offer; because 
there is neither reason nor justice why I should suffer that 
loss for my indulgence to him; — but on the other hand, if 
at the end of CO days, it is to be paid at the Bank with 
interest, in the same maimer that it would be paid by him, 
I should suppose it ought to be preferred : — however, as I 
know very little of Bank transactions, but believe that money 
matters stand rather on ticklish ground, I would (if you have 
an opportunity) have you consult Mr. Lear, and be governed 
by his advice in this business. — If you have not that oppor- 
tunity, act for me in the case, as you would for yourself, and 
I shall be satisfied therewith. — 

I will not have the ground, in which I directed Ivy and the 
wild honey suckle to be planted, plowed beforehand. — Kor 
can I find what it is the Gardener means by saying he has 
as much to do between this and Christmas as he is able to 
accomplish, when one of his own hands (according to his 
report) is at work with the House gang, and might be re- 
called, — besides which he has been authorised to employ 
Frank, .Hercules and Cyrus — nay, even to call for more aid 
if necessary. — If he won't do it, or makes any delay, or diffi- 
culty in doing it, desire him to give up my letter of directions; 
and order Allison to set about the work agreeably thereto. — 
If the ground is as hard frozen as I presume it is, there being 
no Snow on it, he has missed the most favourable opportunity 
of taking the Plants up, with frozen earth to their roots, that 
ever occurred, or may occur again in seven years. — And I 
suppose, after plowing the ground up, would give me a naked 
furrough to look at all next spring and summer, instead of a 
Plantation of flowering Shrubs. — I am much displeased at his 
conduct. — 

It would give me great pleasure to have the Xew road 
compleated, or in a state of forwardness, this Winter and 
Spring ; — but I would not have this attempted at the expence 
of more important concerns.— As you have crossed the road 


leading into Muddy-hole farm, let the Road from thence in 
a line as marked be opened into it — 16J feet wide on each 
side of the stakes, which were set up. — 

I am sorry to hear that Mr. Xeal continues so much indis- 
posed, for my Carpenters really appear to me to do nothing; — 
and there is Sail who was constantly at work when we were 
at home, is now regularly returned sick six days in the 
Week ; — and Mima, Dick, and some others, nearly as bad. — 

I had a letter from Mr. Anderson by the last Post, who in- 
forms me that it was not in his power to leave the concern he 
was enirao-ed in at the time I wished him to be at Mount 
Yernon ; — but that he certainly would be there by the 27 th or 
28 th of this month, if he was alive and well. — I wish it may 
be convenient for you to stay a few days after he comes to 
give him a thorough insight into the business, and then 
transfer the directions I have given concerning it to him. — 

Shall I not want Clover, and other Grass seeds for the next 
year ? — and how much ? — As these things can neither be pro- 
cured, or sent at all times, they sh d be noticed in season. — I 
wish you well and am 

Your friend 

G° Washington. 

What has Frank, Hercules and Cyrus been employed in. — 
Xo mention is made of any work performed by them in the 
Gardeners or other Eeports. 



Mr. William Pearce having Superintended the Farms, and 
other business appertaining to my estate of Mount Yernon, 
during my absence as President of the United States for the 
last three years (ending the 31st of the present month) — It is 


due to him to declare, and I certify it accordingly, that his 
conduct during that period has given me entire satisfaction ; 
and that I part with him reluctantly, at his own request, on 
account of a Rheumatic affection which he thinks would pre- 
vent him from giving that attention to my business which 
from laudable motives he conceives would be necessary. 

His industry and zeal to serve me, during the period above 
mentioned have been conspicuous on all occasions.— His 
knowledge in Farming, and mode of managing my business 
in all its relations, have been highly satisfactory to me. — and 
I have every reason to believe that his conduct in paying and 
receiving money has been strictly regular and just. — In a 
word, 1 have bad great confidence in his honesty, sobriety, in- 
dustry and skill ; and, consequently, part with him with 

Given under m} T hand at Philadelphia 
this lS th day of December 179G. 1 

G° Washington. 


Mount Vernon, 17 th July 1707. 
Mr. Peaiice. 

My Overseers at Union and Dogue-run Farms are endeav- 
ouring to play the same game they did last year — that is — to 
raise their wages; but as I am fully resolved not to doit 
(especially as the price of produce is reduced a hundred p r 
G fc ) I am induced to ask you — as Clark who engaged with 
Mr. Craik is dead, and expectation from that quarter is at 
an end — if you could recommend a person whom you know 
would suit me, for Union farm ? 

It is not impossible but that I may reduce the hands at 
Union farm and place it and Dogue-run Farm under the same 
Overlooker : — but even in this case, I will not inve more than 

'Appendix M. 



Sixty pounds wages, with the Usual allowances of Provis- 
ions. — 

I shall insist upon a Dairies being attended to by the Over- 
seers wife, and that Fowls shall be raised for my Table ; — and 
that nothing shall be sold from the Farms for their benefit ; 
as the wages, with the allowances of Provisions, is all the 
man and his wife have to expect. — 

I would thank you for acknowledging the receipt of this 
letter by the Post, as soon as it gets to hand, that I may be 
certain of its safe arrival : — and as soon after as possible, let 
me know (without absolutely engaging any one) what depend- 
ence I could place on your getting a good man ; with, or with- 
out a wife, but not too large a family. — It is necessary I 
should hear from you soon on this subject, as some are offer- 
ing, and the season for engaging good Overseers is at hand. — 

I hope to hear your health is restored to you, and that your 
crops have been, and are likely to be, good. — My Crop of 
Wheat is as good as I had any reason to expect ; but the Hes- 
sian fly began just before harvest to cut it down. — Next year 
I expect their attack will be formidable and severe. — Could 
there be any dependance on purchasing three or 4 hundred 
bushels of Itye in your Neighbourhood, and at what price ? — 

I wish you and family well and am your friend and H bl ° 

G° Washington. 

The drought is, and has been extremely severe upon us : — 
Corn not half leg high ; what will be the consequence I know 


Mount Vernon 14 th Aug* 1707. 
Mr. Pearce. 


Your letter of the 24 th of July has been received, and I 

thank you for your ready compliance with my request ; but 


recollecting how I was served lash year, I must remind you, 
that the season will not allow me to wait long for your decis- 
ive answer — especially too, as persons are now applying in 
this quarter. — 

I must repeat in this, what I said, or meant to say in mv 
last — that is — that I do not wish you to enter into any engage- 
ment that will be binding on me ; — but to make enquiry for 
such an Overseer as you know would suit me; — know precise- 
ly the lowest terms on which he could be obtained for Union 
Farm; — and give me as speedy notice thereof as is in your 
power. — Mr. Anderson seems to think that one man may 
Overlook both Union and Dogue-run Farms for the wages 
of Sixty pounds, but whether this would be more eligable 
than two at about £70 or £75 between them is questionably, 
as there are few Negros who will work unless there be a con- 
stant eye on them — or who will not slight it if there is not 
this eye. — 

The fallow fields at Union and Dogue-run farms looked 
well at Harvest; and I believe will yield well, but the Hes- 
sian fly had made an attack upon the latter which had injured 
it in some degree. — ISText year I expect this attack will be 
much more formidable, which is one reason why I propose to 
encrease my seeding with Itye, considerably this Fall. — I per- 
ceived no difference between the French plowed part and the 
parts adjoining from hence the inference is that it was attend- 
ed with no advantage ; in the last Crop at least. — 

We have been as wet latterly as we were dry before: 
which, to me, has produced both good and evil. — .My Corn is 
much amended by it, but my Hay ruined ; and T have had 
Wheat injured in the Stack. — I am glad to hear that your 
Crop has, and promises to be, tolerable good. — But am sorry 
that your own, and daughter fancy's indispositions con- 
tinue. — 

A small bag of Rye-grass seeds came here without any 
letter. — We guessed from whence it came, but was not cer- 


tain until some time after, when your letter announced it. — 
For sending it I thank you, and if several bushels of the Seed 
could be purchased and sent to me, I would with pleasure pay 
the cost to your order. — 

Mrs. Washington and the rest of the family are as usual 1 
— and I am your friend and 

II ble Servant 

G° Washington. 


Mount Vernon tlj May 1798. 
Me. Peaece, 

A few days ago the enclosed a/c was sent in, and others of 
a similar nature have also been presented. — To guard against 
these after el&ps was the reason why I urged you with so much 
earnestness to leave no accounts unpaid, of your own con- 
tracting. — 

Why The balance, if just, was left unpaid, when you had 
money to go to, at pleasure, or why it was referred to Mr. 
Lear to pay, T am unable to say. — Some accounts which have 
been presented, I have caused to be proved ; — but in the case 
of Mess" Fosters & May, they have been informed that the 
account should be transmitted to you for explanation. — I 
request therefore you would let me know whether the Bal- 
ance claimed by them is really due— In short, be kind 
enough to give me such information concerning it as you 
are possessed of, that the matter may be settled with those 
Gentlemen ; and with it, return their Account. 

In cradling my Wheat the coming Harvest I wish to catch 
it in the hand, in the manner practised on the Eastern Shore 
and other places ; but as none of my People have been in the 
habit of cutting in this way, theymight need an Instructor. — 
Would it be in your power to engage a person who under- 
stands this business perfectly, and fixing the Cradles, to be 

1 Appendix N. 


here by the 25 th June — to be paid by the day while here, and 
for coming and returning — and his reasonable travelling ex- 
pellees ? — 

At any rate I pray you to let me know, and as soon as you 
conveniently can, if I might depend upon it. — Inform me at 
the same time, if you please, whether the Cradles and Scythes 
differ in any respect from those which you know I use — and 
if they do, to inform me in what the difference consists, that 
I may be preparing against Harvest. — The Scythe, I presume 
must be the same, but the fixing of it to the sneed may differ; 
— and the Cradle may vary from the usual Kind, by having 
more, or less fingers — more or less coming — &c a . — All of 
which can readily be described in a letter, by a person well 
acquainted with the two sorts, so as to enable me with the 
assistance of Mr. Stuart, who you know is, from his own 
account, acquainted with all things to go on in this mode even 
if you sh d not be able to procure me a very skilful hand (for 
none other I would have sent). — I remain Your friend and 

H ble Servant 

G° Washington. 


"Washington Oct r 24 th 1795. 
Mr. William Pearce — 

Dear Sir, 

This will be handed to you by Mr. Philips, 

a gentleman from England, who is travelling in this part of 

the Country, and is desireous of Seeing the Seat at Mount 

Vernon. — You will be so good as to shew him attentions and 

civilities and Oblige 

Your most Obed t Ser\ rt 

Tobias Leak. 



Alex* ¥ov r 11. 1796. 
Mk^^^^^. Peiece 

Dear Sir 

Permit me to introduce to your 
acquaintance Mr. Ja: Potts a Gentleman lately from England, 
who being on his way to Fredericksburgh, and having heard 
much of the Seat of the President, impelled by the curiosity 
so natural to Strangers in the neighbourhood of Mount Vernon 
to visit the residence of the Man whose Fame all Europe Ac- 
knowledge — will take Mount Vernon in his way — any civilities 
shown him or his Friend a Mr. Millburn who will accompany 
him — will not only be pleasing to them, but particularly ac- 
knowledged by 

Your Humble Serv* 

Tno s Patten. 

Articles of Agreement entered into between George Wash- 
ington of Mount Vernon in Virginia, at present President of 
the United States and residing in Philadelphia of the one 
part, and of the County of Westmoreland and 

State aforesaid House Carpenter and Joiner of the other part. 
Witness that the said for the wages and other 

considerations hereafter mentioned, doth oblige himself and 
four Xegro Carpenters belonging to him, who he engages to 
be good workmen, to wit, to serve 

the said George Washington one year from the time they 
shall enter upon the execution of their duties at Mount Ver- 
non (which he promises shall be on or before the day of 
next ensuing. — During winch time he, and thev, will 
conduct themselves soberly, honestly and diligently in what- 
ever business (in the line of their profession) they shall be 
employed in, — That he will besides attending to his own, 


superintend all such Xegro Carpenters belonging to the said 
George Washington as shall be placed under his care and 
direction ; and to the utmost of his skill and industry, so 
order and contrive the work for the whole, or any part thereof, 
as to carry it on to the best advantage and with the greatest 
facility. — That he will be particularly attentive as well to the 
conduct of his own as to such other Carpenters as may be en- 
trusted to him, suffering no idleness when they' are in health, 
nor no neglect of them when sick. — That he will cause proper 
care to be taken of the Tools, and see them forthcoming when- 
ever called for ; or a satisfactory account rendered of them if 
they are not. — That he will enter in a book to be kept for 
that purpose an "ace* of all the Work which has been done by 
himself and the Carpenters over whom he is placed, and re- 
port the same weekly. — That he will never be away from his 
people when they arc at work and he is in health ; nor be ab- 
sent from his duty without permission from the said George 
Washington or his Manager ; but on the contrary, by close 
attention, and an industrious conduct, will set an example to 
them worthy of imitation. — And Whereas it too often hap- 
pens that men (regardless of their engagements and of course 
their reputation) when working on standing wages are apt to 
be idle, careless and indifferent to the interest of their Em- 
ployers, thereby setting the' reverse of good examples, it is 
hereby clearly understood and expressly agreed to by the said 
that he will be at his business as soon as it is 
light, and remain thereat until dark, when he is in health ; 
and when not employed in laying out, or marking off work for 
others, that he will labour as faithfully, and as effectually as 
any hand under him ; as well for the purpose of fulfilling this 
agreement as for the good example he would set by so doing 
to those who are under his care, and who are not so ignorant 
(knowing this is required of him) as not to relax as lie relaxes, 
and be idle in proportion as he is idle ; because all of them 
have discernment enough to know that no man can, with pro- 


priety, or a good conscience, correct others for a fault lie is 
guilty of himself; — the consequence of which is, that indo- 
lence and sloth take possession of the whole. — Lastly, the 
said doth hereby oblige himself, during the term 

aforesaid, to conform to all orders and directions in the line 
of his business, or in any other that is reasonable (his time 
being paid for by the said George Washington) which he the 
said George Washington, or person having the general Super- 
intendency of his business, shall require. In consideration of 
these Services well and truly performed on the part of the 
said . and his four Negro Carpenters before named, 

the said George Washington doth hereby oblige himself to 
pay the said the sum of ten pounds p r Kalender 

month — estimating dollars at Six shillino-s and other gold and 
silver at that rate ; for the hire of the said and 

the four Xegro Carpenters before mentioned ; and in that 
proportion in case any of them should be unable to come, or 
die in the service after they have entered upon it. — The said 
George Washington doth moreover agree to furnish the said 
and his four Negro Carpenters with provisions; 
himself with lbs. of Porke or Beef, and bushels of 
Indian Meal or midling flour equivalent in value, thereto; 
and his Xegros with the same provisions in quantity and 
quality as his own Negro Carpenters are allowed — And will 
provide the whole with Tools, and pay their taxes. — He also 
agrees to furnish the said with a house to live in, 

or if this cannot be done in time, conveniently, then, and in 
that case, a room seperate and distinct from any other person 
or persons. — But the said is to provide his own 

bed and necessaries ; as also such kind of bedding as he 
chuses to allow his own Negros. — For the true and faithful 
performance of this agreement, the parties do bind them- 
selves each to the other in the sum of pounds this 
day of • 1790. G° Washington. 
Test, for G° Washington B w Daxdridge. 




Calculation of the number of Briclcs wanting for the Barn 
at Riv r farm. 



From the foundation (which ought to be below the 
penetration of frost) to the Sleepers, suppose 3 
feet ;■ — this of a 2-J brick wall, would require ab fc 
30 bricks to the foot, and the 2 sides and 2 
ends making together ISO feet running meas- 
ure, will take 

From the Sleepers, or water table, to the top of the] 

wall— 16 feet high, and 2 brick thick, will re- <^ 69,120 
quire at the rate of 21- to foot J 

The two inner walls of the sheds from the barn (in- "] 

tended for Stables) being 30 feet each, and 2 

V 4- °^0 
brick thick to the water table, of the Barn — say 

3 feet high — requires 

From hence to the top of the wall 16 feet, a brick 
and half thick — Twice 30 feet 


Two outer walls of d° 60 feet long each and 1-J brick 
thick ; and within, and out of the gr d 10 feet 
high ; will require 

The 4 ends of the sheds 12 feet each makes 4S feet 
— the medium height of w ch will be about 15 
feet and these of a brick and half will need. . . . 



Total 139,980 





Rotation of Crops for Dogue Run Farm. 

First Corn and Potatoes in alternate Hows — to be .hid 

down in Wheat — with Clover sown therein at 

the breaking up of the Frost. — 
Second . . . Wheat — and Clover. 
Third, ...Clover, 
fourth.. . .Clover — but to be sown in the Fall with Wheat on 

a single plowing. 
Fifth Wheat — and Buck Wheat on the Stubble as soon 

as the Wheat comes off. — 

Sixth Oats.— 

Seventh. .Pasture to Pen on — and to receive all the Manure 

which can be procured — for the purpose of again 

beginning with. 
Corn and so on as above. — 

Rotation for the other Farms. 

