George Washington Papers
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[Diary entry: 12 October 1786]

Thursday 12th. Mercury at 60 in the Morning—74 at Noon and 72 at Night.

Clear, calm, and warm all day, or rather till noon when a breeze from the Southward came up.

Rid to all the Plantations. Began in the Neck to sow wheat in the middle cut of drilled Corn. Ferry people all gone to the race and those at home at Dogue run all idle—Overseer being gone to the Race.

In the afternoon Doctr. Stuart and his wife Mr. Fitzhugh of Chatham, Mr. Presley Thornton Mr. Townshend Dade, and Mr. Stith came here, and stayed all Night.

Presley Thornton (1760–1807), of Northumberland County, was the son of Presley Thornton (1721–1769) and Charlotte Belson Thornton. The younger Thornton left with his mother for England in the early 1770s and served with the British army on the Continent during the Revolution. Thornton returned to Virginia immediately after the war and restored his citizenship by taking the required oaths of allegiance. In 1799 he served as a captain in the 8th United States Infantry and an aide to Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. About 1800 Thornton sold his Northumberland estate and moved to Genesee, N.Y., where he died (GW to James McHenry, 4 Feb. 1799, and GW to Thornton, 12 Aug. 1799, DLC:GW; WMQ description begins The William and Mary Quarterly: A Magazine of Early American History. Williamsburg, Va. description ends , 1st ser., 5 [1896–97], 198–99).

Townshend Dade who appears on this day may be David Stuart’s brother-in-law Townshend Dade (b. 1743). He had been married to Stuart’s sister Jane Stuart (1751–1774).

Mr. Stith was possibly John Stith (1755–1808), son of Buckner Stith (1722–1791) and brother of Col. Robert Stith of Chotank. John Stith married Ann (Nancy) Washington, daughter of Lawrence Washington (b. 1728) of Chotank and Elizabeth Dade Washington. Stith served as a captain with several different Virginia regiments during the Revolution.

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