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I intended to have written to you somewhat sooner, but business of a public nature & pressing, prevented it until now. Although I have conviction in my own mind, that a hundred guineas pr annum is more than my Mount Vernon Estate will enable me to give the Superintendent of it; yet, the satisfaction (when one is at a considerable distance from property they possess, under circumstances which...
Enclosed is a copy of our agreement with my Signature to it. Since you were here, Mrs Washington the Widow of my Nephew, who formerly lived at this place, has resolved as soon as we leave it, to remove to her Brother’s in the lower part of this State, and will not I believe, return to reside at it again. This will make it more convenient and agreeable, both for yourself and me, that you should...
Your letter of the 19th came duly to hand. Tomorrow I leave this for Philadelpa or the vicinity of it; where, when you have occasion to write to me, direct your letters. As you seemed to be in doubt whether a proper character could be engaged in the part of the Country you live in, to look after my Negro Carpenters; and (having much work to do in their way, & not being willing to leave matters...
On my way to this place (about the last of Octr) I lodged a letter for you in the Post Office at Baltimore, which I hope got safe to your hands, although I have not heard from you since. I shall begin, now, to throw upon Paper such general thoughts, and directions, as may be necessary for your government when you get to Mount Vernon; and for fear of accidents, if transmitted to you thro’ any...
The paper enclosed with this letter will give you my ideas, generally, of the course of Crops I wish to pursue. I am sensible more might be made from the farms for a year or two—but my object is to recover the fields from the exhausted state into which they have fallen, by oppressive crops, and to restore them (if possible by any means in my power) to health & vigour. But two ways will enable...
The letter which I wrote to you on the 18th and the papers therein enclosed with the Plans of the several farms (which Mr Lewis was directed to leave with you) were designed to give you a general view of the business entrusted to your care. I shall now, as intimated in that letter, give you my sentiments on many other matters of a more particular nature. Among the first things to be done after...
Your letter of the 24th instant from Kent County in Maryland came to hand yesterday. I am sorry to find you had not then removed to Mount Vernon, and am concerned for the cause of your detention. Acts of Providence no human foresight can guard against, and it is our duty to submit to them. In the situation you describe your daughter to be, I certainly should not have desired you to leave her;...
The Reports of the 28th of December have been received, and Mr Butlers acct therewith—As I have no Acct against him, and Mr Whiting only kept memorandums, instead of regular Accounts, he must be paid according to his own statement. for this, and other purposes, I send two bank notes for one hundred dollars each. It is very unlucky that the late spell of freezing weather should be suffered to...
Taking it for granted that you have arrived at Mount Vernon, before this, I shall direct this letter to you at that place, & shall mention such things as have occurred to me, proper for your notice & government. From a review of the plan of rotation which has been already communicated to you, it appears (if it can be carried into affect this year) that you will want the following seeds, and at...
Your letter of the 14th instt came to my hands to day, when the Post ought to have been in yesterday. Having been very full in my late letters to you, I shall have less to say in this—The condition you describe my stock to be in at Union farm, and at Dogue run, & want of shelter for them at those places, is a fresh instance of the misconduct of Crow & McKoy; and of the neccessity of watching...
Your letter of the 22d and the Reports, came duly to hand by yesterdays Post. You will perceive by my rotation plan (with which you have been furnished —or rather by the notes annexed thereto) that if the fields allotted for Corn at the several farms were deemed inadequate to the consumption of this article, that such parts of the fields as were designed for Buck Wheat, as a Crop, might be...
The Post which ought (in course) to have arrived here On Saturday last, will not be in, it seems, until tomorrow. When it arrives, I shall (if anything requires immediate notice) by the Post of Wednesday write to you—If not, I shall delay doing it until the usual time—that is, on Sunday next. By the last Post I sent you a bank note for One hundred dollars, to pay Mr Dulany—I hope it got safe...
since writing you a few lines on the 3d instant, I have received your letter of the 28th of last month, and that of the third of the present. If you are satisfied with Mr Butlers conduct and exertions, I shall be so. He has always appeared to me as a well disposed man, obliging and sober one who has seen better days: and must have had a good deal of practical knowledge in husbandry. If you can...