1 st Corn and Potatoes (if to be had) as above to be laid 

down with Wheat. 
2 d Wheat. 
3 d Buck Wheat to be plowed in for Manure and Wheat 

sowed thereon in the Fall. 
-1 th Wheat. 

5 th Half in Oats and half in B : Wheat. 
th Pasture. 
7 th Ditto — to be penned on and manured as above. 



Xorth side of the Road cleared formerly 43 — 3 — 4 

S° of the Eoad 17—0—19 

Cleared last "\Yint r 21—2— 3 

Within Corn field 22—3—19 

Total— M : House 105—1- 


Terras on which the Farms at Mount Vernon may he obtained. 

There not being ranch difference in the quality of the soil 
of River, Union, and Dogue-run farms, the rent of each, by 
the acre, will be the same. The soil of River farm has, gen- 
erally, been most productive ; but not having the meadow 
grounds of the other two, it will hardly be esteemed more 
valuable, or more profitable in future. 

The rent of these three farms (in which the meadow 
grounds at the two latter will be blended with the arable) is 
a bushel and an half of Wheat for each acre contained within 
the limits of the present fencing, or on failure of that Crop 
an equivalent in Cash at the Market price of the article : — 
the bounds of which shall be correctly described in the Teases, 
and the quantity precisely ascertained by accurate resurvevs, 
for the purpose of rectifying former errors, if any have been 
committed,— or alterations, if any have been occasioned by the 
removal of fences, since the fields were first established. 

(The reasons why I fix the rent in Wheat are, 1 st because 
it is the staple produce of the part of the country in which 
the Estate lies. 2 d because it is convenient to the Tenant, and 


equitable for both him and the Landlord; there being no 
more trouble or expense in raising this article when it bears 
a high, than when it is at a low price : — consequently as it 
now is, and probably will continue to be a regulating standard 
for the price of other articles foreign and domestic, the Rent 
thus established will keep pace therewith. \Vhereas was it 
fixed in money, the depreciation in that, and progressive rise 
in other things might render a good rentnow a mere nominal 
one fourteen years hence. To fix the rent in wheat now 
when it bears so high a price, may be thought extravagant: 
but no person of information can, or does suppose otherwise, 
than that the price of this article will be reduced to its old or 
progressive price so soon as the wars in Europe cease and 
tranquillity is again restored. It is to be understood, that the 
rent when paid in wheat, is to be delivered on or before the 
first of December in every year, to the Collector.) 

To the two farms which lie on the river, the Fisheries 
which now are, have been, or again might be used as such, 
may be annexed ; and may be obtained for the same term of 
years that the Lease is given for the farm adjoining, and at a 
reasonable rent ; — or they will be let separately to others, with 
the priviledge of ingress and regress thro' the farms. 

Dogue-run farm will comprehend no part of the Mill 
meadows, or mill swamp; nor any ground without the present. 
outer fences of the fields, except the woodland w ch is, in a 
manner, encompassed by fields ?\ 2. 3. 5 and T, which if the 
farm is let in an undivided state, may be enclosed merely for 
a woodland pasture. In like manner the other farms are to 
be circumscribed by the outer fences of the respective fields; 
and no more land is to be cleared within them, than what is 
now in use, except by special agreement, and for a certain 
fixed compensation. — 

Each farm, whether in its present or divided state, will be 
supplied with fuel from the woodland ; and with timber for 
all sorts of farming implements and for fencing, with the 


necessary repairs to it, until hedges can be raised ; a measure 
which will be insisted upon as far and as soon, as it is reason- 
ably practicable. 

Muddy hole farm being more indifferent than either of 
the other three, will be let for a quarter of a bushel less per 
acre ; but subject in other respects to the same regulations. — 

Tobacco will not be allowed to be cultivated for market, 
on any of the farms ; ! nor more than a sixth part of the ara- 
ble Suffered to be in Indian Corn, in any year during the 
term of the Leases ; and the rotation which is annexed, or 
some other not more oppressive to the land, will be insisted 
upon ; as also that Hogs shall not run at large. 

If the farms are let in their undivided state, no more 
buildings will be necessary than what are already on the 
premises : — but if they are divided, houses in proportion to 
the number, and size of the Lots which will be separated 
from those which may contain the present buildings, will be 
required ; tire materials for which must be provided by the 
tenants themselves, except small aids from the woodland. 
But as the earth at every farm, and in every part of each 
farm, is good for brick or mud walls, (the last of which are 
warm and good when judiciously made) they would be rec- 
ommended ; especially the former, as infinitely preferable, 
more durable, requiring less repairs, and very little, if any, 
dearer than wood buildings, even in their first cost. 

Leases will be given, conformably to the advertisement in 
the Gazettes ; namely, for fourteen years, if the farms are 
undivided; and for eighteen years, if they are divided, for 
such lots as will be excluded from the present buildings ; 

'In 1789 Washington planted 30,000 tobacco plants at Dogne linn farm, 
but afterwards reached the conclusion that tobacco was injurious to the soil. 
With reference to the use of tobacco by Washington personally, an Alex- 
andria legend says he was once nearly choked by a bit of tobacco, kept in 
his mouth as he lay down; but Dr. McGuire says, "lie never used tobacco 
in any shape, always expressing a great aversion to it." 


with the usual covenants for tile security of the rents ; keep- 
ing the farms in tenantable repairs ; planting fruit trees 
&c l &c a . 

The Mill, and every thing appertaining to it, is, at the time 
of letting, to be critically examined, and must be returned in 
like good order at the expiration of the Lease. 

The present farms, as has been mentioned before, may be 
divided into large, or small lots, so as to suit the convenience 
of those who may incline to associate ; but less than one of 
the present fields, at any of the farms, except where they are 
large, ought not to compose a lot ; and to lay them off In- 
fields, would be convenient and desirable, on account of the 
Ditches, hedges and fences that are now in use. — 

Although the admission of slaves with the tenants will not 
be absolutely prohibited ; it would nevertheless, be a pleasing 
circumstance to exclude them ; if not entirely, at least in a 
great degree : — to do which is not among the least induce- 
ments for dividing the farms into small Lots. — 

Adjoining to Hiver farm, are grounds which now are a com- 
mon, between the fences of fields ~N° 1. 2 and 3. and the river. 
These may become part of those Lots at the rent per acre of 
the other part, whether the farm is divided or not ; making 
the river, instead of the present fences, the boundary. 

For every acre contained in the Lease, an apple tree of 
good grafted fruit is to be planted on the premises, in a reg- 
ular orchard truly laid out in rows forty feet a part each way. 
Between which (also in regular order) rows of peach trees will 
be required. 

G° A\ t ashingtox. 
February 1 st 1706. 



Rotation referred to, for a Farm containing six fields; 
besides a homestead, or Inclosure for the Houses, garden, 
and yards. 

1 st . .. .Indian Corn, with intermediate rows of Potatoes, or 
any root more certain or useful (if such there he) 
that will not impede the plough, hoe or harrow in 
the cultivation of the Corn. 

2 d . . . .Wheat, Eye, or Winter Barley at the option of the 
Tenant — sown as usual when the Corn receives its 
' last working. 

3 d ... . Buckwheat, Peas, or Pulse ; or Vegetables of any sort, 
or partly of all; or any thing else, except grain (that 
is corn crops) — for which this is preparatory. 

4 th .. . .Oats, or Summer barley, at the discretion of the Ten- 
ant, with Clover, if and when the ground is in con- 
dition to bear it. — 

5. ... .To remain in Clover for cutting, for feeding, or for 
both — or if Clover should not be sown — or if sown 
should not succeed ; — then and in that case the field 
may be filled with any kind of Vetch, pulse or 

6 To lie uncultivated in pasture, and for the purpose of 

manuring, for the same round of crops again. 

The other fields passing through the same courses will, 
supposing the rotation to commence in the year 1797, appear 
in one view by the plan on the other side. 

A Farm containing 100 acres, gives six fields of 10 acres 
each ; and leaves -4 acres for the houses, garden and yards. — 
The following plan shews what crops will be taken from the 



said farm annually ; and these at a very moderate estimate 

will produce as follows 

10 acres in Indian Corn at 12 bush 13 is 192 bush 8 a 3/.is£2S.10 

Same in Potatoes D° D° . . 

1G acres. .Wheat .10 160.. 

1G acres. .Buckwheat ... 10! 1G0. . 

1G acres.. Oats 15 240.. 

1G acres. .Clover or Vegetables, .uncertain 

. 2/ . . 

19. 4 


Total, besides Clover or &c a £142. 

Rent of 100 acres at a bushel and a half of "Wheat, 

or a dollar and half p r acre 45 . 

Remains for the Tenant "97. 


ot the 







ISO*. | 







or &c» 

Oats or 






— ■■ 







or &c» 

or &ea 

Oats or 



Puis,?. i 









or &c a 

or &c a 

Oats or 


Oat;, or 









or &c» 

or &c» 



or &c» 

Oat* or 











Rye i 
or &C* 




or &c» 

Ruck Oats or | n 
wtt 1 gp 1 C1 or €r 
«** Closer ™- 



Pota s 

1 Appendix O. 


In England, where taxes and rents are both high, it is 
estimated that if every thing which is raised on the farm, will 
sell for three times the rent, that the farmer is in eligible 
circumstances. — One-third pays the rent — another third the 
taxes, and all other incidental expenses of the farm — and the 
remaining third is applied to whatever purposes the farmer 
may chuse.— The above principles and proportions, apply 
equally to large and small farms. — 


A (p. 3). 

"Washington's earlier managers were his relatives, — Lund 
Washington, George Augustine Washington, Robert Lewis, 
Howell Lewis, successively. Circumstances having deprived 
him of their services, — though Robert Lewis continued to be 
his general agent for collections etc. on his estates in Vir- 
ginia, — he employed in succession Messrs. Whiting, Fearce 
and Anderson. It appears also that for a time he employed 
a Mr. Feake in this capacity. This is mentioned by the Rev. 
Dr. E. C. McGuire, in his little book on " The Religious 
Opinions and Character of Washington," published in 1S3G. 
Dr. McGuire, for many years rector of St. George's Church, 
Fredericksburg, Ya., married Judith, daughter of Robert 
Lewis, Washington's nephew and agent, and had good 
sources of information. The contents of a letter which I 
have not seen have been reported to me, in which Washing- 
ton (while President) gives Robert Lewis, when undertaking 
the management of Mount Vernon, detailed instructions. 
He is to send in careful and minute weekly reports of every 
event on the estate, of the smallest incidents, especially re- 
lating to the negroes. In the letters he shall receive from 
Washington, every question is to be noted for answer and 
then cancelled with a pencil. The work involved was by 
no means small and, though liberally paid, it is not wonder- 
ful that the managers were changed pretty often. The one 
who served him longest was Lund Washington, concerning 
whom see Appendix II. 


The following letter shows that at one time Washington 
thought of employing the elder brother of Robert and Howell 
Lewis. It is probable, however, that the mother of Lawrence 
could not spare him, for there appears no indication of that 
young gentleman's having resided at Mount Vernon until 
after "Washington had retired from the presidency. The 
letter was written to his relative Col. Burgess Ball, and 1 am 
indebted for its use to his grandson Capt. George Washington 
Ball, author of an invaluable monograph on "The Maternal 
Ancestry and nearest of kin of Washington." 

Philadelphia, Aug. 4th, 1793. 
Dear Sir, 

Previously to the receipt of your letter of the 25th ulto, 
some persons had been mentioned to me as well qualified for 
the Superintendence of my business at Mount Yernon, and 
until something is decided with respect to them, (letters hav- 
ing passed on the subject,) I can say nothing farther with 
respect to Mr. Lawrence Lewis. So much am I engaged in 
public business, and so little have I it in my pow r er to visit or 
attend to my private concerns, that it becomes extremely 
necessary (besides fidelity) to have an experienced and skilful 
man of some weight to manage my business — one whose 
judgment is able to direct him in cases which may arise out 
of circumstances that can neither be foreseen nor previously 
guarded against. 

What the age of Mr. Lawrence Lewis is, what opportunities 
lie may have had to acquire any knowledge in the manage- 
ment of a farm, what his disposition, whether active or 
indolent, whether clear in his perceptions and of good judg- 
ment, whether sober and sedate, or fond of amusements and 
running about, with other queries which might be asked as 
well applying to a young man just entering on the career of 
life, are all matters to which I am an entire stranger, and ii 
you can give me information respecting them, I shall thank you. 


You will readily perceive that ray sole object in these en- 
quiries is to ascertain the competency of a character to whom 
I should commit an important trust. Consequently going no 
farther can operate nothing to the prejudice of my nephew, 
whatever in confidence you say to me on the foregoing points 
and such others as may occur to yon. 

So far as integrity, and I presume sobriety, would qualify 

him, I should give him my entire confidence ; but though 

these are xery essential, something more, circumstanced as 

I am, is equally necessary. Was I at home myself, I should 

prefer a person connected with me, as he is, to a more skilful 

man that was not, (provided he had no thoughts of soon 

forming a matrimonial alliance) because he could aid me in 

attention to company, which I should stand as much in need 

of as of one to look after my estate, as my disposition won 

lead me to endnlge in retirement whenever I shall quit 

public walks. My love to Mrs. Ball and your family, in vrc 

Mrs. Washington joins. With sincere regard and friendship, 

I am y'rs affectionately, 

G° Washington. " 

By the favor of Governor Wilson, of West Virginia, a con- 
nection of the Washington and Lewis families, I am able to 
print a characteristic letter from Washington to Howell 
Lewis, his nephew (see p. 10) while managing Mount Yernon. 

Germantown, Nov. 3, 1703. 
Deajr Howell, 

The short time I was with you, and the hurry into which 
I was thrown by the pressure of many matters, public and 
private, prevented my mentioning many things which ought 
to have been communicated to you before I left home ; but 
I shall do it by letter as they may happen to occur to me. 

I have already told you, that the corn is to be gathered 
without loss of time as soon as circumstances will permit — 




when this is done, let all that is intended for the nse of the 
respective plantations be put into corn houses by itself; and 
the overplus into other Houses. As there is but one corn 
house at Muddy hill, Davy must put all that grows at that 
place into it. 

I hope the quantity will exceed 150 barrels; but if it 
should fall short of it, that quantity must be made up from 
the field he tended at Dogue Run — after which, the residue 
of that field of his, may be lofted along with Mclxoy's corn. 
Let McKay put ISO barrels into one of his corn houses for 
the use of the Farm, and the residue in the other. — Crow 
may put 250 barr ls in one house, and the residue in an- 
other ; — and Stuart may do the same — that is — put 250 
barrels in one house, and all that remains in the other. — Tell 
all of them that I exhort them most earnestly to be extremely 
careful of the Corn. — I know this article will fall short of my 
demands for it ; and I know not where it is to be bought, or 
where to find money if I did. — Unless you can buy oats, the 
horses at the Mansion house must be fed with Corn and Bran, 
and that sparingly, except the five horses which are to come 
this way with your Aunt. — Have an eye that Martin does not 
neglect them ; — nor spare the curry comb. — lie wants look- 
ing after. — The Corn with which these five horses are fed 
should be ground into small homony, and if Bran was mixed 
with it, it would be none the worse, and would go farther. — 
The Horses on the different Farms, tell the overseers, must be 
kept in good heart (notwithstanding the sparing use of the 
corn) as they will have a great deal of heavy plowing to do 
this Fall and Winter ; which, not being sure I fully explained 
to all of them, I herewith enclose a list ; with which you will 
furnish each of them, that is, with so much as relates to his 
own business. — 

As a house will be built for Crow at the place marked out 
(not far from the Barn) the corn house near to the one in 
which he now lives, ought to be removed to the Barn, and 


set in uniformity with the other, before the corn is lofted (if 
it can be done conveniently) and as there is no spring near to 
the house which is to be built for Crow, a well should be dug 
in the Barn lane, opposite to the centre of that house, and 
exactly half way between the same and those which will be 
opposite to it for the Xegros. — My ideas on this head have 
been explained to Thos. Green, as to the spot. — This well 
need be no larger in the diameter than is sufficient to contain 
a pump, which it must receive ; and the size proper for this 
you must enquire into. — I should think Thomas Davis and 
Mucins must have ingenuity enough to sink this well as 1 
hope and expect it will be very shallow after they have laid 
the foundation (with Brick) for the Overseer's house ; but if 
they have any doubts themselves of their sufficiency, employ 
the well-digger in Alexandria, who sunk the well at the Man- 
sion house lately; and if it is to be done by him let it be 
undertaken immediately — For water found at this season of 
the year, and especially after so parching a drought, may be 
depended upon — this is a good reason for its being done 
soon, by whomsoever it is undertaken. — 

I directed the Miller to put up 6 Hogs for forward Bacon, 
and to call upon Mclvoy for corn to feed them. — I always 
forget to tell the latter to send it, and possibly it has been 
neglected. — enquire into, and see that it is done. 

