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1I, 15 December 1799 (Washington Papers)
The following circumstantial account of the last illness and death of General Washington was noted by T. Lear, on Sunday following his death, which happened on Saturday Eveng Decr 14th 1799 between the hours of ten and eleven. On Thursday Decr 12th the General rode out to his farms about ten o’clock, and did not return home till past 3 oclk. Soon after he went out, the weather became very bad,...
2II, 14 December 1799 (Washington Papers)
This day being marked by an event which will be memorable in the History of America, and perhaps of the world, I shall give a particular statement of it, to which I was an eye witness. The last illness and Death of General Washington On thursday Decr 12th—the General rode out to his farms about ten o’clock, and did not return home ’till past three. Soon after he went out the weather became...
3December [1799] (Washington Papers)
1. Morning clear & but little Wd.—that Southerly. Mer. 26. Lowering towards evening. Mer. 36. Mr. Foot dined here. 2. Rained in the Night. Morning heavy. Wind Southerly and Mer. at 36. Afternoon calm, & less clouded. Mer. 38. Lord Fairfax, Lady, Daughter & Miss Dennison dined here. 3. Morning extremely foggy. Mer. at 38 and wind what there was of it Southerly. Abt. 2 oclock the fog dispelled...
4[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...
6[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...
8[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.
9[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...
12[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.
Letter not found: from Robert Boggess, 9 Dec. 1799. GW wrote Boggess on 10 Dec. : “In answer to your letter of yesterday’s date. . . .”
During a late Visit to New York, I learnt that the leading federal Characters (even in Massachusetts) consider Mr Adams as unfit for the Office he now holds. Without pretending to decide on the Merits of that Opinion, which will operate alike whether well or illfounded, it appeared necessary to name some other Person. You will easily conceive that his Predecessor was wished for and regretted,...
15[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...
Enclosed we have the honor to hand two Resolutions which were passed last week by the Legislature of this State; by a calculation noted at foot, to which we beg to refer you, we find it will be a great Object to obtain the transfer of this Stock before the 15th of this month, at which time the Books are shut, & no transfer can be made untill after the 1st of January when a Dividend of 3½ p. Ct...
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...
21[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.
Inclosed I take the Liberty to leave you a Letter of recommendation with which I was favord by Mr St John de Crœvecœur of Normandy, who I saw well in May last, and who desired to be respectfully rememberd to you, your Lady & Family. I also beg leave to present to you a copy of a Work on the Commerce of the United States, which I wrote and published at paris during the residence there of the...
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:...
Letter not found: from William Thornton, 7 Dec. 1799. GW thanked Thornton on 8 Dec. for “the communications contained in your letter of yesterday.”
Letter not found: from Alexander White, 7 Dec. 1799. GW wrote White on 8 Dec. : “Your favour of yesterday I received this morning.”
27[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.
28[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.
In answer to the Letter which I had the honour of receiving from you Yesterday I have the pleasure of informing you that there is nothing to be paid for the Fruit Trees in addition to what you subscribed to Leflet, therefore if you will be pleased to specify the numbers of each Sort omiting any kinds you may not be inclined to have & calculating what you take at 1s. Maryld Cury Tree to the...
30[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.
Knowing the great Interest you have always taken in the promotion of the Navigation of the Potomak—I lose not a moment to inform you that I have at length suceeded to get this great Object aided by a grant of the Legislature of this State to the full amount contemplated by the Company—and it is with extreme Pleasure I have it in my Power to enclose a Resolution to that Effect which has this...
32[Diary entry: 3 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
3. Morning extremely foggy. Mer. at 38 and wind what there was of it Southerly. Abt. 2 oclock the fog dispelled and it became extremely pleasant. Mrs. Stuart & daughters went away after breakfast.
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...
