George Washington Papers

From George Washington to William Pearce, 27 April 1794

To William Pearce

Philadelphia 27th April 1794.

Mr Pearce,

Your letter of the 22d instant with its enclosures came duly to hand.1

Thomas Green’s account of the dimensions of the Rooms in my house in Alexandria, is so confused & perplexed, that I can make neither head nor tail of it. The length, breadth & height of each, with the distance from the washboard to the Chairboard, & the number of doors & windows in each room, was all I wanted; instead of these he has attempted to draw a plan which no one can understand, and has given an explanation of it that is still more incomprehensible.2

I am very glad to find that you have caused so much flaxseed to be so<wn,> as appears from the Memorandum se<nt> me; but have you not departed from the plan which was to regulate the gra<ss->lots at Dogue run Farm?3 As well a<s I reco>llect, these were to succeed each ot<her in Po>tatoes—and one after another to <be sown> with Oats & Clover; and this rotine was to be persevered in. As the case now is, neither the lot East of the New Barn,4 nor that in number 3, can be touched next year; and neither of them, I fear, will be in condition to yield much clover. My intention with respect to these lots was, by soiling the Plow horses with the Clover, cut green, to save the great expense of grain. By having one of them therefore in Potatoes; another in Oats, sown also with Clover; and the third in Clover, there would always have been one (which is sufficient for this purpose) handy to the Stable; more would be unnecessary, as there will be such a quantity of mowing ground on the Farm for the support of the Stock, the Mansion house, & for Sale.

Particular attention will be paid I hope to penning of the Stock, an<d> shifting the Pens—nothing has been mo<re> neglected—general as neglects have hit<her>to been on my estate—than the latter, m<ere>ly to avoid the trouble of removing the [Posts].

How does the White thorn<, and t>he cuttings of the Willow & other sets<, which hav>e been put out this Spring, loo<k? & ap>pear to have taken, & to be in a thriving condition?

I mentioned to you in my last that 5000 plants of the White thorn was to be sent to me, by Mr Lear in the Ship Peggy, from London to George Town. I have advice of the Sailing of the Ship, and hope it is arrived. No time should be lost in getting the Plants home (to Mt Vernon) as every day’s delay will put th<em> more & more in jeopardy. Mr Lear in his last letter informs me that he had by the same Vessel, sent some fruit trees for his own use, wch he requests my care of: let these also be taken to Mount Vernon & put into a nursery for his use; & the Gardener<’s> particular care of them is required.5 I am your friend &ca

Go: Washington

P.S. With this letter you will receive a paper of Lima beans, which the Gardener will p<lant> the first of May; seperate from any oth<ers; and be> particularly careful of them.

ALS, ViMtvL; ALS (letterpress copy), DLC:GW. The postscript does not appear on the letterpress copy. The text in angle brackets is from the letterpress copy.

1Pearce’s letter of 22 April and its enclosures, including the farm reports for the previous week, have not been found.

2GW requested the dimensions of the rooms in his house in Alexandria, Va., in his letter to Pearce of 6 April. The report from Thomas Green, the overseer of carpenters at Mount Vernon, has not been found.

3For a plan of crop rotation for Dogue Run farm, see Crop Rotations for Mount Vernon Farm, enclosed in GW to Pearce, 18 Dec. 1793; see also Rotation of Crops for Dogue Run, 1793.

4On the new barn at Dogue Run farm, see GW to Anthony Whitting, 28 Oct. 1792, and enclosure.

5GW’s previous letter to Pearce was that of 20 April. On the planting of Tobias Lear’s white thorn plants, see the farm reports for 25–31 May. On Lear’s shipment of fruit trees, see Lear to GW, 12 February. John Christian Ehlers was the head gardener at Mount Vernon.

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