As I am almost certain I shall want feed next year, both 
for man and beast, more than 1 have made this; and as a 
good deal of my wheat (unless it surprisingly alters from the 
Bain which has lately fallen here, and I hope with you) tell 
Mr. Stuart and Mr. Crow (whose wheat I think was next) that 
if they could sow a part of that which is most missing with 
Bye, if to be had, it will be a pleasing thing to me. — I mean 
such parts of the field only as are not likely to produce Wheat 
next year with any prospect of success. — It is not too late to 
sow Bye, and the straw will be useful for thatching sheds for 
the cover of my cattle ; which I should wish to do before 


the winter, next after this which is now approaching sets 
in. — 

If you cannot get oats, about ten bushels of old corn ought 
to be reserved for feeding the horses with, which are to come 
this way, some days before they set out, otherwise travelling 
them after being fed upon new corn may be the loss of 
some of them on the road, besides the detention it would 
necessarily occasion to your Aunt. 

Just before I left home, I discovered that the Carters and 
Waggoner, in order to get their horses easily of mornings, 
turned them into the clover lot by the k quarter. — forbid this 
absolutely.-— They have injured it considerably already, by 
eating it so bare as for the frosts to kill the roots but will 
ruin it entirely if they are suffered to continue this practice 
any longer. — 

When the Potatoes are taken up, tell Butler to have the 
tussocks of course grass or Broom, and large weeds (which I 
noticed on the lower part of that lot) taken up also ; that the 
ground, when sown next Spring, may be in better condition 
for the oats and clover which is to be put in it. 

Whenever the weather appears to be settled, and the morn- 
ing promises a good day, get Peter and Martin, or Charles 
(for I know not what he does) and take every thing out of 
the Store that requires to be aired — cleaned from Mould, and 
the other injuries they are sustaining — and when thoroughly 
cleaned and dried, returned and put away again together with 
the other things in that place ; with that regularity and order 
that whatever is wanted from thence may be seen and got at 
without difficulty. — When this is done, take an exact inven- 
tory of the whole (even to minute things) and send it to me, 
That I may know what is there. — The Yaleses (that is things 
like Portmanteaus) which contain my Marquee and other 
things, ought all to be opened, wiped clean, and dried. — The 
Trunk, belonging to my camp equipage should be served the 
same way (The Keys you will find in my writing table) and 


in short every tiling rescued from the disorder and injury 
which they seemed to he undergoing. — The nails, where they 
are not in whole Casks sh d he counted (which is soon done by 
counting 125 and putting the same weight of nails in the 
other scale and keep doubling of them until you get 1 000 in 
a scale ; after which you will soon ascertain the whole num- 
ber of thousands in the Cask). — I sent (not a great while ago) 
a considerable quantity of Paint from Philadelphia to Mount 
Vernon ; but do not recollect to have seen any in the store. — 
enquire for this, and let it he put there for safety (if it can 
be stored there conveniently) or kept under a lock the key of 
which is in the box ; for unless this is done there will be a 
flemish account of it when it is wanted for use. — Before I left 
home 1 directed old Jack to clean the seed left over the green 
house thoroughly, that the several Bins might be in order for 
the reception of oats or other grain in quantities, which might 
be placed there for Spring seeding. — To put the Casks which 
had Timothy and Orchard grass seeds by themselves, so as to 
be known — and all the empty Casks by themselves, and as 
much out of the way as they could be. — See that this is done, 
and tell Butler it is my wish as soon as his Potatoes arc up, 
and secured in the manner already mentioned to you ; I de- 
sire he will immediately thrash out all the oats at the Man- 
sion on the Barn floor if it can be spared by the work people 
— Measure and put them in the seed loft above mentioned, 
and inform me of the quantity. — Then in the corn lofts, if 
any remains after the others are thrashed, might be thrashed 
also ; as I want all I have for seed ; being of a good kind. — 
The straw after the oats are taken from them, may be still 
cut for the Work horses as usual, but Bran or chopped corn 
must be mixed therewith, to give the more nourishment to 
them. — 

As the Corn house at Crows is of frame work, and not 
heavy, while empty, it may be removed on Rollers; — and as 
Mr. Stuart pretends to be well acquainted with the manner 


of doing this work having been frequently engaged therein 
consult him, as well as Green on this business. — 

Stuart says there is a gum tree on the Farm he is at that 
will make excellent rollers — Let these be got from thence 
and well made that they may serve for other purposes here- 
after. It will naturally occur to you that this work (if done 
at all this season) ought not to be delayed until the ground 
gets soft, for that would increase the labour four fold, if not 
render it impracticable at all. — And speaking of this I will 
mention a proverb to you which you will find worthy of at- 
tention all the days of your life ; under any circumstance?, 
or in any situation you may happen to be placed ; — and that 
is, to put nothing off 'till the Morrow, that you can do to 
(][\\. — The habit of postponing tilings is among the worst in 
the world doing things in season is always beneficial — but 
out of season, it frequently happens that so far from being 
beneficial, that oftentimes, it proves a real injury. — It was 
one of the sayings of the wise man you know, that there is a 
season for all things, and nothing is more true ; apply it to 
any occurrence or transaction in life. 

I am your sincere friend and 

Affectionate Uncle 

Gr. Washington. 

If you could get a fair rope for the well by the quarter it 
would be desirable. — I directed Peter two or three times to 
make enquiry for one at the Pope Makers in Alex a , but I do 
not know the result of it. — As your Aunt may wish to see 
my letters to you, always show them to her. 

Y r as above. 
G. W. 


B (p. 5). 

Col. Bassett's sister Elizabeth married Benj. Harrison, 
signer of the Declaration of Independence, and great-grand- 
father of our present President (1SS9). 

Washington's pleasant personal and political relations with 
his connections at Elthara appear in the following note, for 
which I am indebted to Miss Virginia Carter Minor, of Xew 
York, a descendant of Washington's aunt, Mildred Willis, of 
Fredericksburg. The Association alluded to was the Is on- 
importation Association, formed in May, 1700. The 
" Patsy*' mentioned was Mrs. Washington's daughter, who 
died in 1773. She had fits, for which Washington's diary 
mentions an application of " the iron ring." 

Mount Yernon, 

Juney e lS th , 1769. 
[Col. Burwell Bassett, Eltham.] 
Dp;ar Sir, 

As we have come to a Resolution to set of (if nothing un- 
forseen happens to prevent it) for the warm springs about the 
lS tTl of next Month ; 1 do, according to promise give you no- 
tice thereof, and should be glad of your Company up with 
us, if you still entertain thoughts of trying the effect, of 
those waters. — 

You will have occasion to provide nothing, if I can be ad- 
vised of your Intentions before the waggon comes down for 
my necessaries, so that I may provide accordingly. 

We are all in the usual way, no alteration for better or 
worse in Patsy. — 

The Association in this, and the neighbouring Counties of 
Prince William and Loudoun is compleat, or near it, how it 


goes on in other places I know not, but hope to hear of tin 
universality of it. — 

We all join tendering our Loves to Mrs. Bassett and your- 
self, Family and Mrs. Dandridge and Betsy, and 1 am D r 

Y r Most Affec fc 

Hbl Serv t 

G° Washington. 



German Town 24 th Nov r 1793. 
Col. Burgess Ball, Leesburgli 

Dear Sir, 

I have duly received your letter of the lG th Instant, 
from Leesburgli. 

In answer to which, respecting the purchase of Buck Wheat, 
I send you a Bank note for two hundred dollars ; being more 
disposed to give two and six pence p r Bushel in Loudoun than 
depend upon the purchase here, and the uncertainty of get- 
ting it round in time. — What the Waggonage of it to my 
house from thence (as fast as it is bought, for that I make a 
condition in order that no disappointment may happen) will 
be, I know not ; but with a view to place the matter upon an 
absolute certainty I had rather give three and six pence for it, 
delivered at Mount Vernon, than encounter delay, or trust to 
contingencies; because as it forms part of my system of Hus- 
bandry for the next year, a derangement of it would be a 
serious thing; for which reason a small difference in the price 
can be no object when placed against the disconcertion of my 
plans ; especially too, as I am persuaded you will purchase, 
and transport the B. Wh* for me on the best terms you can. 

Four hundred and fifty bushels, or call it 500, is the quan- 
tity I shall want ; and more money shall be sent io you as 
soon as I know your prospects, and the expenditures of what 
is now forwarded. For the reason I have already assigned, I 
must encounter no disappointment ; if therefore your pros- 
pects (as you proceed in this business) are not so flattering as 
those detailed in your letter, inform me of it in time, that I 
may supply myself from hence before the frost sets in. 

The malady with which Philadelphia has been sorely 
afflicted, has, it is said, entirely ceased ; — and all the Citizens 


are returning to their old habitations again. — I took a lion.-.- 
in this town when I first arrived here, and shall retain it until 
Congress get themselves fixed; although I spend part of my 
time in the City. 

Give my love to Mrs. Ball and Milly, and be assured of the 
sincere esteem and regard with which I am 

Dear Sir, 

Your affect 6 Serv fc 

G° Washington. 

[The original of the above letter belongs to Mr. O. L. 
Sypher of New York.] 


D (p. 47). 

I am indebted to the X. E. Historic-Genealogical Society 
for the following extract from a letter to Gen. Knox. 


Mount Yernon, 2S th Feb. 1785. 

"The State of Virginia accompanied these proceedings 
with another Act, which particularly respected myself, and 
tho' generous in the extreme, is rendered more valuable by the 
flattering yet delicate expression of its recitals. It directs 
their Treasurer to subscribe for my use and benefit one hun- 
dred shares (50 in each navigation), which it declares vested 
in me and my heirs for ever. But I can truly aver to you, 
my dear sir, that this Act has given me more pain than 
pleasure. It never was my inclination — nor is it my inten- 
tion — to accept anything pecuniary from the public; but how 
to decline this gift without appearing to slight the favor 
(which the Assembly ascribe to a sense of gratitude) of my 
country, and exhibiting an act of seeming disrespect to the 
Legislature on the one hand, or incurring the imputation of 
pride or an ostentatious display of disinterestedness on the 
other, is my embarrassment. But I must endeavor to hit 
upon some expedient before the next session (for I had not 
the smallest intimation of the matter before the rising of the 
last) to avoid any of these charges, and yet follow the bent of 
my wishes, which are to be as independent as the air. I have 
nobody to provide for, and I have enough to support me 
through life in the plain and easy style in which I mean to 
spend the remainder of my days." 

The number of shares presented, Jan. 1885 (see Ilening's 
Statutes, vol. xi. p. 525) is inexactly stated above, — 100 being 
given in the Potomac Co., and 50 in the James River Co. 
(Value §100 each Potomac, and £100 each James River share.) 


In 1705 the 50 Potomac Shares were appropriated for the 
erection of a University in the Federal City. The 100 James 
River Shares were given to Liberty Hall Academy, Rock- 
bridge Co., Va., — an endowment now enjoyed by Washington 
and Lee University, Lexington, Va., where Washington's letter 
of presentation is framed. The donations were confirmed in 
perpetuity by Washington's Will. 


E (p. 53). 

The following is from the account-book of Robert Lewis, 
for which I am indebted to his grand-daughter, Mrs. Lewis 
Washington, a distinguished Regent of Mount Vernon. 

" Robert Lewis in acc t with the President of the IT. S.' 
1791. 1792. 

Apr. 14. By cash paid £. s. d. 
Battaile Muse, 39.3.51 

Dec. 25. To amount of Rental £. s. d 
rendered for this year, 314 .4.0 

By D° paid John Mauzy Surveyor for running 

(Robert Scott) the line between you and Scott 3 . 2 . G 

By Cash paid Maj r G. A. Washington 125.0.0 

By Do. Do. 3G.0.0 

By Cash paid for taxes on your land 2.3.5 

By Do. paid Mrs. Haney agreeable to order. . 10.0.0 
By my commission on the whole at 10 p T cent. 31 . 8 . 
By expences in collecting 1 . 10 . 

1792 Be 





'1794. £248. 7. 4^" 

By Cash remitted Howell Lewis for rent 

(ditto 1795, 1796) 17.9 .0 

By Cash remitted to Tho 8 Greenfield who 
had his barn burnt in 1793, which I 

omitted charging 10 . 

By cash paid L. Lewis for 40 Bus. wheat 

and expences 28.0.0.' ; 


By my travelling expenses to and from Fred- 
erick and Berkley collecting and attending 

law suits on replevins 3.0.0 

By cash to Col. McGill, Attorney agfc Ken- 
nedy, who proved insolvent 1.4.0. 

ital 302. l.G. 
412.12.0." / * " 

Concerning the Mrs. Haney mentioned in the account, a 
pensioner of Washington, see Introduction. 


The following has been sent me by Dr. William T. Dar- 
lington of Pittsburgh. 

Mr. Robert Lewis, Spring Hill, Fauquier Cty. 

Mount Yernon 4 th June 1T9S. 
Dear Sie, 

Your letter of the 23 rd ult° has been received. — 

Mr. Airass' 5 draught on Mr. Russell (of Alexandria) has 
been presented and accepted ; payable in ten days. 

I am glad to hear of your good luck with the eloped ten- 
ant in Berkeley county ; Recovery of the Tenement is of 
more importance than the security of the Rest. — I am not 
disposed to lease it for more than seven years, and if you 
could let it for a shorter time, to a good tenant, I should pre- 
fer it ; — but act from circumstances and your best judgment 
in the case. — If there is any defect in the old leases they 
must by this time, have become obvious to you, and will of 
course, be amended ; I recollect nothing that requires altera- 
tion, if the Covenants are complied with, and if the old ones 
are not it is not probable new ones will. — 

I am sorry to hear the unpromising account of your 
Wheat. Mine is bad enough, but many degrees better than 
the description of that in your parts ; nor do I perceive any 
fly, as yet, amongst it ; but there is sufficient time between 
this and harvest for the entire destruction of it by that Li- 
sect. The drought could not have been more severe with 
you than it was here until the 23 rJ ult°, — since which we 
have had (for my lands) a superabundance of Rain. If it 
had continued a few days longer we should have made neither 
oats nor Hay — and our Pastures would have starved the cat- 
tle that had escaped the Winter. — What effect it might have 
had on the Wheat I know not,' but I never form an opinion 
of Com until the month of August ; nor dispair of making a 
tolerable crop of that grain unless a drought happens when it 
is shooting and filling, be the weather what it may before.- 


All here unite in best regards for Mrs. Lewis and yourself, 
and I remain your Affect e uncle G. Washington. 


Alex. O. Inne Free. 

Mr. Robert Lewis Spring Hill Fauquier C ty . 
Eecom d to the care of ) 

Mr. Ja s . Lewis Fredericksburgh. i G. Washington. " 

The following is from the collection of Dr. Thomas Addis 

Fredericksburg, March [Postmarked 7] 1S01. 

I am fav d with jour circular letter respecting Mrs. Wash- 
ington's wish to surrender into the hands of the Executors of 
the late Gen 1 Washington, all that part of her life Estate at 
present taxable, — which derives her no profit, and yet is in 
her possession. — I cannot but agree with you in opinion that 
such property as would be inconvenient to divide should be 
sold. — The Kenhawa Lands ought to be an exception — These 
are extensive — nearly equal in quality taken agregately, and 
might with very little trouble or difficulty be divided — At all 
events it is my wish, and would be carrying into effect the 
desires of the Testator. — To elucidate, however, my ideas 
more clearly, I will only add, shoird any obstacle arise in the 
division of the above property (which I do not anticipate at 
present) I wou'd have you to understand that no impediment 
is to be expected from me in your proceedings, as I am clearly 
determined to go with the majority of Legatees, and will aid 
and assist the Executors in the execution of their duty all 
that lies in my power. — I am, Gentlemen, Respectfully, 

Your mo. Ob fc Ser 1 

Hob 1 ' Lewis. 

The Executors to the Estate of the late Gen 1 Washington 

now at Mount Vernon. 



F (Pp. 75, 100, 248). 

The beginnings of Washington City brought into the Dis- 
trict of Columbia a large number of folk who seemed to re- 
gard it as the abode of freedom to an extent which the chief 
landowner on the Virginia side of the river had vainly con- 
tested. The following, to Bushrod Washington, is owned by 
Mr. O. L. Syphcr of New York. 

Philadelphia, Jan* S th 1792. 
Dear Busheod, 

I have long suspected — but such has been my situation for 
some years back that I have not been able to ascertain the 
fact — that a tract of about 1200 acres w- I hold on four-mile- 
run near Alexandria has had the wood thereon dealt pretty 
freely with by unauthorized persons in its vicinity. The en- 
closed from Mr. Whiting gives information of a particular 
Act. He is directed in a letter of this date to wait upon 
Col Little ; and with such proofs of the trespass as he can 
obtain to call upon you therewith. If they shall appear to 
you indubitable, I am resolved — as an example — to punish 
the agressors ; and pray you to issue a process against them, 
and prosecute the same in the name of George Aug Wash- 
ington as my Attorney, who I think has been announced as 
such in the Gazettes of Alexandria and Richmond ; and, I 
presume, has a power from me to that effect. 

