George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 29 July 1771]

29. Three Carpenters belonging to the Estate of Colo. Steptoe (hired of Jas. Hardige Lane at £7 pr. Month) came to work here.

These carpenters were apparently engaged to build a house for GW’s miller, but they may have done other construction or repair work. Col. James Steptoe (died c.1757), of Hominy Hall, Westmoreland County, was father of Anne Steptoe Washington, fourth wife of GW’s brother Samuel. Steptoe’s estate included, besides his Hominy Hall plantation, several hundred acres of land near Mount Vernon. James Hardage Lane (d. 1787), a prominent Loudoun County planter, may have been leasing that Fairfax County land and the laborers on it from Steptoe’s executors or their agents (will of James Steptoe, 10 May 1755, Westmoreland County Deeds and Wills, Book 13, 95–98, Vi Microfilm; General Index to Fairfax County Deeds, 1742–97, 119, Vi Microfilm). GW paid Lane £17 6s. 6d. for hire of the carpenters on 24 Dec. 1771 (LEDGER A description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 1, 1750-72, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 350).

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