George Washington Papers
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[Diary entry: 20 March 1798]

20. Morning—Soft & cloudy without Wind—Mer. at 42. Raining at times from about noon with the Wind at No. Et. Mer. contd. at 42 all day. Mr. Lawe. Washington of Chotanck & Mr. Lawe. Washington of Belmont came to Dinner. Albin Rawlins came to live with me as Clerk.

GW, upon “finding it impracticable to use the exercise on horse back which my health business and inclination requires, and at the same time to keep my acots., and perform all the writing, which my late Public Occupations have been the means of involving me in, I resolved to employ a clerk,” preferably “a single man . . . on very moderate wages . . . [to] be content to eat with, and live in the same manner the Housekeeper does, having a room to himself to write in, and another to lodge in, over the same” (GW to William Augustine Washington, 27 Feb. 1798, DLC:GW; GW to Albin Rawlins, 31 Jan. 1798, DLC:GW; WRITINGS description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 36:150–51, 171–74). The clerk’s “principle employment” would be “to copy and record letters and other Papers, to keep Books (if required) and an account of articles received from and delivered to the Farms . . . to go . . . to such places as my business may require, to receive grain, and attend to the measurement of it, and other things when it is necessary to send a trustworthy person to see it done” (GW to Albin Rawlins, 12 Feb. 1798, DLC:GW; WRITINGS description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745–1799. 39 vols. Washington, D.C., 1931–44. description ends , 36:164–66). After some dickering GW hired Albin Rawlins, of Hanover County, for $150 per year (see Rawlins to GW, 26 Jan. and 7 Feb. 1798, DLC:GW).

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