Lest any misconception of Whiting's should lead me or you 
into an error, I beg you will, when an opportunity shall pre- 
sent itself, enquire of Col° Little whether the Hoop poles 
were, incontestibly, taken from my land ; who the persons 
are that did it — and whether there can be any demur to the 
propriety (legality I mean) of bringing the suit in the name 


of G. A. Washington as my Attorney — not being willing to 
have my own name called in Court on this occasion. 

Your aunt joins me in best wishes, and the compliments of 
the season to you and Nancy, — and I am your sincere friend 

affectionate uncle 

G° "Washington." 

Col. Charles Little was a friend of Washington and one of 
his pallbearers. 


G (Pp. 76 and 192). 

Washington was so reserved in religious matters that even- 
word of that kind may be regarded as well weighed. The 
subjoined letters may here be placed on record. The first 
letter is in possession of the Rev. Dr. J. G. Van Slyke, pas- 
tor of the First Reformed Church of Kingston, X. Y., to the 
consistory of which it was written in reply to a congratula- 
tion on the close of the war. 


1 am happy in receiving this public mark of the esteem of 
the Minister Elders and Deacons of the Reformed Protestant 
Dutch Church in Kingston. 

Convinced that our religious liberties were as essential as 
our civil, my endeavors have never been wanting to encourage 
and promote the one while I have been contending for the 
other — and I am highly flattered by finding that my efforts 
have met the approbation of so respectable a body. 

In return for your kind concern for my temporal and eter- 
nal happiness, permit me to assure you that my wishes are 
reciprocal — and that you may be enabled to hand down your 
Religion pure and undefiled to a Posterity worthy of their 
ancestors is the fervent prayer of 
Gent n . 

y r most obed fc serv*, 

G° Washington. 

10 th Nov, 

. j 1782. 

A letter to Gen. Knox (for which I am indebted to the 
Now England Historic-Genealogical Society) concludes as 

follows : " 


"Mrs. Washington joins me in offering compliments of 
congratulation to Mrs. Knox and yourself on the increase of 
your family by the birth of a son ; and 1 pray you to accept 
the acknowledgment of my sense of the honor you have con- 
ferred on me by giving him my name. I hope he will live 
to enjoy it long after I have taken my departure for the world 
of Spirits, and that he may prove a blessing and comfort to 
you both in your declining years." 

This was written Jan. 10, 1788. The boy died in 1707. 
In a note of sympathy on the death of another of his chil- 
dren Washington wrote to the same friend (S Sept. 1701): 
" He that gave, you know, has a right to take away. His 
ways are wise — they are inscrutable — and irresistible.'' 

The next letter is to the Itev. Joseph Buckminster. 

Xew York, December 23, 17 SO. 

Your letter of the 27 th of November and the discourse 
which it enclosed have been duly read. I consider the ser- 
mon on the death of Sir William Pepperell which you were 
so good as to send me by the desire of Lady Pepperell his 
Eelict as a mark of attention from her which required my 
particular acknowledgments ; and I am sorry that the death 
of that lady, which I see is announced in the public papers, 
prevents my thanks being returned to her for her respect and 
good wishes. Yon, sir, will please accept them for yourself 
in forwarding the discourse, and mv request that they may 
be added to the Eev d Clark with my approbation of the 

doctrine therein inculcated. 

I am, Sir, y r? &c a 

G° Washington. 

This letter to Dr. Buckminster is especially notable, be- 
cause, though the larger part was dictated, Washington has 


added in his own hand his approbation of the doctrine of the 
discourse. It is doubtful if in all his writings similar a] 
proval of any statement of doctrine can be found. The title 
of the able discourse alluded to is " A Sermon occasioned by 
the Death of the Honourable Sir William Pepperell, Bart., 
Lieut. Gen. in His Majesty's Service, etc., who died at his 
Seat in lattery, July G, 1759; Preached the next Lord's Day 
after his Funeral by Benjamin Stevens, A.M., Pastor of the 
First Church in Ivittery. Boston, etc., 1759." The text 
selected for this most eminent personage of Maine — -the only 
native of America ever baroneted, though two were knighted 
(Fitch and Randolph) — was from the S2nd Psalm, "But ye 
shall die like men." Referring to the previous part of the 
verse (7), "I have said ye are Gods," the preacher said that 
rulers might in a sense be properly so styled, because govern- 
ments being appointed of God, magistrates were His repre- 
sentatives, lie defined God as a moral governor, engaged in 
a great plan of wisdom and benevolence. "As this world is 
not a state of Retribution, it is requisite that these earthly 
Gods should be removed by Death as well as other Men, in 
order to compleat the Plan of the Divine Government. In- 
deed the great ends of the moral administration of God seem 
to require this, to suppress the progress of vice and promote 
virtue and goodness in the present state, but especially for 
the final adjustment of all things with equity." This, prob- 
ably, is the doctrine of which Washington intimates his ap- 

It will be seen by the references in the letters to Pearce. to 
Alexandria clergymen, that "Washington kept on strict busi- 
ness relations with them. This is further shown by the f"i- 
lowing letter concerning a clergyman whom he held in niucli 
esteem,— the Rev. David Griffith (1741-1789), the first 
Bishop elect of the Virginia Convention (17S6), but !••••' 
ordained because the expenses of a journey to England counl 
not be raised. This letter, at once kind and cautious, '■•>- 


been loaned me by Llewellyn Iloxton Esq. (of the Episcopal 
High School, Alexandria), a grandson of Mr. Griffith. It is 
addressed to the Hon. Charles Carroll of Carrol ton. 

Mount Yernon Apr 1 5 th 1786. 

The Hev d Mr. Griffith, who will present this letter to you, 
is possessed of much property in the Town of Alexandria, the 
value of which he is desirous of increasing, by buildings. — 
To enable him to do this, he wishes to borrow, on interest 
about Two thousand rive hundred pounds. — As security for 
such a loan, he is willing to mortgage his interest in the above 
place, and proposes as a further security, to offer other means. 
— The nature of all, he will explain to you. They arc, in my 
opinion, amply sufficient ; such as I should not hesitate to 
take if I had the money to lend ; but you will be able to judge 
more fully of the matter when they are laid before you. 
From a long and intimate acquaintance with Mr. Griffith, I 
have a high opinion of his worth, and entire dependence on 
his representations, which (as he may, in some degree, be a 
stranger to you) I have thought it a piece of Justice to men- 
tion — 

I have the honor to be — Sir, 

Y r Most Obed L IP 1 Ser 

G° Washington. 


H (pp. 89 and 134). 

Lund "Washington (1737-1796), several times referred to 
in the letters to Pearce, managed Mount Yernon for 25 years, 
retiring in 1785. His degree of relationship to the General, 
probably unknown to either of them, may be traced in the 
: - ; Introduction. He married Elizabeth Foote (1782). lie id 
ehielly known by Washington's rebuke (in the famous letter 
of 1781) of his over-loyalty to the owner of Mount Yernon, 
which, after his own severe losses, led him to conciliate the 
British officers with refreshments from Mount Yernon ; but 
the subjoined letters, and others, show that Washington was 
always grateful to Lund Washington, but for whom his 
property might have gone to ruin. After the revolution 

iLund remained with the General, who parted from him with 
reluctance. "Mr. Lund Washington," he writes to Dr. Wil- 
liam Gordon (20 April 17SG), " having expressed a wish to 
quit business and live in retirement and ease, I could not op- 
pose his inclination, and his having carried these desires into 
effect, that kind of business which he usually transacted for 
me is now thrown on my shoulders, in addition to what they 
bore before, and has left me less time than ever for my numer- 
ous correspondences and other avocations/' Lund resided in 
the neighborhood, until his death, however, his residence be- 
ing known as kw Hayheld," — 1200 acres. 

The original of the following letter is in possession of Mr. 
Grenville Kane, of Kew York. 

Head Q rs Middlebrook, Dec. the 18 th 1778. 
Dear Lund, 

Your letter of the 9 th Inst fc came to my hands this day after 
I had dispatched a long letter to you by Col° Harrison— TIk' 
quantity of land mentioned therein, as appears by my plats. 


is I dare say, the exact number of acres held by M. ; for more 
than which he ought not to expect payment — The three small 
quantities which serve to compose the aggregate 480^ are (I 
presume) those which lye on Muddy hole — the Korth-side of 
the Main Koad joining A\ r ade's and my line — and on the 
South adjoining Mauley and me — This as it is by actual 
and careful measurement and intended for my own satisfac- 
tion and government, does I am persuaded, contain to the 
utmost inch all that he holds ; and chearfully acquiesce in it 
as just — But at all events fix the matter with him by a re- 
survey or any other way to close the bargain ; letting him 
know however, that if it is resurveyed and the Surveyor 
makes it less than -1SCKV I shall pay for no more than is found 
by the last survey (if it should even fall short of 400 a[c]res) 
and unless you have conditioned to the contrary, I shall ex- 
pect, as the survey will be made to gratifie him, that it will 
be done at his expense and by the Surveyor of the County — 
or at least a sworn Surveyor. — you will see that the chain is 
full 33 feet in length. 

With respect to the small slipes which he engaged to let me 
have, the matter taken up in a strict sense, may be determined 
in a moment, by only solving a single question — to wit — did 
he, or did he not agree to take 40/. an acre for the Land in 
the event of not getting Alexander's? — If he did not do this, 
the matter is at an end, because there is not in that case room 
for even the shadow of argument — If he did, where is the 
hardship of it? — or in other words, why is it a greater hard- 
ship to receive money (short of one's wishes) for lands sold, 
than for any other thing. — The money which General 
Weedon was to pay you is due for Lands I sold Doct r Mercer 
and for the very purpose of enabling me to pay for this and 
other Lands in that Xeck as opportunities might present ; 
what difference then is there in the cases more than in the 
Sum ? — and a case still more in point is, that the very money 
advanced Alexander was in fact for the payment of this land 


of M's. — It is not harder then upon him to suffer a part than 
for me the whole — Such local disadvantages as these are to 
he placed to the misfortunes of the times — some men indeed 
are benefitted by them while others are ruined — I do not it is 
true come in under the latter class (so far as it extends to 
ruin) but I believe you know, that by the comparative worth 
of money, six or seven thousand pounds which I had in Bonds 
upon Interest is now reduced to as many hundreds because I 
can get no more for a thousand at this day than a hundred 
would have fetched when I left Virginia — Bonds, Debts, 
Rents (in Cash) and annuities undergoing no change while 
the currency is depreciating every day in value and for ought 
I know may in a little time be totally sunk. 

I do not labour this point because I expect much, from it. 
but simply to shew Mr. M. the light in w ch he should consider 
the matter if he has a mind to act upon such principles as 
ought to actuate every honest man — and to shew him more- 
over the falacy and error of his arguments when he endeav- 
ours to prove that 1 have derived benefits from his Land 
which he has not experienced from Alexanders — The falacy 
of them — because if I have taken the timber of [f], it is not 
there, consequently the land now is of so much less value — 
The error of them — inasmuch as I am exceedingly mistaken 
if he has not inclosed and worked part of Alexanders Land- 
which (now I am upon the subject) is a matter that you ought 
to enquire into, as I have some recollection of Alexandei ; 
telling me, that he had not only put M. in possession of the 
whole, or such part of the land as he wanted, but that th< 
Rents which usually came to him ceased ; intimating, th::: the 
bargain between him, me, and M. was so far compleated ■- 
that he no longer received the Rents or act. of them nor wa* 
I to expect Interest for the money lent him — If therefoi-e 1 
am to pay M. for his whole land at the price now agreed - 
by the acre, and to receive no Interest from Alexander I eha 
be very prettily handled between the two. 


This circumstance is mentioned for your government ; at 
the same time I leave you at full liberty to close the bargain 
with M. on any terms if you should even be obliged to allow 
as much for the slipes as other parts of his land and even to 
come up to 500 acres for the quantity as I neither wish to dis- 
appoint you, or be disappointed myself in our present views 
— You will do the best you can to have justice done me — 
their impositions afterw ds I must submit to as a tax to dis- 
honorable men. 

Among these plats which contained the quantity of M's 
land you will also find one which shews the contents of those 
tracts I bought of the two Ashfords and Simon Pearson, 
which with so much of the waste land (taken up by me) as 
lyes above the tumbling dam shews (after taking of [f] what 
Mr. Triplet is to get) the amount of what you are to have of 
me, and how far it will fall short of the purchase from M., 
thereby enabling you to make a proper settlement — If you 
find more than one plat of these Lands (as I think there is) 
the last is the truest and most correct. 

It is not reasonable that Mr. Triplet should remain longer 
out of the land which he is to s;et in exchange for his by my 
Mill Race as there is no prospect of my seeing home this 
Winter ; and yet I really am at a loss to find out how it can 
be done without my being present, as no person knows the 
true and complex state of that matter as well as I do— Never- 
theless if he desires it, I will give you the best direction I can 
in order that possession may be given him this winter. — The 
way that I always expected and wished to have it done was, 
to extend a line from the bridge, at the head of the race by 
the tumbling dam to the little branch between that and 
Morris's field at the road leading thither — thence by a direct 
line to the County road, as (if my memory serves me) my 
fence runs ; This, if the fence is removed in, as I think it 
was six or seven years ago, will give as many acres as I shall 
receive between the race and the line of my new Patent. — 


but if it should not, then to pay for the difference at what- 
ever the land would sell for at the time of ascertaining the 
several quantity we give and take — even if it should be £50 
p r acre. — If Mr. Triplet will agree to this, the matter, so far 
as respects the land, and the use of it to both of us may be 
settled at any time ; and a sum may also be deposited in his 
hands to be adjusted hereafter ; which will prevent bis suffer- 
ing any delay or injustice on ace 1 of the money he is to re- 
ceive — Or if this will not do, from his apprehension that he 
shall give more land than he will get (in which I think he will 
be mistaken, if I am not wrong in my ideas respecting the 
removal of my fence which was done to this very view) I. 
would in order to satisiie him, and bring the matter as far as 
possible to a close and without further delay let the line from 
the branch at the Iioad as before mentioned bear a little 
more to the right to include a little more land — a measure of 
this kind must remove every difficulty and will certainly give 
content — The legal fees of the County surveyor in ascertain- 
ing this work would amount to the value of both pieces of 
land ; for not knowing, or not depending the circumstances 
or with a view perhaps to increase his fees, he would survey 
Harrisons patent (on which Mr. Triplet lives) — Pearsons (the 
Patentee of which I do not recollect) — my Land, lately taken 
up as waste — and part perhaps of that I bought of George 
Ashford — all of which may be avoided by the mode I speak 
of ; and the disadvantage resulting from the want of a final 
settlement thrown upon me, by giving him more land, and 
more money, than he will be entitled to upon a fair and im- 
partial measurement of the exchanged tracts — If you and Mr. 
Triplet should agree without anything further from me, have 
a stone, or a locust Post fixed at the Poad for the corner. 

With respect to your bargain with Lanphire I can say 
nothing — I wish every contract that I make, or that is made 
for me should be fulfilled according to the strict and equi- 

ft • O * 

table sense of it — and this in the present case you must be a 


better judge of than I am — if at the time of engaging him 
the extra allowance of Corn etc more was expected and prom- 
ised than has been performed you are certainly under no ob- 
ligation to comply with your part till he has fulfilled his — if 
on the other hand he has fulfilled his you are bound to com- 
ply altho it may prove hard — But from your statement of the 
case, the true and equitable construction of the bargain seems 
to me to be that he ought to have the corn and wool, but 
should be obliged to continue his and servants labor at their 
present wages till the covered way and such work as was 
particularised or had in contemplation at y e time is finished. — 
"Without this his wages will be monstrous, the end not 
answered — and what neither of you at the time could possibly 
have in view — I therefore think that this is the proper foot- 
ing to place it on, and tho slow he had better be kept on 
those terms till you can at least bring his wages within the 
bounds of moderation by time if he should not quite compleat 
the work expected of him. — The Corn (which I am told Q r 
Master Finnic is now giving six pounds p. Bar 1 for) should 
be delivered to him by little at a time for if he gets the 
whole at once you may, I suppose, catcli him as you can. 

I come now to mention a matter which more particularly 
respects yourself — The depreciation of money and the sudden 
rise in the price of produce in the course of this year and 
other things principally to this cause owing render your pres- 
ent wages especially under short crops totally inadequate to 
your trouble and services — I am therefore willing that you 
&h a receive a certain part of the last crop, to be disposed of 
by you for your own benefit— and so in future — this will give 
you the reward of y r industry without subjecting you to the 
peculiar hardship resulting from depreciation as it is presum- 
able that the price of produce will rise in proportion to the 
fall of the other — I do not at this time ascertain what the part 
shall be, because I wish you to say what you think is just and 
right — that it is my full wish to give, and more I do not 


think you would ask, therefore we cannot disagree. — Being 
little acquainted with the produce of my estate, amount of 
Crop etc is the reason of my wishing to leave the matter to 
yourself as it is my first wish that you should be satisfied. 

