From Benjamin Fitzhugh Grymes
Eagles Nest March 14th 87
It affords me the highest satisfaction to have it in my power to oblige you by sending of you five bushels of Jerusalem Artichokes, and had it not been for an [un]luckey experiment I shd have been able to have spared you a large quantity, but I have sent you the better half. In order to increase my crop, I cut off the tops three different times breast high, and by that means, made not a bushel from near 500 hills in my garden, the few I have I collected from a few hills not more than twenty in number, where the hogs could not get to them, they are very fond of them, and from experience, I find that there is nothing we can raise so cheap and that hogs are fonder of: 500 bushels at least may be made from an acre of good Tobo g[roun]d which are at least equal to 100 bis of Corn.1 Col. S[t]ith will deliver you this, with a dish of the best fish I have by me.21 have lately met with some of the Guinea grass seed, some of which I intended to have sent you but my Uncle tells me you have tried it and do not like it I will thank you for your sentiments on that, and the Magoty bay Pea, so much extolled of late.3 I have by me some Irish potatoe Seed, and expect to have some Cotton in the Seed, shd you be in want of either please to inform me, and I shall be happy in obliging of you. I am sir with the greatest respect to you & yrs yr Mt ob. fd & Sert
1. GW also corresponded with George Weedon about the cultivation of Jerusalem artichokes (Helianthus tuberosus). See GW to Weedon, 25 March. For GW’s description of how he on 11, 12, and 13 April prepared the ground for the artichoke tubers and then planted them, see Diaries description begins Donald Jackson and Dorothy Twohig, eds. The Diaries of George Washington. 6 vols. Charlottesville, Va., 1976–79. description ends , 5:132–33.
2. GW does not record a visit at this time from John Stith (1755–1808).
3. Grymes probably is referring to his mother’s brother William Fitzhugh of Chatham.