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I take the liberty of enclosing a letter from Colo. Parker to Mr Lear, in which he requests that I will write to the proper department, to have arrangements made for the payment of two thousand one hundred & seventy five dollars and one third, being the amount of the purchase of one hundred and ninety six acres of land, bought, for the United States, adjoining the public ground at Harper’s...
Have you succeeded, or are you likely to succeed, in procuring the Hemp seed I required? The fly has got into my Wheat, very generally this Fall; and I lay my account for great ravages thereon next Spring; which makes me more desirous of laying (to use a Sea term) an anchor to windward for something else. I congratulate you and Patcy on the birth of a “Manchild” —My best wishes attend the...
32373[Diary entry: 4 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
4. Morning clear—wind at No. Wt. and Mer. at 36. From 10 oclock until 2 very like for Snow. It then cleared & became mild & pleasant. Mer. 38 at N.
32374[Diary entry: 5 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
5. Morning raining and it continued to do so moderately through the day with the Wind at So. Et. Mer. 38 in the Morning & 36 at Night.
32375[Diary entry: 6 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
6. Morning heavy, with appearances of clearing now & then, but about 2 oclock it set in to raining. Mer. 34 in the morning & 37 at Night.
32376[Diary entry: 7 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
7. Rainy morning, with the Wind at No. Et. & Mer. at 37. Afternoon clear & pleasant wind westerly. Mer. 41 at Night. Dined at Lord Fairfax’s.
Your letter of the 10th of Septr came duly to hand, but as there was nothing contained in it that required to be acted upon immediately, I postponed acknowledging the receipt of it at an earlier period. The death of Mr Airess, of which I have been informed—and the direct conveyance, afforded by your brother Howells return, have induced me, to write you at this time. What prospect the death of...
Your favour of the 5th instant was received last night. Not sending up to the Post Office every day, is the cause of its not getting to hand in time for my answer by the Mail of this day. Enclosed is a list of such fruit Trees as my Gardener has chosen. Be so good as to have them sent to the care of Colo. Gilpin in Alexandria, who will receive—take care of—and give me notice of their arrival:...
32379[Diary entry: 8 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
8th. Morning perfectly clear, calm and pleasant; but about 9 oclock the wind came from the No. Wt. and blew fresh. Mer. 38 in the morning and 40 at Night.
Your letters of the 23d Ulto and 1st instant have both been received. the part which relates to Mr Custis’s pay—as an Officer in the Cavalry—has been given to him, and he writes you himself on the subject. I have naught therefore to add on it. Captn Ellwood had not arrived at Alexandria yesterday, from hence I conclude he was to have touched at Norfolk; otherwise his passage will have been...
I have received your letter of the 4th instant, enclosing a Resolution of the Legislature of Maryland to take, on account of the State, one hundred & thirty shares in the augmented Capital of the Potomak Company, and thank you for your politeness in forwarding of it to me. Altho’ this mode of obtaining money to complete the Navigation of the River, differs from the plan adopted at the last...
For the communications contained in your letter of yesterday, I thank you. As a citizen of the United States, it gives me pleasure, at all times, to hear that works of public ⟨uti⟩lity are resolved on, and in a state of progression—wheresoever adopted, and whensoever begun. The one resolved on between the Chesapeake and Delaware is of great magnitude, and will be, I trust, the Precursor of...
Your favour of yesterday I received this morning. Altho’ the Legislature of Maryland has taken up the business of the Potomack Company upon different ground, than on that which was adopted at the last General meeting of the Stockholders, and less advantageous for them if they could have carried their mode into effect; yet, as my primary wish, is to see the work completed, I rejoice that the...
32384[Diary entry: 9 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
9. Morning clear & pleasant, with a light Wind from No. W. Mer. at 33. Pleasant all day—afternoon Calm. Mer. 39 at Night. Mr. Howell Lewis & wife set off on their return home after breakfast and Mr. Lawe. Lewis and Washington Custis on a journy. to N. Kent.