Mr. Archer lias got the letter you inclosed — and I have 
only to add that I am sincerely and affectionately, y r3 

G°. Washington. 

For the two following letters I am indebted to Mr. II. R. 
Treadwell, of Kew York : 

West-point Sep r 14 th 1779. 
Dear Ltjnd, 

Your letter of the 25 th ult° which ought to have come by 
the last Post, and the one of the 1 st inst*, both came to ray 
hands yesterday. 

Two reasons induced me to except the M s when I de- 
sired you to decline receiving payment of any more oh] 
Bonds — the one was a presumption that theirs actually were 
paid — the other that you might be under obligation or prom- 
ise to receive them, and I never choose to be worse than my 
word — What has passed between you and Mr. M. on this sub- 
ject, and how far it is obligatory on me you are the best 
judge — What were the precise words of my answer to your 
quaere, concerning Mr. M's proposition, I cannot at this time 
say — the idea that filled my mind at the time I perfectly wc',1 
recollect — and it was this — If Mr. M. possessed so little honor 
— I may say honesty — as to attempt paying me two shillings 
in the pound for a debt he was greatly indulged in ( — the de- 
preciation at the time he made the offer not exceeding this)— 
I must be content; for knowing nothing of your Laws, and 
being unwilling that any act of mine should injure the enrren 
cy, I chose to make no difficulties in the case if the loss of tin* 
whole debt should be the consequence of it. — but why i-<- 
should withhold payment from that time to this when It -.- 


than a shilling in the pound will pay it, lie can ace 1 better 
than I. — Might he not with the same parity of reason — if the 
depreciation is still going on — wait six months longer and pay 
me with sixpence or even a penny in the pound? — Surely 
yes; and the palpable and obvious injustice of it needs no 
comment, though I will give an instance in proof. — About the 
time he offered you this money Marshall's Land was bought 
for £12 p r acre, and I presume Barry's might then have been 
had for the same. — If Marshall was in possession of his Land 
again coidd I get it for that money ? — Is Barry's to be had for 
it ? — This proves at once the difference between paying the 
money at the time he offered it and now. — You say he may 
think it hard to receive money in one way and pay it in an- 
other, — in other words to receive at the nominal, and pay 
at the real value. This may or may not be so according to 
the time these debts were contracted, and the circumstances 
attending them, for if they are of recent date both parties 
knew what they were about, so far at least as to make it a 
mere matter of judgment between themselves; each having 
equal knowledge of the depreciation at the time of the con- 
tract, and forming their own judgment of the consequences 
of it. — If the sales which you speak of his having made of 
his Fathers Estate for the purpose of paying this debt of 
mine and others, are of old standing, how comes he to be 
without the money at this day? — lie cannot have had it by 
him, because he would have paid it to me at the time prof- 
ered, and stopped interest, if this had been the case — and if 
it is not, why did he not receive the money in time, and why 
will lie receive nothing (I may say) for something now ? — Be- 
sides, I make some distinction between a bond given for pay- 
ment of a sum of money at a future period, and money lent 
to be returned upon demand — the first is subject to the con- 
tingencies which may happen between the periods of contract- 
ing and paying — the other being on demand puts it in the 

power of the lender to call in his money upon any unfavour- 


able appearances, or have it secured to him in any manner lie 
likes: and Mr. M. cannot but be sensible that letting- his 
Fathers bond lay, and at length taking his own bond for pay- 
ment of a certain sum instead of pressing payment of the 
whole, was a mere matter of favor and indulgence ; how well 
requited I shall be for these, his own. feelings must determine 
if I am to receive a shilling or 8 d pence in the pound. — But 
in all matters of this kind as I mentioned to you in a former 
letter, I had much rather you would advise with, and pursue 
the advice of, some sensible Whigs who are known to be men 
of discernment, and of honor and probity (that are acquainted 
with the laws and practises of the State in like cases) than to 
consult, and refer things to me, who am totally unacquainted 
with both — [Remainder of letter losi.'] 

Newburgh, 25 th Dec r 1782, 
Dear Lmn>, 

I approve of your conduct with respect to Dow's Land and 
am very glad you have bought it whether I get Dulauy's or not, 
as I have no idea of loosing by it if it will Rent for £120 p r 
aim. — which is more than the Virginia Interest of the sum 
given though less than what I am to pay for the loan of it in 
this State. — This circumstance, independent of the desire I 
have to repay the money borrowed in this State makes it in- 
dispensably necessary to collect my Rents — my debts — and to 
use every means possible to raise money to answer this pur- 
pose. I have already mentioned A 's debt — he has not 

the slightest pretensions to further indulgence, and there may 
be other debts (which do not strike me at this moment) the 
payment of which may be deinandcd with equal propriety. — 
to enable me to judge of this, I shall be obliged to you to 
send me a list of my Bonds— (I suppose Mr. Custis took all 
his after the settlement made by Col. Mason) — the sums for 
which they are given — and what Interest is due on them. — I 
used, if I recollect right to keep a list of the Ballances when 


I settled my aec te — if this is to be found in my Ledger, and no 
alterations have taken place since, I wish to have a copy of 
this also. 

As it does not appear that you had any notice from Mr. 
[Edmund] Randolph (the Attorney General) to whom 1 had 
committed the management of the business relative to the 
affairs of Col Mercer and his mortgagees — nor no authentic 
information or proof of Mr. Jn° Mercers having complied 
with the requisition of the Court respecting the security, I 
think you acted with proper caution in withholding the Bonds 
— but as there can be no doubt of the decree — and as I wish 
very much to get quit of the business, it is my earnest desire 
that the Bonds and other securities and money (if any there 
be) in your hands may be given up when he has done this, 
and upon the passing of a proper receipt for them. — An ace* u 
should also be rendered of the money that has been received 
and how applied, that the produce of the Sales agreeably to 
my report thereof to the Court may be accounted for. — This 
is all the decree requires of me, nor should I bo willing to 
give up (more than copies of) the Sales and other Original 
Papers ; depriving myself thereby, if it should thereafter be 
found necessary, of the only means by which a proper account 
of my transaction of this business could be rendered. — The 
Attorney General has been furnished with copies of the 
Power of attorney under which I acted. — Acc ts of sales in 
Berkeley — also of those in Loudoun — with a memorandum 
respecting the Latter and the purchasers, from whom Mr. 
Mercer conveniently can — if it is necessary — obtain Copies at 
any time. — The only money that has ever passed through my 
hands was the Bills of Loan Office certificates — amounting to 
1392 Dollars which were sold in Phil 3 by Ch s Petit! Esq. at 
my request and the money placed in the Virginia Funds 
agreeably to the request of James Mercer Esq r . — I say this 
from the information of Mr. Petitt, who wrote me to this 
effect — the Bills sold at 35 for 1. — That vou may be certain 

. 324 APPENDIX. 

of pursuing a proper and cautious conduct on this occasion I 

I have requested the Attorney General as yon will see by (lie 

Inclosed letter to him — left open for your perusal — and to be 
sealed and forwarded immediately by Post to give you his Sen- 
timents. — There should he a particular enumeration of the 
Bonds and other Papers which are surrendered — a lumping 
receipt may be liable to exceptions from the generality of it, 
in case of disputes hereafter. 

If you purchase the Young horse belonging to the Estate 
of Mr. Cnstis, I should be glad to get him ; and shall think it 
rather hard 'if so small a part of my Debt cannot be received 
by way of discount, when I am willing to forbeare and have 
not the smallest intention of putting the Estate to the least 
inconvenience to pay what it owes me. On this subject I 
wrote Mr. Dandridge a Post or two ago, but if the Sale did 
really take place on the 20th, agreeably to the advertisement, 
I do not suppose the Letter reached him previous to it. — I 
should have been well pleased to have got both the Horses ; 
but readily relinquished one that the produce of the Sale 
might be applied to the wants of the Estate. 

1 observe what you say respecting the Flowering Shrubs 

and other Ornamental Trees at the X° end of the House — and 

as the locusts by the goodness of their growth may lay claim 

to an establishment there — I wish that the afore-mentioned 

shrubs and ornamental and curious trees may be planted at 
both ends that I may determine hereafter from circumstances 
and appearances which shall be the grove and which the 
wilderness. It is easy to extirpate Trees from any spot but 
time only can bring them to maturity. 

In a drawer in the Locker of the Desk which stands in my 
study you will find two small (fore) teeth ; which I beg of 
you to wrap up carefully, and send inclosed in your next 
letter to me. — I am positive T left them there, or in the secret 
drawer in the locker of the same desk. 

Mrs. AVashimrton and mvself are sorry to hear that Mrs. 


Washington lias been delivered of a dead child, but very glad 
to find she is so well after it. — We have nothing new and are 
beginning to be hard bound in frost. 
I am sincerely and affect 17 


G° Washington. 

P.S. When the case will admit of it — The Trees and Flow- 

ering Shrubs that are transplanted to the ends of the House 
have a better chance of living if taken from the open fields 
than the woods. — In the first case they have been more ac- 
customed to bear drought and are hardier than those taken 
from the Woods, where sun, winds, frost, nor drought has 
had much power on them, — and besides are handsomer." 

The allusion to his teeth in the foregoing letter may lend 
a certain interest to the following note (loaned me by Dr. 
Coutant of Tarrytown,) from Washington's dentist. 

New York, Jan'y 11, 1799. 

Your Letter of the G th with the two enclosed Bills, contain- 
ing fifteen dollars, came safe to my hands, for which I Re- 
turn you thanks. I will Kite and let you know if I Remove 
from here, and where to, as I meain to perform for you in 
my present professional line when I have done with every 
other person. 

1 am Sir your very humble Servant 

John Greenwood. 

IA G. George Washington Esq. 
P.S. Ine^ 

or other ways." 

P.S. I never make any Charge xigainst you either in book 

Edmund Randolph, whose legal services are alluded to in 
the third letter to Lund Washington, (see also p. 134) refused 
to accept payment from Washington, though such services 


were continued for many years. In a letter of 17 July 17^4 
Iiandolph writes to Washington: "You will excuse me, J 
hope, from accepting fees for any business which I may 
execute fur you in the line of my profession. It is indeed a 
poor mode of acknowledging the repeated acts of friendship 
which I have experienced at your hands, hut I beg to be 
gratified in this, the usual way in which lawyers give some 
small testimony of their attachment. The grants [i.e. of 
lands, secured by [Randolph for Washington] which accom- 
pany this letter are of a bulky nature, but I thought I ought 
to enclose them by post, the stage having been found in one 
instance not to be the most certain eonvevance." 



I (p. 103). 

For the following letter I am indebted to Ferdinand Dreer 
Esq., of Philadelphia. 

Mount Vernon, 24 May —99. 
Thomson Mason, Esq. 

I mean to renew the outer fence, on the line between you 
and me, — and in a manner more substantial than usual. 

Mr. Anderson will explain the method by w ch I propose to 
accomplish this, to you, and ask your leave to profit by your 
Ditch, and present fence : — which can be attended with no 
temporary inconvenience to yourself — and may, ultimately, 
be of singular advantage to vou, as well as myself ; as my 
fence may subserve your purposes as well as my own. With 
esteem and regard 

I am — Sir 

Your most Obcd 1 H ble Serv' 

G° Washington. 


J (p. 130). 

Washington's cosmopolitan ideas of farming made him 
curious in breeds of cattle, and particularly of pigs. In 17SS 
Gouverneur Morris offered to send him a couple of Chinese 
pigs, i( and in conpany with the pigs shall be sent a pair of 
Chinese geese, which are really the foolishest geese I ever 
beheld ; for they choose all times for setting but in the 
spring, and one of them is even now [Kovember] actually 
engaged in that business." To which Washington responds, 
" You will be pleased to accept my thanks for the exotic 
animals which you are meditating to send me." (Constance 
Cary Harrison in the Century, April 1889.) Washington 
made an effort to improve these pigs, which are alluded to 
in the following letter, loaned me by Mr. O. L. Sypher, of 
Xew York. 

Philadelphia, 11 th Feb. 1796. 

Busiirod Washington, Esq., Richmond in Ya. 
Dear Sir, 

Since my last to you, relative to my Executorship of Col? 
ColveH's Estate, I sent as therein mentioned, to the person 
from whom I had purchased the Guinea, or Chinese Hogs 
which you saw at my Mill ; and obtained two ; a boar and 
a sow ; — the latter with Pig. lie informed me, however, 
that they were not of the whole blood, — but, in his opinion, 
improved from their mixture with another breed of Hogs, 
which he has. — They were accompanied with as much Corn 
as would serve them — plentifully — on the passage, and ordered 
immediately to the Vessel, which was on the point of sailing, 
and did sail yesterday ; and a receipt to be taken therefor 

appendix. 320 

and brought to me. — This not being received until today, I 
was surprised, (but too late to remonstrate ag* it) at the 
freight that is charged. But it is the way we are imposed 
upon here in almost everything. — My love to Mrs. Wash- 
ington, w ch your aunt joins. — I am always, and aft'ect !y 

G° Washington. 


K (p. 259). 

Washington's Library contained a large number of works 
On agricultural science. The improvement of Virginia 
methods was a subject of consultation between him and his 
connection, Landon Carter, of Cleve, (1750-1S10) whose 
scientific studies excited the attention of Dr. Rush, The 
original of the following letter to Landon Carter is in pos- 
session of Mrs. Lewis Willis Minor, of ^Norfolk, Va., whose 

husband was a grandson of Landon Carter, who was a de- 
i . . • . 

scendant of the famous "King Carter," administrator of 

Lord Fairfax's vast estates. 



Mount Vernon, 17 th Oct. 1796. 


The letter with which you have favoured me, dated the 
2S lh ult. came duly to hand. 

A few months more will put an end to my political exist- 
ence, and place me in the shades of Mount Vernon under 
my Vine and Fig Tree ; where at all times I should be glad 
to see you. 

It is true (as you have heard) that to be a cultivator of 
Land has been my favorite amusement ; — but it is equally 
true that I have made very little proficiency in acquiring 
knowledge either in the principles or practice of Husbandry. 
My employments through life, have been so diversified — my 
absences from home have been so frequent, and so long at a 
time, as to have prevented me from bestowing the attention, 
and from making the experiments which are necessary to 
establish facts in the Sience of Agriculture. — And now, 
though I may amuse myself in that way for the short time I 
may remain on this Theatre, it is too late in the day for me 
t<» commence a scientific course of experiments. 


Your thoughts on the mode of cultivating Indian corn, 
appeared to me, to be founded in reason, — and a judicious 
management of the Soil for different purposes, is as highly 
interesting to, as it has been neglected by, the People of this 
Country ; to the consequent destruction of much valuable 
land. — 

How to restore it to its original fruitfulness ; — and to in- 
crease the means by Stercoraries etc. ; to preserve it in that 
or an improving state ; — what rotation in crops is best adapted 
to soils, of different qualities, in order to keep our fields in 
health and vigour, and at the same time to derive immediate 
profit from them, are the great desiderata of the Husbandman. 

It is what the People of the interior parts of our country 
must come to soon, or emigrate to the exterior parts of it for 
subsistence on more productive Soil. 

^Nothing has contributed, nor will any thing contribute 
more to effect these desirable purposes than the establishment 
of Agricultural Societies in this, as they have been in other 
countries : that the community may derive advantages from 
the experiments and discoveries of the more intelligent com- 
municator through such channels. — Besides the numerous 
local Societies which are to be found in all parts of Great 
Britain and Ireland, a national one is now established under 
the auspices of the government of those countries ; which 
will, I conceive, be found among the mast useful and bene- 
ficial institutions in them, if it is prosecuted with as much 
assiduity as it has commenced, under Presidency of Sir Jn" 
Sinclair — 

I shall always feel myself obliged by your communicating 
any useful discovery in Agriculture ; and for the favourable 
sentiments you have been pleased to express for me, I pray 
you to accept the thanks of 
Your most obed fc and very II b,c Servant 

G° Washington. 


L (p. 2T2). 

The gap of time between this and the succeeding document 
may be partly filled by the letters following. For the corre- 
spondence with Landon Carter of Cleve I am indebted to his 
great grandson, L. M. Blackford, Principal of the Episcopal 
High School, near Alexandria, Va. 

Philadelphia, 27 th Feb., 1797. 
Lyndon Carter, Esq. 

Your favor of the 14 th inst.'came duly to hand ; and I hope, 
as the season is approaching fast when the ground should be 
prepared for it, that you have informed Mr. James Anderson 
(my manager) in a letter directed to the care of the Post- 
master in Alexandria, at what time he may send for the Peas 
you were so obliging as to promise me. 

