George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 30 July 1768]

30. Finished Do. & got into Stacks without damage.

About the 27 and 28 Sowed some Turnep Seed in Corn Ground at Morris’s—that is at Doeg Run Plann.

Memm. On the 30th. of this Month I agreed with Jonathan Palmer to come and Work with my Carpenters; either at their Trade—Cowpering—or, in short at any thing that he may be set about—In consideration of which, I am to pay him £40 pr. Ann. allow him 400 lbs. of Meat & 20 Bushels of Indian Corn. I am also to allow him to keep two Milch Cows (one half of whose Increase I am to have) and to have Wheat for which he is to pay. He is to be allowed a Garden & I am to get the old dwelling House at Muddy hole repaird for him. I am also to take his Waggon at £17, if he brings it free from damage and it is no older than he says—that is about a 12 Month. Note he is to be here as early as possible in April—if not in March.

On this day GW paid Edmund Palmer 17s. for 1 day of cradling and 4 days of mowing. He also settled accounts with his head harvester, Jonathan Palmer, who was paid £6 for 18 days of cradling and 4 days of mowing, plus a bonus of £1 4s. “in considn. of his g[oo]d. behaviour” (ledger a description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 277). The contract with Palmer is typical of the time: while the form is standard, the content, being the product of bargaining by both sides, reflects the particular strengths and needs of each party. Such contracts were usually annual, and their renegotiation tended to reflect the changed circumstances of one or both parties.

cowpering: an older spelling of coopering.

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