Your letter of the 11th instant, covering the reports of the preceeding week, came regularly to hand and gave me concern to hear of the death of Mr Stuarts daughter. What was her complaint? My intention, with respect to the repairs of my house in Alexandria, and inclosing the lot, was, that every particle of the work, except putting it together, should be prepared at Mount Vernon, & carried...
Your letter of the 17th instant came safe. Meeting your children at Baltimore is certainly necessary, and therefore I can have no objection to it. My last letter being full, respecting the repairs of my house in Alexandria, I shall add nothing on that subject in this; and as Mr Stuart has not, according to his declaration, received any money from Mr Whiting, let him be paid with the deduction...
Your letter of the 25th Ulto, & Reports of the preceeding week, came to hand this day. Enclosed, agreeably to the promise contained in my last, I send you the copy of an advertisement which the Printers of Baltimore & George Town have been directed to publish four times; in each of their Gazettes; alternate weeks; that is—to insert it one Week & leave it out the next, until it has been four...
Your letter of the 3d instt is this moment received. The badness of the roads has occasioned irregularity in the Post. I approve your repairing my house in Alexandria with my own People (preparing every thing that can be, at home) and of your doing it in the manner proposed; that is, to board between the houses in a neat & workman like manner & to do the three sides of the lot with White Oak...
Your letter of the 11th with its enclosures came to hand at the usual time; but not so as that, enquiry co[ul]d be made into the prices of linnen, & you to be informed, by the Post of tomorrow (this day being Sunday)—Go on therefore, until you hear further from me, to get linnen as fast as it can be worked up. The 11½ d. linnen is as good as any for the boys, girls & small people, who do...
The weekly reports, and your letter of the 18th instant, came regularly to hand. The insufferable neglects of my Overseers in not plowing as they ought to have done in the Fall, begins now to be manifest; for I perceive by the account given of the plowing, that I am driven to the alternative of putting my Oats into ground not half plowed, & prepared, & thereby little to expect from it; or, in...
The Reports, and your letter of the 25th instt have been duly recd. If you are satisfied from repeated trials, that the pieces of the treading floor at Dogue run Farm, are well placed at an inch and half a part, it would be well to lay them all at that distance, that you may derive as much benefit as you can from it in the present Crop, and that it may be ready against the next year. The Oats...
Your letter & Reports of the 1st instant I have received, and am glad to find by the first that you have got your family safe to Mount Vernon; as, unquestionably, it will be a satisfaction to you to have them along with you. Change of Air may, and I hope will, restore your eldest daughter to health again. I had no doubt but that the late capture of our Vessels by the British Cruisers, followed...
By your letter of the 9th instt (which with the weekly reports) have been duly received, I find you wish to open a communication between the lower rooms, in what is called the Servants Hall, and to make a closet therein: against the latter I have no objection at all—nor against the first provided the doing it does not cut away a brace, and thereby weaken the house. If the chimneys project into...
Your letter of the 15th, with the weekly reports, came to hand as usual, yesterday. I was sorry to learn by the first that you had been unwell. It is almost impossible for me to say, with exactness, what I owe the Estate of Mr Anthony Whitting, because his accounts do not appear to have been regularly kept, but rather in detached Memms. More than his wages from the first of Jany until the day...
Your letter of the 22d instant with its enclosures came duly to hand. 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...
Your letter of the 29th ulto, and the reports which were enclosed, came duly to hand. I am sorry to find by the first that the Ship Peggy had not then arrived at George Town, from London. I fear the White thorn Plants (5,000 in number) which I have on board, together with Mr Lears fruit Trees, will suffer very much, if they are not entirely destroyed; by the advanced season. Let the ground...