Having informed Mr. Anderson of my expectation of Peas 
from you, he suggested (and I thought it a good expedient) 
that instead of sending my own Waggon along the heavy road 
between Mount Vernon and Stafford Court Flouse, that one 
should be hired by you to transport them to some land ? on the 
Potomack at which my Boat at an appointed time, might 
meet them. — As the roads, I am told, were never worse than 
at present ; and as no road in the world can be deeper or 
more distressing for horses to plunge through than the one 
from Occoquan to Stafford Court House; the expedient 
before mentioned has, in a manner, become essential : and I 
will cheerfully add the cost of Waggonage to the price of the 
Peas, and pay the whole by your order ; or remit it in Bank 
notes as soon as the amount is made known to me. 

As delay or uncertainty in any respect, may prove injurious, 
I have put this letter (open) under cover to Mr. Anderson, 


with a request that lie may also write you on the subject, for 
the purpose of having a time and place fixed, that my Boat 
may not be disappointed when it arrives. — The matter there- 
fore now rests between you, and him. — 
"With great esteem 

I am — Sir 
Your Obedient TI ble Serv. 

G° Washington. 

Mount Yernon, 3 d March 1797. 
Laxdox CahteEj Esq. 


At the request of the President of the United States I have 
to beg leave to hand His letter under the same cover with 

I have only to add to that wrote by the President — that 
the sooner you have 40 Bushels of the White Indian pease, 
with black eyes — ready, you will the more Oblidge the Presi- 
dent, I do not wish any of the small kind either the round 
kind called the Gentlemen pease, nor of the other small kind, 
which resemble the large — It is not for sale that I intend 
raising them — Our Stock of Sheep being upward of GOO and 
probably may increase them, These pease are meant to be fed 
away to them, which with the assistance of Turnip will (you 
know) make an excellent Winter food — Have you any of the 
grey pease raised in the County of Glocester, under the name 
of the Yeatman pea \ If so, It will be conferring a still 
greater Obligation Your leting us have 2 Bushels of them. 

As I will raise a little Cotton for Mrs. Washington, please 
send us 2 Bushels of the seed of white Cotton, such as you 
can recomend, and place this with the Carriage &e to the 
same account. 

Your Superior knowledge of the Potomack and its Creeks 
makes me refer the place of delivery to Yourself. May there- 
fore please mention the nearest and most convenient Shiping 


place on this River, or its Creeks for Your delivery. And 
such as our Boat will come into. — She draws 2 to 3 feet water 
when Loaded — I will expect the favor of hearing from you 
on receipt hereof. And will be sure to send when and where 
you direct being with much respect 

Your most Obed 1 

Humble Serv* 

J as. Anderson." 

The next letter (for which I am indebted to my friend Dr. 
F. B. Coutant, of Tarrytown) is unsigned. It is in Wash- 
ington's handwriting, and endorsed by him: "From Mrs. 
Washington to Col. Humphreys, 26 June 179?." 

Mount Vernon, June 26 th 1797. 
Deak Sir, 

Your polite and obliging letter of the 18 th of Feb y came 
safe to my hands as did the gold chain which you have pre- 
sented me with as a token of your remembrance. I wanted 
nothing to remind me of the pleasure we have had in your 
company at this place ; but shall receive the chain notwith- 
standing, as an emblem of your friendship, and shall value it 

About the middle of March we once more (and I am very 
sure never to leave it again) got seated under our own Roof, 
more like new beginners than old established residenters, as 
we found everything in a deranged, and the buildings in a 
decaying state. 

Poor Mrs. Stuart has had very ill health for the last six or 
eight months but is better now. Her two oldest daughters as 
you know, or have heard, are both married, and each have a 
daughter, Kelly lives as usual with us, to all of whom 1 have 
presented you in the terms you required, and all reciprocate 
your kind wishes in an affectionate manner. Mr. Lear who 


often visits us, has lost Ills second wife more than a year ago. 
Mr. Lund Washington died in August last. Our circle of 
friends of course is contracted, without any disposition on our 
part to enter into new friendships though we have an abun- 
dance of acquaintances and a vast variety of visitors. Dr. 
Craik is alive and enjoys tolerably good health, but Mrs. Craik 
declines fast. They have lately lost their second daughter, 
Mrs. West, who has left five young children. 

Perceiving from your letter to Mr. W. that you were upon 
the eve of an important change, I wish you every possible 
happiness in it. With very great esteem and regard 
I am Dear Sir 

Y r obed't llble Serv't. 


M (p. 275). 

During the last year of her husband's presidency Mrs. 
Washington had aged greatly, and indeed remained an in- 
valid to the close of her life (1S02). The unhappy separation 
from old friends, through political differences (alluded to in 
her letter to Col. Humphreys, Appendix L) was accompanied 
by domestic worries, some of which are indicated in the fol- 
lowing letters, which fall within the long interval left by the 
Pearce Letters. For the first I am indebted to Mr. 0. L. 
Sypher, of Xew York. 

Mount Vernon, 3 Xov r 1707. 
Bcshrob "Washington, Esq., Richmond. 
My Dear Sir, 

Your letter of the 30 th ult. was received by the last Post. 

Your aunt's distresses for want of a good housekeeper are 
such as to render the wages demanded by Mrs. Forbes (though 
unusually high) of no consideration ; and we must, though 
very reluctantly, yield to the time she requires to prepare 
for her fixture here. We wish however that it might be 

If you are in habits of free communication with Mr. Brooke 
or with others who had opportunities of judging competently 
of the qualifications and conduct of Mrs. Forbes as a house- 
keeper, I would thank you for ascertaining and giving it to 
me in as precise a manner as you can obtain it. Among 
other things it would be satisfactory to know — 

What countrywoman she is ? 

Whether Widow or A\ r ife ? if the latter 

Where her husband is ? 

What family she has ? 

What her age is? 


Of what temper ? 

Whether active and spirited in the execution of her busi- 
ness ? 

Whether sober and honest % 

Whether much knowledge in Cookery, and understands 
ordering and setting out a Table? 

What her appearance is ? 

With other matters which may occur to you to ask, — and 
necessary for me to know. 

Mrs. Forbes will have a warm, decent and comfortable 
room to herself, to lodge in, and will eat of the Victuals of" 
our Table, but not set at it, at any time with us, be her ap- 
pearance what it may ; for if this was once admitted, no line 
satisfactory to either party, perhaps, could be drawn there- 
after. — It might be well for me to know however whether 
this was admitted at Gov r Brookes or not. 

Is it practicable do you think to get a good and well-dis- 
posed negro cook on hire, or purchase? — Mention this want 
of ours to Mrs. Forbes. She from the interest she would 
have therein might make enquiry. — Yours always and affec- 

G° Washington. 
P.S. Since writing the foregoing Mrs. L. Washington 
informs me that Mr, Swan is anxious to learn from the 
Returns, or Records in the General Court, — or from the best 
information you can obtain whether it has been the invari- 
able practice to survey the Land Docked by a writ of Ad 
quod damnum — whether it has frequently been dispensed 
with — and what has been the consequence. — Let me thank 
you for making this enquiry and furnishing me with the result 
of it. Yrs. G. W n " 

The next letter is to his nephew, Major George Lewis of 
Fredericksburg, fur which I am indebted to his great grand- 
son R. 13. Lewis Esq. of Washington. 


Mount Vernon, 13 JSTov. 1797 
Deae Sir, 

The running off of my cook has been a most inconvenient 
tiling to this family, and what rendered it more disagreeable 
in that I had resolved never to become the Master of another 
slave by purchase, but this resolution I fear I must break. I 
have endeavored to hire, black or white, but am not yet sup- 
plied. A few days ago, having occasion to write to Mr. 
Biishrod Washington on other matters, I asked if one could 
be had in Richmond. The following is his answer : " Mr. 
Brooke (late Governor) informs me that he had a very ex- 
cellent cook, with no other fault than a fondness for liquor 
(which a town affords him too many opportunities of indulg- 
ing), who is now in Fredericksburg and is to be sold. I shall 
write to the gentleman who had him not to sell him till lie 
hears from you. — Should you, under this character, wish to 
buy or hire him, please address a letter to Mr. George Murray, 
of that place. He cooked for Mr. Brooke while he was in 
the government." 

Let me ask you now to see both Mr. Murray and the man 
himself, and if, upon conversing fully with the latter, you 
should be of opinion, from the account he gives of himself, 
that he is a good cook and would answer my purpose, then 
discover the lowest terms on which he could be had by 
purchase, or on hire, and inform me of the result by 
the first post, to which an answer shall immediately be 

I should like to know the age, and as far as you are enabled 
to ascertain it, the temper and looks of the man described ; 
whether he has a wife and expects to have her along with 
him, and in that case, what children thev have — with her aire 
and occupation. By the time I can receive an answer from 
you I expect Mrs. Forbes, who was Governor Brooke's house- 
keeper, and from her own knowledge, of the person and your 


account I shall be enabled to determine what answer to give. 
Our loves to Mrs. Lewis etc. I am your affectionate uncle 

G. Washington. 

Mount Vernon, lS th Dec r 1797. 
Busheod "Washington, Esq 

My Dj:ak Bushrop, 

Your letter of the 20 th ult° came safe in the usual course of 
the mail, and about a week ago Mrs. Forbes arrived ; and 
from her appearance, and conduct hitherto, gives satisfaction 
to your aunt. — Having, as she says, obtained ten dollars of 
you, to defray her expences to this place ; I herein return 
them, with thanks for the aid it afforded to get her here. — 
and as you may have paid for the copies of sundry papers 
taken from the Records of the General Court, let me know r 
the amount and it shall be remitted also. 

About a month ago a Mr. Woodward, living, according to 
his own account, at Greenbrier Courthouse presented draughts 
(of which the enclosed are copies) from the Sheriff of Kan- 
hawa for taxes of my land in that County. I did not incline 
to pay the amount without making further enquiry into the 
matter. — Upon this he informed me that I might obtain the 
necessary information at the Treasury, or Auditor's Office in 
Richmond ; to which the returns were made, and where the 
money might be, and often was, paid, instead of doing it to 
the Sheriff of the Back counties, by non-residents. You 
would oblige me by making this enquiry, and if the taxes are 
correctly stated, and the amount of them can be paid with 
propriety in Richmond, to inform me thereof; and measures 
shall be taken as soon as I am in Cash, to discharge the same. 
The enclosed paper, after it has enabled you to make the 
necessary enquiry, may be returned to me again. — The family 
here join me in offering you and Mrs. Washington the com- 
pliments of the approaching festival — and I am with much 
truth Your sincere friend and affectionate uncle 

G° Washington. 


N (p. 288). 

There is something pathetic in these dates. The national 
horizon cleared of the clouds which had threatened to call him 
again from his beloved Mount Vernon, there opened before 
the farmer a prospect of farther years in which he should en- 
joy his estate and his repose. His physical decline was more 
apparent to careful observers than to himself ; among others 
to Landon Carter of Cleve, who, though not a physician, was 
a careful student. My friend L. M. Blackford (Principal o£ 
the Episcopal High School, near Alexandria) sends me a- cor- 
respondence between his great-grandfather, Landon Carter, 
and Washington of which a portion is here inserted. In a 
letter dated "Cleve, King George Co., Ya., 1 Oct. 179S" 
Landon Carter says to Washington : 

"Health is a grand object with man but it becomes all 
important when the preservation of it in any one person 
comprehends all the relations of a People ; when like a 
focus the views of all direct to a single point : Permit me 
therefore to lay before you some leading principles ; some 
conclusions; and some consequent practice for the security 
of health. 

"I believe it is a fact generally admitted, that all the works 
of nature are sustained by principles which, beyond a certain 
point, become destructive — or technically speaking, "all 
things contain within them the seeds of their own dissolu- 
tion/' In pursuance of a conviction of this truth, I sought for 
that principle in Man : " Dust thou art and unto dust thou 
shalt return " are solemn words pronounced in that last office 
performed by his weeping friends. 

" A great modern Philosopher in his nomenclature has 
arranged live Elements as the constituents of all the variety 


in nature. One of these I trace to the characterising the 

matter of Earth — the same is found, by experiment, to form 
the basis of oils — I therefore suppose it to be the fundamental 
principle of the animal Oeconomy. This principle is also 
found to be the basis of fixed air, and that compound is de- 
nominated an asscid. I trace many diseases to an asscid for 
their source when it is detained in the stomach and is taken 
up in too great quantities into the system. I conclude then 
that, by arresting that superabundance while yet in the 
stomach and before it is taken up I arrest incipient disease.*' 
The letter then proceeds to give, at some length, prescrip- 
tions drawn from the writer's experience and studies. "Wash- 
ington's reply follows. 

Mount Vernon, 5 th Oct., 1798. 
Dear Sir, 

Your favor of the l sfc inst. lias been received, and if it had 
been convenient, I should have been glad of your company as 
you travelled to Annapolis. — As you propose, however, to 
send in your servant, and I am generally on horseback be- 
tween breakfast and dinner, that he may not be delayed or 
disappointed, you will receive, enclosed, one letter for the 
Gov r of Maryland (an old acquaintance of mine) and another 
for Mr. McDonali, President of the College.— -which, I hope 
may answer your purposes. — They will be left under this 
cover for whomsoever you may send, in case I should be 

I thank you for the trouble you have taken in delivering 
your thoughts on the means of preserving health. Having, 
through life, been blessed with a competent share of it with- 
out using preventatives against sickness, and as little medicine 
as possible when sick ; — I can have no inducement now to 
change my practice. — against the effect of time and age, no 
remedv has ever yet been discovered : — and like the rest of 


my fellow-mortals, I must (if life is prolonged) submit, and be 

reconciled, to a gradual decline. 

With esteem and regard 

1 am — Dear Sir 

Your Most Obed 1 II ble Serv* 

G° Washington. 
Please to put wafers in the ' 

letters before delivery. 

The last year of Washington's life opened with schemes 
for the rounding out of his beautiful district on the Potomac. 
The following letter, with which I am favored by Professor 
Chapman Maupin, of Ellicott City, Maryland, a descendant of 
Lawrence Washington the immigrant, refers to a piece of land 
between Mount Vernon and Occoquan Creek. 

Mount Yernon, 18 th Mar : 1799 
Capt s Will m Thompson. 
Dear Sir, 

Col. Tho s Lee (of Loudoun) is possessed, I am. informed, of 
a tract of about 400 acres of Land within a mile of Colchester, 
which he is disposed to sell. — Let me request the favour of 
you to describe it to me as accurately as you can from your 
own knowledge, or from the information of others on whose 
judgment you can rely. 

In doing this, say what the kind and quality of the soil 
is ; — whether level or broken ; — what the nature of the 
growth ; — what proportion is in wood ; — How timbered ; 
what tenements are on it ; — the condition of them ; — whether 
much worn and gullied, or in good heart ; — and whether they 
are tenants at will or on leases ; and what kind of leases ; 
with the scms of improvements. — How watered also. — 

To this catalogue of enquiries, permit me to ask, what, in 
your opinion, and the opinion of such as are acquainted with 
the value, and prices of land in that .neighbourhood, and 


situated as it is, it is worth in Cash — also on credit, and what 


I will offer no apology for giving you the trouble to make 

these enquiries, but shall thank you for answering them ; as 

I have an object in requesting this kindness from you. — With 


I am Dear Sir 

Your Obedient ll ble Serv* 

G° Washington"." 

The original of the next letter is in possession of Dr. Wil- 
liam T. Darlington of Pittsburgh; it is to his Manager, James 
Anderson, then, it would appear, on a remote part of the 

Mount Vernon, S th Sep. 1799. 
Mr. Anderson, 

Mrs. Washington passed a good night — is clear of fever 
today — and is taking the Bark — which I hope will prevent a 
return of it. 

I am much hurried and pressed, with one thing and an- 
other, but do what humanity requires for Roberts : — who 
ought not to have engaged in the situation he is in without 
first informing me of it.— Dr. Craik is not noio here ; — nor 
ejected if Mrs. Washington should not relapse; — but the 
case may be stated to him against tomorrow afternoon, when 
I shall send up to the Post Office. — If it be found that he is 
not now — nor soon will be, in a condition to discharge the 
duties of a miller, some other must, undoubtedly, be got; as 
I cannot loose the Fall work of the mill. — lie may have medi- 
cine, or anything else from hence. 

I did not send to the Post Office yesterday— of course no 
papers came. — I was sorry to hear of your indisposition. — I 
fear the charge with which you are entrusted, is too much 
for your health, and that to execute it properly will rather 
increase than diminish your complaint. 


I shall therefore, so soon as company — sickness — and 
other circumstances will allow me time to digest my thoughts 
on this subject — express them to you in a more full and ample 
manner than I can do at present — I am always 

Your friend &c a 

G : Washington." 

This volume may fitly close with the following letter to 
Col. Burgess Ball, to whose grandson, Col. George Washing- 
ton Ball of Alexandria, I am indebted for it. Washington 
died eighty-three days after writing this pathetic note con- 
cerning the death of his brother Charles. 