32385[Diary entry: 10 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
10. Morning clear & calm. Mer. at 31. Afternoon lowering. Mer. at 42 and wind brisk from the Southward. A very large hoar frost this morng.
In answer to your letter of yesterday’s date, I have to observe that you, as well as others, have mistaken my real situation very much when it is supposed that I have it in my power to lend money. The truth is, that my receipts of this article, for some years back, have fallen so far short of my expenditures—without having made any purchases to increase my property (excepting a lot or two in...
River-Farm Crops for, & operations thereon, for the year 1800 Field No. 1—Is now partly in Wheat. Part thereof is to be sown with Oats. another part may be sown with Pease, broadcast. Part is in meadow, and will remain so. and the most broken, washed, & indifferent part, is to remain uncultivated; but to be harrowed & smoothed in the Spring, and the worst parts thereof (if practicable) to be...
32388[Diary entry: 11 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
11. But little wind and Raining. Mer. 44 in the Morning and 38 at Night. About 9 oclock the Wind shifted to No. Wt. & it ceased raining but contd. Cloudy. Lord Fairfax, his Son Thos. and daughter—Mrs. Warner Washington & son Whiting—and Mr. Jno. Herbert dined here & returned after dinner.
I have duly received your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclosing a Copy of what you had written to the Secretary of War, on the subject of a Military Academy. The Establishment of an Institution of this kind, upon a respectable and extensive basis, has ever been considered by me as an Object of primary importance to this Country; and while I was in the Chair of Government, I omitted no proper...
32390[Diary entry: 12 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
12. Morning Cloudy—Wind at No. Et. & Mer. 33. A large circle round the Moon last Night. About 1 oclock it began to snow—soon after to Hail and then turned to a settled cold Rain. Mer. 28 at Night.
I have duly received your letter of the 28th ultimo, enclosing a Copy of what you had written to the Secretary of War, on the subject of a Military Academy. The Establishment of an Institution of this kind, upon a respectable and extensive basis, has ever been considered by me as an Object of primary importance to this Country; and while I was in the Chair of Government, I omitted no proper...
32392[Diary entry: 13 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
13. Morning Snowing & abt. 3 Inches deep. Wind at No. Et. & Mer. at 30. Contg. Snowing till 1 Oclock and abt. 4 it became perfectly clear. Wind in the same place but not hard. Mer. 28 at Night. On 12 Dec. in the midst of the day’s severe weather GW rode out to supervise winter activities at the various farms, becoming wet and chilled in the course of his ride. On the 13th, in spite of a...
I did not know that you were here yesterday morning until I had mounted my horse, otherwise I should have given you what I now send. As Mr Rawlins was going to the Union Farm, to lay off the Clover lots, I sent by him the Duplicate for that Farm to his brother—and as I was going to River Farm myself, I carried a copy for that Farm to Dowdal—Both of them have been directed to consider them...
32394School Exercises (Washington Papers)
[ Ferry Farm, 1744–1748 ]. The earliest manuscripts among GW’s surviving papers are the schoolwork of his boyhood, amounting to 218 pages of exercises, mostly in mathematics and surveying. Because of the special character of these documents and because with appropriate annotation they will fill a volume in themselves, the exercises have been set aside for separate publication. At his death GW...
Between the ages of 17 and 20 GW was a practicing professional land surveyor. During that time he made more than 190 surveys, nearly all of them for grants of new lands on the frontiers of Lord Fairfax’s Northern Neck Proprietary. Frontier surveying was a lucrative business in Virginia at the middle of the eighteenth century, as swarms of settlers and speculators laid claim to the colony’s...
The Preface to this volume includes an extended discussion of the problems relating to the letter books that GW kept during the French and Indian War, all of which are in the Washington Papers at the Library of Congress. There are two manuscript copies of the letter book for the Braddock campaign in the library. One is the original letter book kept by GW during the campaign and revised by him....