The Weekly reports enclosed in your letter of the 6th instant, have been duly received. By the first Vessel bound to Alexandria from hence, I will send Papers for the two lower Rooms in my house in that place; but if it has been newly plastered, as would appear to be the case (in part at least) by Green’s acct it ought not to be put on until it is thoroughly dry; or the Paper will be lost. The...
I am sorry to find by your letter of the 11th Instt that the Crops & every thing else were suffering from a drought. yet, by the weekly report which accompanied the letter, it appears that rain had fallen the 6th, only five days before, but I suppose this must have been a slight one. It is not only unlucky, but unaccountable, that the Oats should not have been received with the other things....
Agreeably to what I promised in my letter of the 19th, I now write to you further, on the subject of my Flour. Although I think the probability is, that flour will rather rise than fall, yet, as the warm Season is coming on, and I had rather be upon a certainty with respect to the Sale of mine than to hold it up for a higher price, by which I may be disappointed. It is my desire, if what I...
I learn with concern from your letter of the 18th instant, that your crops were still labouring under a drought, and most of them very much injured. At disappointments and losses which are the effects of Providential acts, I never repine; because I am sure the alwise disposer of events knows better than we do, what is best for us, or what we deserve. Two or three fine rains have fallen here in...
I am glad to find by your letter of the 27th ulto that you had had some good rains, previous to the date of it. Those rains, with such as have followed since, may give a very different appearance both to your Oats & flax; & may enliven, & push forward the Corn and B. Wheat; but I fear much for any grass that may have been cut, there having been no weather to cure it (in this part of the...
Your letters of the 4th instt accompanying the reports, came duly to hand; & by the Post of tomorrow I was in hopes I should have been able to inform you of the day I should leave this for Mount Vernon—but the case is otherwise—Congress are yet in Session, and although they talk of rising tomorrow, this may not be the case, and if it were other business will claim my attention for some days...
Your letter of the 8th with its enclosures I received yesterday. If nothing, unforeseen by me at present, intervenes to prevent it, I shall leave this City for Mount Vernon the day after tomorow; (tuesday) but as the weather is warm, my horses fat & out of exercise, and I may have occasion to stop a day on the road, it is not probable I shall reach home before sunday or monday next. I shall...
Your letter of the 9th, with the Reports of the preceeding week came to my hands yesterday. I arrived in this City myself on Monday; made rather worse by my journey, and a wetting I got on the Road on Saturday; having travelled all day through a constant Rain. I am sorry to hear that the wet weather continues to throw your work backward—especially plowing—as I am sensible you have much of it...
Yesterday brought me your letter, & the Reports of the preceeding week; the first dated the 16th instt & the other the 12th. Frequent Rains at this season, if they do not fall too heavily, nor are of too long a continuance, will be the making of the Corn & Buckwheat; but if they are of such a nature as to prevent plowing it will be bad; however, it may so happen, that if you cannot plow in one...
Your letter of the 23d and the reports, have been duly received. The ideas which I expressed in one of my late letters, respecting the cultivation (in Corn) of the lots in the Mill swamp, were not intended to forbid the practice in all parts where it was necessary, to cleanse & prepare them for grass; but to let you see that Corn was not so much an object with me, as meadow; and that I did not...
I removed to this place On Wednesday last, in order to avoid the heat of the City of Philadelphia. It is probable I shall remain here until about the middle of September—but letters will come to me as regularly as if I had remained in the City. Your letter of the 27th Ulto, and the reports, I received yesterday as usual; & wish the rains we have been complaining of, may not be much wanted...
I have duly received your letter of the 3d, with the reports of the preceeding week. If you think the Oat ground at River farm, will not be too much drawn by a succeeding Crop of Wheat, for Clover; I have no objection to your sowing it with Wheat. but I have serious doubts on this head; and doubts equally serious of another kind, viz.—that on such stiff & baking land as mine is, sowing Clover...