Mt. Vernon, Sept. 22d, 1709. 
Dear Sib : 

Your letter of the 1.6th inst. has been received, informing 
me of the death of my brother. 

The death of near relations always produces awful and 
affecting emotions, under whatsoever circumstances it may 
happen. That of my brother has been so long expected, and 
his latter days so uncomfortable to himself, (sic) must have 
prepared all around him for the stroke, though painful in the 

I was the first, and am, now, the last of my father's chil- 
dren by the second marriage, who remain. 

When I shall be called upon to follow them is known only 
to the Giver of Life. When the summons comes I shall en- 
deavor to obey it with a good grace. 

Mrs. Washington has been and still is very much indis- 
posed, but unites with me in best wishes for you, Mrs. Ball, 
and family. 

With great esteem and regard, I am, Dear Sir, your affec- 
tion'te seiwt 

G° Washington. 


A BINGDON, Ya., lxxv. 

Abram, negro, 58. 
Academy, Alexandria, lxxv ; An 

dover, lxxxviii ; Fredericksburg, 

Achoactoke, river, xx. 
Acquis, lxxiv. 

Acrostic, Washington's, xxxvi. 
Adams, Mrs. John, xlviii. 
Adams, Hon. Thomas, xxxix. 
Adct, French Minister, 256. 
Adwick-le- Street, xvii. 
Airass, Mr., 306. 
Aix-la-Chapelle, lxviii. 
Alexanders, xxxvi, 315. 
Alexandria, relics at. lxxi ; ball at, 

Allison, overseer, 220, 270. 
Allison, Col. Thomas, 231. 
Ambler, Mary (Cary), xxxvi. 
Ames, Hon. Fisher," 251. 
Anderson, James, manager, 2G3, 

267, 271, 274, 327, 332, 343. 
Andover, Washington at, xlviii ; 

academv, lxxxviii. 
Archer, Mr., 320. 
Arms, Washington, xiv. 
Ashbv, Cant.. Ixvii. 
Ashford, George, 318. 
Asses, from Spain, lxxiv, lxxv. 
Association, non-importation, 299. 
Atherall, Hannah, xxiv. 
Augusta County. Ya., xlix. 
Aylett, Anne (see Washington). 

"RA1LEY, Pierce, 106, 166, 169, 

-° 176. 

Ball, arms, genealogy, etc., xxiii ; 
Agnes, Alice. Als, xxiii ; Anne, 
xxiii, xxx, 85 ; Col. Burgess, 
xxx, lvii. Ixxxv, 11, 41, 48, 53, 
54, 96, 231, 233. letters to 292. 
301, 344: David, xxiv ; Dorothy, 
xxiii ; Edward, Elizabeth, xxiii ; 
Esther, xxiv ; Frances, xxiv ; 
George, xxiii ; Capt. George 

Washington, xxiii, 292, 344 ; 
Hannah, xxiv, xxxviii, xliii ; 
James, xxiv, xxv, 85; Jeduthun, 
12 ; Joane, John, xxiii ; Col. 
Joseph, xxiv, xxx ; Joseph, 
xxiv, xxxi, xlii ; Margaret, xxiv ; 
Mary, xxiv, xxx (see Washing- 
ton) : Richard, Samuel, xxiv ; Sa- 
rah, xxxviii ; Stretchley, xxiv ; 
William, xxiii, xxiv, 12. 
i Ball, Moses, 160. 
| Bancroft, George, v. 
| Barbadoes, xxxix. 
j Barn, old, lxix ; bricks for new, 

Barney, Capt., lxxvi. 

Bassett, Col. Burwell, 5, 62, 299 ; 
-Mrs., xlvii, lxxiii. 

Bassett, Ella (see Mrs. Lewis Wash- 

Beattic, Dr., xi. 

Bclvoir, xxxiv. 

Benjamin, Walter R., lxvi. 

Bentley, Caleb, Ixxxi ; Mrs. Rich- 
ard, lxxxi. 

Berkeley, Sir William, xxi. 

Berkeley Springs, Ya., lxiv. 

Bermuda, xix. 

Bible, Washington family, xix : 
Lewis, 1. 

Bishop, servant, lxxiii, 143 

Llackburn, Col., lxxvii. 

Blackford, L. M., 322, 340. 

Blagden, Mr., xc, 260. 

Blair, President, lxxiv. 

Boatswain, negro, 107, 109. 

Boston, lxxi. 

Boucher, Rev. Jonathan, xxix, 

Bowcock, Capt., xci. 

Brfiddock, xlii, lxxiii. 

Braddock House, 126. 

Bradford, William, attorney-gen- 
eral, 165, 201, 205. 

Bvevoort, James Carson (see Pref- 



British cruisers, 59, 229. 

British treaty, 168, 344 

Broad well, Mrs., L\x. 

Brooke 1 , Gov., Va,, 336. 

Brown, Alexander, xix. 

Browne, J udith, 53. 

Bruuswick, parish, Va., xxx. 

Buckrainster, Rev. Joseph, 311. 

Burroughs, Silas, xliv. 

"Bushtield," xxxi, xliii. 

Bush rod, Hannah, xliv. 

Busts, lxxiv. 

Butler, -lane, xxvii ; wife of Capt. 

Augustine Washington, xliv. 
Butler, Lawrence, xxvii. 
Butler, overseer, 16, 29. 31, 37, 92, 

103, 107, 111, 140, 101. 
Buttons, symbolical, lxxi. 

pANDLES, funeral, lxxi. 
^ Carlvle, Co).,.lxxv. 
Caroagie, Rev., xxiv. 
Caroline, servant, 253. 
Carroll, lion. Charles, Ixiv, 313. 
Carter, Betty (Lewis), 1, lxi. 
Carter, Charles, lvii, lxxvi. 
Carter, Landon, Ixxii, lxxiii, 178, 

233, 330, 340. 
Carter, Robert ("King Carter"), 

Carpenter, agreement, 277. 
Cary, Robert & Co., xvi. 
Carv. Sally (see Mrs. G. W. Fair- 
Champe, Col., lxxiii. 
Champe, Jane, xliv. 
Chapman, Lucy, xliv. v . 
Charlemagne, lxviii. 
tl Chatham," lxxvii. 
Cheiza d'Artignan, Count, lxxv. ■ 
Chester. Col. Joseph L., xiv. 
Chichester, Mr., lx. 
Chinn, Raleigh, xxiv. 
Cincinnati, the, lxxi. 
Clark, Maj. John, 112. 
Clark, overseer. 209, 272. 
Coach, xvi, Ixix. 
Cogswell, Joseph, v. 
Colchester, lxvii, lxxvii, 110, 342. 
College, William and Mary. Ixxii ; 

Carlisle, Pa., lxxviii ; Harvard, j 

Colvilie, Col., 328. 
Company, Potomac, 47, Go, 102, 

303 ; James River, 303. 
Congress, 77, SO, 112, 117, 147, 242, 

240, 251. 
Constable, Mr., lxvi. 
Convention, Constitutional, lxxvi. 

Conway, Col. Edwin, xxiv, xxviii, 

Conway, Capt., 85. 
Conway, Joseph, 85. 
Conway, Mary, 85. 
C oil way, Nelly, 85. 
Conway, Richard, 85. 
Conway, Richard M., xliv. 
Conway, Sarah, xxxviii, 128. 
Cooper Jack, negro, 1ST. 
Cornwallis, Lord, xli. 
Cotton, Dr., letter of, xxxii. 
Coutant, Dr., 325, 334. 
Cowpeus, hero of, xxi. 
Craik, Dr., lxvii, lxxvi, Ixxxviii, 

128, 187, 239, 269, 343 ; William, 

Cresap, Col., lxiii. 
Crest, Washington, xvii seq. 
Crow, overseer, 6, 9, 15, 19, 31, 41. 

58, 92, 96, 102, 294. 
Culpeper County, lxvii. 
Cupid, negro, 204. 
Custis, children, Ixxii, 255. 
Custis, Daniel Parke, lxviii. 
Custis, Eleanor (Nelly), xlvii, lix, 

lxxiv, Ixxxix, 182, 255. 
Custis, Elizabeth, 201, 2C0. 
Custis, G. W. P., li, 182, 257. 
Custis, Jackv, xxix. 
Custis, John P., 107, 257, 322, 324. 
Custis, Martha Dandridge (see 

Custis, Martha (Patsy), xlvii. 
Cyrus, negro, 216, 270, 271. 

"TJAIXGERFIELD, Catharine, 1. 
■^ Dandridge, Anna, 5. 
Dandridge, Bartholomew, 31, 71, 

279, 324. 
Dandridge, John, lxviii ; Mrs., 300. 
Daniel, Hannah, xliii ; Peter, xiiii, 

Darlington, Dr., 300, 343. 
Darnes, Mi., 235, 248. 
Davenport, miller, 218 ; Mrs., 224. 
Davis, Thomas, 20, 62. b2. 97, 295. 
Davis, Rev. Thomas, 47, 126, 131, 

Daw' overseer, 13, 20, 24, 194, 203, 

I Dawson, Rev. M., 1. 
| Deer at Mount Vernon, 146. 

Dick, Maj. Charles, xlii, xlix, 

Dick, Mary, 1. 

Dick, Miily. li. 

Digges, Mr., lxxiv. 

Dinwiddie, Governor, xlvii, lxiii. 



Dix, Alfred, xlviii. 

Dixon, Lucy, J. 

Dixon, Roger, 1. 

Donaldson, James, carpenter, 113, 

119, 127, 136, 142, 178, 198, 205. 
Douglass, Mr., 79. 
Downman, Frances, xxiv, xxx. 
Downman, Raleigh, and Rawleigh, 

xxiv, xxx. 
Dreer, Ferdinand J., xlvii, lxxi. 
Dulany, Benjamin, 37, 322 
Dumfries, Va., lxiii, lxxvi, Ixxxvi. 
Duumore, Lord, iiii. 
Durham, England, xx. 

PARLY, Widow, lxviii. 

Edwards, Meridah, xxvii. 
Ehler, gardener, 22, 40, 44, 2G7 ; 

Mrs. , 1 56, 227. 
Elliot, Miss. xxii. 
Embargo, 59, 64, 7G. 
Emmet, Dr. Thomas A., xix, xxvii, 

England, seeds from, 234 ; farming 

in, 289. 
Everett, Hon. Edward, vii. . 
Ewell, President, 128. 
Echstein, artist, Ixxiv. 

"P AIRE AX, Ann (Mrs. Lawrence 
A Washington, afterwards in. 

George Lee), xxxiv, xliv, 
Fairfax, Rev. Bryan, 126. 
Fairfax, Col. George W., xxvi. xl, 

liv, lxxix ; Mrs. (Sally Cary), 

xxiii, xxxvi. 
Fairfax, Lord, x, xxxiv, lxi, lxiv, 

Fairfax, William, xxxiv. 
Fairfax County, xxviii, xxxviii. 
Fairfax, John, overseer, lxxv. 
Falmouth, xxx. 70. 
Fauchet, French minister, 08, 195. 
Fauntleroy, Betsy, xxxvi, xxxix. 
Fauntleroy, Moore, xxxix. 
Fauntleroy, William, sr. , xxxix. 
Federal Citv, 1 xxxix, 114, 119, 253, 

Federalist, ship, lxxvi. 
Fellenberg. Baron, v. 
Ferry, Posey's, 115. 
Ferry, Spotswood's, xxxii. 
Fendall, Governor Maryland, xx. 
Fitzgerald, Col, lxxv, lxxxvii, 143, 

225, 229. 
Fifzhugh, family, xxxvi. 
Filzhugh, Col. and Mrs. William, 

lxxvii, lxxxv, lxxxvii, lxxxix. 

Fitzhugh, Mrs., at Blount Vernon, 

Fitzhugh, 'Mary Lee, 257. 
I Fitzhugh, William of Ravensworth, 
| lv. 

I' lemming, Jane, xxi. 

Forbes, Mrs., housekeeper, 336. 

Ford, Worthington C, xxxii, lxii. 

Foote, Elizabeth (Mrs. LuDd W.), 
314. 325. 

Fox, David, xxiv. 

"Frances Alexa," xxxvi. 

Franklin, Dr., Ixxiv, lxxvi. 

Frederick the Great, xi. 

Fredericksburg, xxviii, xxx ; fair 
at, xxxviii ; club, Ixxiv, lxxxiv, 
| 70. 

; Freemason, lxxi, lxxxiv. 
! Freeman, Mr., lxxv. 
J Freke arms, xviii. 
| French, Daniel, 37 ; Mrs., 151, 
| 230. 

; French, Capt. Hugh, xxvii. 
[ French, George, xliii. 

"French Paul." negro, 102, 176. 

Frestal, M., 259. 

Frost, Amariah, 23. 

Fry, Col., 128. 

Furnaces, xxxi. 

(GALLAGHER, Capt., Ixxxvi. 

^ Gallagher, Rev. M., Ixxxvi. 

Gallop, Joseph, 240, 242. 

Garnett, Richard, British Museum, 

Gazette, Alexandria, 226 ; George- 
town, 102. 

Genet, French minister, 63. 

Gibourne, Rev. Isaac, Ixxiii. 

Gill, Mr., Alexandria, 106. 

Gilpin, Col. 


j Gordon, Dr. William, 314. 

| Gough, Mr., 247. 

j Graham, Mr. and Mrs. Macauley, 

i lxxi. 

! Grant, Margaret, xxxi. 

| Gray, Asa, eit., 40. 

! Gray, weaver, 208. 

i Green, Rev. Charles, xxviii, Ixxiii. 

Green River lands, liv. 

Green, Sally, 122, 131, 230. 

Green, Thomas, carpenter, 27, 36, 
43, 65, 97, 110. 

Gre'enrleld, Thomas. 305. 

Greenwood, John, dentist, 325. 

Gregory, Roger, xxxiv. 

Grenville, Lord, 324. 

Griffith, Rev. David, 312. 

Grove, William, " convict," xxx. 



IT ALE, Rev. E. E., xlii. 

XJ - Hale, J. P., letter, lxiv. 

Halley, Mr., Alexandria, 190. 

Hamilton, Col., lxxxviii, 203, 259. 

Hamilton, Dr., xv. 

Hancock, John, xvi. 

Harrison, Benjamin, 290. 

Harrison, Constance, 328. 

Harrison, Maj., lx. 

Harrison, President, 299. 

Hartley, Mrs., xlvii. 

Hartshorn, Mr., Alexandria, 47, 210. 

Haverhill, Washington at, xlviii. 

Hawkins, senator, 124. 

Hayden, Rev. H. E., xxviii. 

" Hay field," 116, 314. 

Haynic, Mrs., lxxviii, 305. 

Heard, Sir I., xiv. 

Hening, cit., xxxii. 

Henley, Frances Dandridge, G3. 

Herbert, William, Alexandria, lxxv, 
120, 220, 222. 

Hercules, negro, 2T0. 

ilildebrand, Pope, xi. 

Historical and Genealogical Regis- 
ter, xix. 

Historical Society, New York, liv. 

Hobby, Sexton, xxix acq. 

Houdon, Ixxiv. 

Hough, John, lxxv. 

Howell, George R. , librarian, xv. 

Howes, Thomas, xxvii. 

Hoxton, L., 313. 

Hughes, Mr., 242, 

Humphreys, Col., 334. 

Husbandry, books, 234, 245, 259, 

Huntington, Countess, xiv. 

IREDELL, James, xlvii. 
Irving, Washington, v. 

JACKSON, President, xli. 

Jackson, Robert, 1. 
Jay, his treaty, 59, G4, 63, 234. 
Jefferson, 30, 63, 244. 
John, gardener, 91. 
Johnson, Mary, general's grand- 
mother, xxiv, xiv. 
Johnston, S., xlvii. 
Jones, chaplain, Ixxiv. 
Jones, Joseph (Judge) and Mrs., 1. 
Jones, Paul, ixxxv. 
Jones, Sarah (Ball), xxxviii. 

TTANAWHA, lxiii, 10, 307, 339. 
A \ Kane, Greenville, 314. 
" Kenraore," xliv, 10. 
Kiger, George, anecdote, xli. 

King George County, xxviii. 

Kingston (X. Y.) Church, 310. 

Kirk, James, 2G6. 

Kitt, steward, 200. 

Knox, Gen., lxxi, lxxii, 300, 310. 

Kountze, Luther, liii, lxxxvii. 

