George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 3 October 1784]

3d. Left Quarters before day, and breakfasted at Culpeper Court house which was estimated 21 Miles, but by bad direction I must have travelled 25, at least.1 Crossed Normans ford2 10 Miles from the Court Ho[use] and lodged at Captn. John Ashbys3 occasioned by other bad directions, which took me out of the proper road, which ought to have been by Elk run Church4 3 or 4 Miles to the right.

1GW took his breakfast at “Kemps” (LEDGER B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 200).

2Norman’s ford on the Rappahannock River lay between Culpeper and Fauquier counties, about two miles south of present-day Remington. Isaac Norman, for whom the ford was named, obtained a patent on the Culpeper side in 1726 and was later bought out by Robert “King” Carter, whose son Charles Carter of Cleve began public ferry service at the ford in 1736. Charles’s son Landon Carter now owned the land on both shores and was planning a town to be called Carolandville for the Fauquier side. The General Assembly established the town in Oct. 1785, but it was stillborn, never existing except on paper (HARRISON [1] description begins Fairfax Harrison. Landmarks of Old Prince William: A Study of Origins in Northern Virginia. Berryville, Va., 1964. description ends , 500, n.37; HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 4:531, 10:365, 12:217).

3John Ashby, whom GW had visited on the Shenandoah River 12–14 Mar. 1748, bought land on Licking Run in southern Fauquier Couny 28 Nov. 1757 and moved there about 1760 (BERRY’S FERRY description begins “Berry’s Ferry, And Old Roads Leading To That Ferry.” Proceedings of the Clarke County Historical Association 6 (1946): 8–13. description ends , 12; REESE description begins Lee Fleming Reese, comp. The Ashby Book: Descendants of Captain Thomas Ashby of Virginia. San Diego, Calif., 1976. description ends , 11–34).

4Elk Run Church, located on the headwaters of Elk Run in southern Fauquier County, was one of two churches serving Hamilton Parish. A large, handsome brick building finished in 1769, it had replaced an earlier wooden structure on the same site. Nevertheless, it proved to be poorly situated for the shifting population patterns of the ensuing years, and like many Anglican churches, it was dealt a severe blow by the dissolution of the established church during the War of Independence. By 1811 the building was abandoned and falling into ruin, and it eventually disappeared almost completely (MEADE [1] description begins [William] Meade. Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia. 2 vols. Philadelphia, 1857. description ends , 2:216–17; HARRISON [1] description begins Fairfax Harrison. Landmarks of Old Prince William: A Study of Origins in Northern Virginia. Berryville, Va., 1964. description ends , 296–97; GROOME [3] description begins H. C. Groome. “The Parishes and Their History.” Fauquier Historical Society, Bulletins, 1st ser. (1921–24): 246–71, 404-22. description ends , 257–58).

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