Your letter of the 10th has been duly received, and I am glad to find by it that your Corn still retains a favorable appearance, and that the ground on which it grows is in tolerable good order for the reception of Wheat. I wish it had been in perfect order, as I have no idea of the propriety of seeding where it is not. You have not yet answered a question in one of my late...
In reply to your letter of the 16th which, with the reports, came duly to hand; I have only to observe that it never was my intention to withdraw the hands from other essential work to employ them on the New Mill-Race; on the contrary I only wish that this job may be prosecuted at times—and at all times, when their other avocations will permit it, without detriment. No work is more essential,...
In your last letter of the 24th instt came a copy of the conditions of Colo. Lyles Bond; but you did not give the date of it; which reason the purpose it was wanted for, cannot be accomplished until the date is transmitted. In one of the early letters I wrote to you, I pointed out a method, which if you would observe, it would be impossible to omit any thing to which an answer was required:...
Your letter of the 31st ulto with the Reports, I have received. A few days ago I received a letter from Mr Pyne dated in the City of Washington still expressing a desire to be employed at Mount Vernon, and a wish to be there some short time before Butler left it, that he might get a little insight into the nature of the business, previous to his entering upon duty. I referred him for his being...
I am well satisfied that the omission of the date of Colo. Lyle’s bond was accident, & not design—& for that reason suggested a mode, by the observance of which, no information that is required will ever be omitted. When is that Gentleman, by promise, to discharge this bond? I think you were quite right in sowing the early (or drilled) wheat at different seasons, with a view to discover the...
Your letter of the 14th instt and the weekly reports, have been recd. We left our Quarters at German Town yesterday, and are again fixed in this City. Thomas Green’s quitting my business of his own accord—whatever the pretence may be—is in my opinion a lucky circumstance, as my repugnance to turning him away was on account of his helpless family. These you may suffer to remain where they are,...
I have received your letter of the 21st instt, and the Reports of the preceeding week. I am glad to find your seeding of Wheat is over, and that it is compleated in such good time. There cannot, in my opinion, be the smallest occasion for opening the new road, which under different circumstances than those which exist at present, was ordered by the Court at my particular request —Nor would it...
In a seperate letter of this date, I have wrote you pretty fully respecting the New Road which you are appointed Overseer of, with orders to open; that the letter may be shewn to the Court—to Mr Mason—or whomsoever is the mover in this business, without having other matters of a more private nature blended therewith. Since writing to you this day week, I have engaged a Scotchman, just arrived...
I am thus far (55 miles from Philadelphia) on my way to Carlisle agreably to what I wrote you on sunday last. As I am not much accustomed to the management of Buck Wheat—and think I have heard you declare the Same—the purpose of my writing to you now, is to inform you that this Crop on the whole road I have travelled, is cut down (although I should have thought it much too green) and remains...
If this letter should reach your hands, it will be delivered by Mr Weston, who with his lady may take a ride from Alexandria to Mount Vernon. Should this happen, I request you will make their visit as agreeable as your situation will enable you to do. I am Your friend &ca ALS (photocopy), reproduced in Historical Review of Berks County , vol. III, no. 2 (January 1938). GW probably was...
I wrote you a few lines from Reading the first instant—and the only design of writing to you now is, to inform you that I clearly see that it will not be in my power to visit Mount Vernon before the meeting of Congress, and of course not ’till the Spring. I mention this matter that you may not, whenever the situation of your business will permit you to be absent, delay your journey to the...
I have had neither leizure for, nor opportunity of, writing to you since I did it from Carlisle, ’till my return to this place; which happened on Tuesday last. In the meantime I have received your several letters of the 28th of Septr—and 5th 17th and 23d of last month. As the accident I met with in June last, prevented my riding about my farms when I was last at home, I should have been very...
By the Post of yesterday I received your letter of the 11th instt, with the Reports of the three preceeding weeks; (except those of the Carpenters). I did not write to you last week, not having heard from you by the two Posts before. I am glad to hear that your Potatoes & Corn are likely to turn out well, & that the Wheat now in the ground looks promising. The last Crop of that article...