From William Fitzhugh
Chatham, Novr 2n[d] 1785
My Dear Sir
I beg Leave to return you my Thanks for the Loan of Peter—and I am happy that I have it in my Power to send him Home unhurt. Tarquin has recover’d the Laurells he lost at Alexandria—His Opponents were, old Cumberland, and Herod, the Property of Doctr Ross; both which he beat with great Ease.1
I have a fine 2 year-old Doe, perfectly tame, which I beg your Acceptance of. She shall be sent with the Orchard Grass Seed, as soon as I can get a small Cart or waggon that can carry her without Injury.2 I am with respectfull Compliments to your Lady & Family, in which I am join’d by Mrs Fitzhugh, Dear Sir your Aff. & most Ob. Ser.
1. Tarquin, a roan gelding owned by William Fitzhugh (1741–1809) of Chatham, won one of the Fredericksburg Jockey Club purses on 5 Oct., and on Friday, 21 Oct., he came in second in both heats in the four-mile race at Alexandria. The races at Falmouth, across the river from Fredericksburg, began on 30 October. A slave named Peter, an expert horse handler belonging to David Stuart, was in GW’s employ (see GW to Stuart, 12 Feb. 1787). Dr. David Ross lived in Bladensburgh, Maryland.
2. GW recorded in his diary for 20 April: “Sowed a Bushel of Orchard Grass seed (given to me by Wm. Fitzhugh Esqr. of Chatham) in my last years Turnip patch at the home house” (ibid., 315). For further correspondence about Fitzhugh’s gift of does to GW, see Fitzhugh to GW, 17 Jan. 1786, and Benjamin Grymes to GW, 24 April 1786.