George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 27 November 1788]

Thursday 27th. Thermometer at 44 in the Morning—49 at Noon and 48 at Night. Clear and tolerably pleasant, with the Wind at So. Wt.

Rid to the Plantations (United) & to D. Run & Muddy hole.

At the first—Six plows were at Wk. and all the other hands were Grubbing in fields No. 7 at Frenchs, where the plowing was going on.

At Dogue Run—The Plows (Seven) were still at Work in field No. 3 and the other People removing Potatoes.

At Muddy hole (the Plows being at D. Run) the People were threshing Rye.

Colo. Blackburn and Mr. Gustavus Scott of Maryland came here to dinner & stayed all Night—as did a Mr. Packet.

Gustavus Scott (1753–1800), of Cambridge, Md., was the youngest son of Rev. James Scott of Prince William County. A lawyer, he was educated at King’s College, Aberdeen, Scotland, and at the Inns of Court, London. He represented Somerset County in the Maryland conventions of 1775 and 1776 and was a delegate from Dorchester County in the assembly 1780–81 and 1783–85. During the latter session he played an active role in the creation of the Potowmack Company. He was elected to the Continental Congress in 1784 but was prevented from attending by bad health. GW appointed him a commissioner for the city of Washington in 1794 (GW to Tobias Lear, 28 Aug. 1794, DLC:GW).

Mr. Packet, who lived at Bushfield with Bushrod Washington apparently as an employee, today brought a letter from Bushrod to GW, dated 20 Nov. 1788, in which Bushrod announced his intention of moving to Alexandria. The demands of his plantation and of his legal career, Bushrod had found, were incompatible. “The life as well as the capacity of man,” he wrote, “is insufficient to attain even a competant degree of perfection in more than one Study, and as my inclination is attached to that of Law, I wish not to be diverted from it.” Packet was on his way “up to Alexandria to enquire about the Rent of Houses in that place” (ViMtvL). This Mr. Packet may be the John Packett whom GW employed in some capacity from Aug. 1789 to Sept. 1791 (LEDGER B description begins Manuscript Ledger Book 2, 1772-93, in George Washington Papers, Library of Congress. description ends , 313).

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