To Burwell Bassett
Mount Vernon, 12 Feby. 1774
I find there will go some matters from this country, which will make my attendance at the Assembly necessary; this I cannot possibly do and go over the Mountains this Spring. I have therefore determined, much against my Inclination & Interest, to postpone my Trip to the Ohio till after Harvest (as I cannot well be absent from home at that Season.)1 As March therefore (at least the first of it) is a disagreeable Season to travel our Roads In, and as I am obliged ⟨illegible⟩ to run land about the 20th of the month of March, and from thence proceed into Frederick and Berkeley I hope it will be agreeable and convenient to Mrs. Bassett and you to give us the pleasure of seeing you here after that time; the Roads and Weather will be then good: our Fisheries will be then come on, and I think you will have more satisfaction than in an earlier visit.2
The Letter herewith Inclosed for Mr. Dandridge contains Black’s Bond which Mr. Wythe has advised me to lodge in some safe hands to be tendered to that pritty Gentleman upon his complying with the Conditions of it. As the care of it is a thing of the utmost Importance, I should be obliged to you (if Captn. Crawford should not go to Mr. Dandridge’s himself) to send the letter by Abram, or some careful Person, least the Bond should get lost.3
As I am very much hurried just now, by business of different kinds, and as I presume my Wife has informed Mrs. Bassett of Jack’s Marriage, and all the other little occurrences she can think of, I shall only request you to make my affecte. Complements to her, and the rest of the Family, and believe me to be with great truth.
Printed in Ford, Writings of Washington description begins Worthington Chauncey Ford, ed. The Writings of George Washington. 14 vols. New York, 1889–93. description ends , 2:402–3.
1. The session of the Virginia assembly in Williamsburg began on 6 May, and on 26 May the governor, Lord Dunmore, dissolved it. GW did not arrive in Williamsburg until 16 May. The speaker added him to the standing committees for Religion, of Privileges and Elections, and of Propositions and Grievances (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:250; JHB, 1773–1776 description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 102). GW may in fact have written in the first line “this county” rather than “this country”; among the petitions that would have been of particular concern to him were those from Fairfax County asking for the extension of the boundaries of the town of Alexandria, for a lifting of duties on rum, and for the regulation of fish curing (ibid., 119–20, 123). Instead of a trip to the Ohio in the fall, GW spent most of September and October in Philadelphia as a delegate to the First Continental Congress.
2. GW left to inspect his lands in Berkeley and Fauquier counties on 8 Mar. and return on 20 March. On the way to and from Berkeley, GW ran lines on the Mercer Bull Run tract (Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:238–40). Col. and Mrs. Bassett arrived with their children, William and Frances, on 9 April and remained until 25 April (ibid., 244–46).
3. William and Valentine Crawford and their half brother Hugh Stephenson left Mount Vernon for Williamsburg on 12 Feb., with GW’s letters of this date and William Black’s bond. See Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 3:232, GW to Bartholomew Dandridge, 12 Feb., and Dandridge to GW, 16 February.