"T ACOM," story of the general's 

fatber, xxvii. 
Lafayette, Marquis, lxxv ; bust of, 

250, 259. 
Lambton, Knight of, xx. 
Lamphire, Mr., '318. 
Lawrence, Sir James, xviii. 
Laurie, Dr., lxxiii. 
Law, Mr., 201, 2G0. 
Lear, Tobias, xlviii, lxxii, lxxv, 5, 

31, 63, 66, 142, 243, 201, 2GG, 270, 

275; letter, 27G. 
Lee, Arthur, 25G. 
Lee, Charles, lxxv, 1G5. 
Lee, George, lxii. 
Lee, R, 1L, 111. 
Lee, Gen. Robert E., 257. 
Lee, Col. Thomas, 342. 
Lefferts, Dorothy, vi. 
L'Enfant, Major, xvi. 
Lewis, Andrew, lxiv, lxvii. 
Lewis, xVnn, Mrs., 1* 
Lewis, xVugustin, 1. 
Lewis, Betty, the general's sister, 

xliii, xliv ; portrait., li ; letters. 

lv scq., lxi, lxxii, lxxvi, lxxxiv, 
*10, 53, 58, 114. 
Lewis, Betty (see Carter). 
Lewis, Catbarine (Washington), 1- 
Lewis, Charles, xlix, 1. 
Lewis, Hon. Edward P. C.,1. 
Lewis, Col. Fielding, xliv, xlix, lii ; 

letters, liii, Ixxiv, lxxxv. 10. 
Lewis, Fielding, jr.. 1. lxxvi. 
Lewis, Frances, xlix, 1. 
Lewis, Major George, 1, lxiv, lxxx, 

195, 337. 
Lewis, G. W., lxxvi. 
Lewis, Howell, li, Iviii. lxxx, 10, 

IS, 27, 53, 291 ; letters to, 293, 305. 
Lewis, Capt. II. Howell, 1, lxi. 
Lewis, James, 307. 
Lewis, Maj. John, xxxiv, lxix. 
Lewis, John, xlix, lxxvi. 
Lewis, Lawrence, 1, lix, lxi, Lxxx, 

255, 292, 305. 
Lewis, Lucy, 1. 

Lewis, Robert, of Wales, xlix. 
Lewis, Robert, 1 ; mayor, li ; airent, 

lx, lxxviii, lxxx. 41, 44, 53, 231, 

233, 240. 241, 25G, 291 ; account- 
book, 305, doO. 



Lewis, R. Byrd, 1, 105, 337. 

Lewis, Samuel, 1. 

Lewis, Hon. Thomas, xxxvi. 

Lewis, Warner, brother of Col. 
Fielding, xiix. 

Lewis, Warner, son of Col. Field- 
ing, 1. 

Lincoln, Gen., 63. 

Liston, family, xxv. 

Liston, British minister, 256. 

Little, Col. Charles, Ixxxvii, 308. 

Little, William A., xxxii. 

" Little Falls/' farm, xxxseq,, Ixxvii. 

Lodge, Hon. Cabot, xvii ; his 
"Washington," 195. 

Logan, chief, lxiii. 

Logan, Daniel Boone, xv. 

Lomax, Judge, Ixxvii. 

Long, Miss (Mrs. Lear), 63. 

Lormg, his child, xlviii. 

Louis XVI., portrait, xvii. 

Lovell, Howell L., Iviii. 

" Lowland Beauty," xxxvi. 

Lucy, cook, 23. 

Lund, the name, xviii. 

Lyle, Col., 56, 102, 105, 108. 

M'CRAE,Mr., lxxiii. 

1 M'Donotigh, president, 341. 
M'Guire, Rev. E. C, xxviii, lxxx, 

184, 285, 291. 
M'Guire, Frederick, li, lii, lxxiv, 

Madison, James, 85 ; Mrs., Ixxxiv. 
Magazine of American History, liv ; 

Harper's, xlvii ; Historical, xviii, 

xx, xliii ; Lippincott's, Ixxxii. 
M'Kov, overseer, 13, 15, 20, 25, 31, 

41, 44, 86, 92, 06, 110. 
Markham, Louis, xvii, xxv. 
" Marmion," 1. 
Marshall, Mr., 321. 
Marshall, Mrs., Ixxxviii. 
3Iarye, Rev. James, xxxv. 
Marye, Peter. 1. 
Mask of Washington, Ixxxvii. See j 

Mason, Hon. Armstead T., 103. 
Mason, Col. George, lxxiv, 103, 322. j 
Mason, Stevens Thomson, 103. 
Mason, Thomson, lx, 103, 113, 115, | 

1 J, Q-il. 

Massaponax Creek, xxxii. 

Massey. Rev. Lee, lxxvi. 

Mass}-, Miss, xxV. 

Maupin, Prof. Chapman, lxx, 342. 

Mau/.y, John, surveyor, 305. 

Meigs, John, Ixv. 

Metes. Col. It. J., Ixv. 

Mercer, Col. George, 323. 

Mercer, Gen. Hugh, Ixxxv, 315. 

Mercer, James (Judge), li, lvii, lxxv, 
lxxvi, 323. 

Mercer, John, 133, 323. 

Mercer, John F., lxxix. 

Mifflin, Warner, xlvi. 

Milburne, Mr., 277. 

Mills, Clark, Ixxxvii. 

Minor, George, 75, 131, 235.' 

Minor, John B., 75. 

Minor, Virginia Carter, 299. 

Elinor, Mrs., 330. 

Minton, Mrs., xxvi. 

Mochodock Creek, xxvii. 

Monroe, James, Ixxxv. 

Morris, Gouvcrneur, 68, 328. 

Morris, Robert, xvi, lxvi, Ixxxviii, 

31 otto, Washington's, xv. 

Mount Vernon, xxviii, lxii ; build- 
ing, lxx ; alterations, 236, 254, 
262, 265 ; school-house, 248 ; com- 
pany, 252 ; managers, 201 ; cot- 
ton, 33 ; and in loc. 

Mucins, negro, 21, 83, 97, 295. 

" Muddy Hole Will," overseer, 22. 

Muir, Rev. James, 47, 191. 

"Mulatto Will." 74. 

Murray, George, 338. 

Muse, Battaile, 305. 

Mussipontarius, on urbanity, xxxv. 

1SJEALE, superintendent, 202, 212, 

x> .262, 271. 

Negroes, their names, 119. 

Nicholas. Lewis, xxvii. 

Norton. John, 126. 

O'HARA, Gen., xli. 

^ O'Neill, stonemason, 82, 87, 

94, 139. 
Overdursh, Dutch family, bought, 


p'AGE, John, 126. 

Page, Mann, ixxvii. 
Paine, Thomas, "Common Sense," 

liii, 47. 
Parin, M., lxxiv. 
Parks, Ixxxiv. 
Paschal, negro, 119, 248. 
Peake, manager, lx xviii, 291. 
Peale, C. W,, lxxxvi. 
Pearce, William, manager, in loc.; 

certificate, 271. 
Pearson. Simon, 317. 
Peekskill, Ixv. 
Pendleton, E. B., letter, lxiv. 



Pcppcrell, Sir W., 311. 

Perin, Leonard, xxxv. 

Perrin, Mrs., xliv. 

Peter, keeper of stud, 48, 87, 142, 

217, 224, 238, 205. 
Pettit, Charles. 323. 
Peyton, Mrs. Frances, xxi. 
Peyton, Col. Valentine, xxi. 
Pinekney, American minister in 

England, 234. 
Philips, Mr., 270. 
Phillips, A. K., letter, xxxii. 
Pollard, Miss, 10. 
Pope, Ann, xx. 
Port Royal, lxxiii. 
Port Tobacco, lxxvi. 
Pose)-, Capt. John, 115. 
" Postilion Joe," 190, 203. 
Potts, James. 277. 

Powell, Elizabeth, letter to, lxxxviii. 
Prescott. Capt.. xx. 
Prince William County, xxviii.lxvii. 
Pursli, eil,, 30. 
Pyne, Mr., 107, 110, 114, 123, 131. 

17 AXDOLPH, Edmund, xiii, Ixxv, 

xt lxxxvii, 59, 89, 112, 134, 195, 
201, 205, 323 ; declines Washing- 
ton's fee, 325. 

Readman, Robert, xxvii. 

" Redemptioners," lxxv, lxxvi. 

Renwick, James, v. 

Richmond, negro, 119, 261. 

Kidgway, Gen., lxx. 

Rietstap, dt., xviii. 

Rogers, Miss (Mrs. Joseph Ball), 

Rosier, John, xxvii. 

Rotation, of crops, 282, 287. 

" Rules of Civility," xxxv. 

Russell, Mr., 300. 

q AM EELS. Judge, lxxix. 

k ~' Scott, Robert, 305. 

Seals, xiv. 

Seatons, 1. 

Shearman, Mrs., xxw 

Simms, Col., lxxxvii, 106, 160. 

Sims, Mrs., xiviii. 

Sinclair, Sir J., xvi, 178, 331. 

Slaughter, Rev. Dr., xii, xxvii, 

xxx, 75, 128. 
Smith, Alexander, 53, 1C7, 219, 238,, 266, 269. 
Smyth, Dr., lxxxiv. 
Spencer, Nicholas, xxvi. 
Spolswood, Col., xxxii, lxxvii, 

lxx xv. 

Stabler, Edward, xlv ; Henry, xlvi ; 

Jessie, xiv. 
Stafford, County, xxviii ; C. -H., 

Steptoe, Anne, xliv. 
Stevens, Rev. B., 312. 
Stewart, Robert, lxii. 
St. George's Church, Fredericks- 
burg, xxx. lxxvii. 
Strickland, William, 178. 
Stuart, Dr. David, lxxiv, 107, 152, 

1S8, 224 ; Mrs., 334. 
Stuart, overseer, 6, 13, 24, 34, 41, 

81, 258, 276, 297. 
Storke, xxvii. 
Strother, Alice, xxx ; Jane, xxxv ; 

John, xxxiii ; William, xxxi, 

Sullivan, Capt., lxxv. 
Swan, Mr., 337. 


XXX 11 

x Mary, 1. 
Tayloe, Delia, xxxv. 
Thompson, Rev., lxxiv. 
Thompson, Capt. William, 342. 
Thornton family, xxxiv ; Frances, 

1 ; George, 1 ; John, 1 ; Mildred, 

xliv; William, lxxxix. 
Thorn, the Washington, 36, 67. 
Tilghman, Col. Oswald, 3 ; Col. 



Tench, lxvi, 

(Judge), 3. 
Tobacco, 385. 
Toner, Dr. J. M., xxxv, xliv 

Townshend, Mary, xxi. 
T ravers, Hannah, xliii. 
Travers, Rawleiirh, xxiv. 
Triplet t, Mr., 31*7. 
Truro Parish, xxviii,- xxix, 75. 
Turner, Mr., of Alexandria, 45. 


DIVERSITY, Washington and 
Lee. 304. 

y~AN SLYKE, Rev. Dr., 310. 

WAKEFIELD, xvii, xxvi ; burnt, 
' ' xxviii, xxxix. 
Ward, Gen. Artemas, xiviii. 
| Warner, Augustine, xxxiv, xlix ; 
Elizabeth, " xlix ; Mildred, xx ; 
! "Warner Hall," xlix. 
[ Washington, arms, family, etc., xiv 

W ashington, Captain Augustine, 
father of the general, ix, xix. 



xxiv, xxvi, xxvii seq.; will, xxxi, 

Washington, Augustine, half-broth- 
er of the general, xxiii, xliv, xci, 

Washington, Anne (Aylctt), xliv, 

Washington, Col. Bailey, xxi. 

Washington, Baron, xviii. 

Washington, Betty (see Lewis). 

Washington, Bushrod, Judge, lvi, 
lxvii.lxx, lxxxvii, xcii, 308, 32b, 

Washington, Catharine, xlix. 

Washington, Charles, xxix, xliv, 1, 
lix, 62 ; death. 344. 

Washington, Corbin, lxvi. 

Washington, Dyonis, xviii. 

Washington. Frances, xlviii, 5, 12, 
IS, 22, 32, 40, 69, 82, 87, 112, 128, 
171, 173. 

Washington, George, Gen. , on war, 
ix, xlvi ; character and works, 
xii ; seals, xv ; education, xxix, 
xxxv ; inheritance, xxxi; rules 
of civility, xxxv ; poems, xxxvi, 
xl ; early love, xxxvi ; anecdotes 
of, xli, 57 ; self-command, xlii ; 
with his mother, xlii ; wife, xliv ; 
and Quakers, xlv, lxx, lxxxi ; love 
of children, xlviii ; inherits Mt. 
Yernon, lxii ; lands, xxxii, lxii ; 
elm, lxiv ; taste, lxx ; chancellor- 
ship, Ixxii ; diaries, Ixxiii seq.; 
plow, Ixxiii ; charities, lxxviii, 
255 ; gaiety, lxxxii ; a Mason, 
lxxxiv ; portraits, xiii, lxxiv, 
lxxxvi; will, xci, 03. Ill, 223, 
304, 307 ; his flag, 153 ; cherry- 
tree story, 153; humanity, 184; 
desire for retirement. 227, 250, 
331); religion, 76, 192, 310 seq. ; 
death, xcii, 344. 

Washington, George, of Bermuda, 

Washington, Geonre Augustine. Ix, 
lxxiv, lxxvi, 5, 02. 74; 291, 305, 

Washington, George Steptoe, 128. 

Washington, Harriot, lxxviii, 195. 

Washington, Herbert, lxxix. 

Washington, James, xviii. 

Washington, Jane. xliv. 

Washington, Col. John (immigrant), 
xviii, xx. 

Washington, John, of Stafford, Va., 

Washington, John, sou of Towns- 
hend, xxxvii. 

Washington, John Augustine, broth- 
er of general, xxix, xxx, xliii, 
lxvi ; death, lxxvi, xcii, 110. 

"Washington, John Augustine, son 
of Corbin, lxxxvii. 

Washington, Lawrence (Bermuda), 

Washington, Lawrence (Chotanck, 
Va.), xxi. 

Washington, Lawrence (Virginia 
immigrant), xv, xx, xxv, xc, 342. 

Washington, Lawrence, son of Col. 
John, xxvi ; will, xxvii. 

Washington, Lawrence, half-broth- 
er of general, xxxi, xxxiv, xxxix, 
lxii, lxxxii ; his will, xci. 

Washington, Lawrence, son of Sam- 
uel, lxxx, 128. 

Washington, Lewis W. , xv, li ; Mrs. 
(Ella Bassett), lii, lxxviii, lxxxi, 
53, 305. 

Washington, Lund, xxi, xlix, 89, 
116, 124, 126, 131. 133, 150, 160, 
108, 173, 291 ; letters to, 314 ; 
death, 335. 

Washington, Martha, general's 
wife, xliv ; portrait, li ; marriage, 
Ixviii ; anecdote, lxxxiii ; 45, 58, 
90, 112, 126, 128, 140, 148. 179, 


loo, 250, 275, 298, 307, 336, 

Washington, Mary, general's moth- 
er, xli, xliii ; monument, xlv ; 
will, lvii. Ixxiii ; at Fredericks- 
burg, lxxiv, lxxvii. 
Washington, Mildred (Warner), 

general's grandmother, xxvi. 
Washington, Mildred, general's 

sister, xxix, xliv. 
Washington, Richard, Ixviii. 
i Washington. Robert, xxi. 
j Washington, Robert, of Chotanck, 

xxxvi, xxxvii. 
: Washington, Robert J., xiv. 
Washington, Samuel, general's 
brother, xxix, xliv, 1, Ixxiii. 128. 
Washington, Samuel, son of Charles, 





Washington, Warner, lxxix. 
Washington, Col. William, xxi scql 
Washington, William Augustine, 

general's half -nephew, lxxxvii 

seq.; correspondence, xc, 110, 114, 

119, 127, 100. 199. 
Washington farm, xxxi seq. 
Washingtons, the German, xvii. 
Waters, H. P., cit., xix, 



Weedon, George, xxvii. 

Weedon, (Jen. George, lxxiv, lxxvi, 

1 xxxiv, 315. 
Weenis, Rev. Mason, x, lxxvi. 
Wellford, Judge Beverley, xxxii, 

lxxx ; Surgeon^Gen. Robert, lxxx ; 

his career, lxxxv. 
Westmoreland Countv, Va., xxviii. 
Whiskey Rebellion, lxxxv, 111, 165. 
White, David, xxvii. 
Whitinsr, Anthony, manager, 14, 

24, 29, 37, 41 ; estate, 63, 154. 
Whiting, Francis, Iv. 
Williams, Mrs., xxvi. 
Williams, Mr., teacher, xxxiv. 
Willis, Maj. Byrd, xxxv ; Col. 

Harry, xxxiv, xlix ; Lewis, xxxv, 

lxxvii, lxxxv; Mildred, 1, 299. 
Wilson, Mr. and Mrs. John E., xvii. 

Wilson, Gov. West Virginia, 203. 

Wine., at Mount Vernon, 128, 178. 

Wodron, Mr., lxiii. 

Wolcott, Secretary of Treasury, 195. 

Woodford, Gen., lxxxv. 

Woodward, Mr.. 339. 

Wonneley, Katharine, anecdote, 

Wright, Ann, xxvii ; Francis, 

Wright, artist, lxxiv; Mrs., xvii; 

letter to, lxxiv. 
Wythe, Chancellor, xlix. 

YATES, Charles, 1. 
x Yates, Hon. Jasper, xlvii. 
Young, Arthur, Ixxii. 

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