I have recd your private letter of the 17th Novr ulto, since which I have been very closely engaged in business. The inclosed news paper contains the Presidents speech delivered to-day. You will find it nearly what it ought to be, I had feared he would have entered into reasoning upon a certain measure which had he would most assuredly have attracted to the subject a very pointed direct or...
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...
Letter not found: from Timothy Pickering, 3 Dec. 1799. GW’s letter of 24 Nov. to Pickering is docketed by Pickering, “answd Decr 3d.”
37[Diary entry: 2 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
2. Rained in the Night. Morning heavy. Wind Southerly and Mer. at 36. Afternoon calm, & less clouded. Mer. 38. Lord Fairfax, Lady, Daughter & Miss Dennison dined here.
To communicate to our friends agreable incidents we are readily promptd by the pleasure it gives but it is duty alone which can lead us to be the communicators of uncomefortable tidings Tis this that impels me to inform my friends at Mount Vernon that Mrs Henley was attacked about ten days since with a severe bilious pleurisy her weak constitution was unequal to the shock and in five days she...
Since you mentioned the Plaster of Paris which was for Sale in Richmond, (but after you left this) it occurred to me, that as it was not a saleable article with you, it might be my cheapest mode to purchase there to supply my want of this article next year on my Farms around me. Permit me, for this reason, to ask the favour of you to learn from the Gentleman who has it for Sale, what quantity...
I have been duly favoured with your letter of the 25th Ulto, enclosing a copy of the Survey made for William Shepherd, for four & three quarter acres, and the form of a Caveate against the issuing a Patent therefor. I cannot from the survey, discover with precision where this land lays, and therefore shall give no further opposition to the Grant of it. If it be, where I suspect, it is within...
41[Diary entry: 1 December 1799] (Washington Papers)
1. Morning clear & but little Wd.—that Southerly. Mer. 26. Lowering towards evening. Mer. 36. Mr. Foot dined here.
Letter not found: from Clement Biddle, 1 Dec. 1799. GW wrote Biddle on 8 Dec. : “Your letters of the 23d Ulto and 1st instant have both been received.”
In answer to your letter of the 27th Ulto —If you have no Vessel passing below this (from whence the Sugar could be landed with very little trouble or delay) I request that it may be deposited at Colo. Gilpin’s, in Alexandria. Let the cask in which it is packed, be well secured; the Sugars hitherto had from you, has, sometimes, fallen short in weight. I am Sir—Your very Hble Servant ALS...
Your favour of the 30th Ulto, enclosing Mr Blagdens dimensions of the rooms in my houses in the City, came to my hands this morning; With a list of the different kinds of Fruit trees in the Frenchmans Garden; to whom I was a subscriber. The terms on which the subscription was set on foot, have entirely escaped me; my motive for subscribing—namely—to encourage a nursery of that sort, still...
45November [1799] (Washington Papers)
1. Morning clear. A little breeze from the northward. Mer. at 55. Clear all day, & calm in the Afternoon. Mr. Craik went away after Breakfast. Mer. 49 at Night. 2. Morning clear. Mer. at 45. Wind at So. Wt. Afternoon a little hazy with indications of Rain. Mr. Jno. Fairfax (formerly an overseer of mine) came here before dinner and stayed all Night. John Fairfax resigned from GW’s employ in...
46[Diary entry: 30 November 1799] (Washington Papers)
30. Morning cloudy—but no appearance of Rain. Wind So. W. but soon Shifted to No. Wt. Mer. at 24 in the morning & 31 at Night. Colo. & Mrs. Carrington went away after B[reakfas]t.
I thank you for the courses of so much of your land on Difficult, as had any relation to my small tract at the Bridge, over that stream, and for the communications contained in your favour of the 28th Instt. The information derived from these sources, has satisfied me that the opinion of the Borderers on my land that it extended to Tankervilles line; and my own opinion (when I found the lines...
Letter not found: from William Thornton, 30 Nov. 1799. GW wrote Thornton on 1 Dec. : “Your favour of the 30th Ulto . . . came to my hands this morning.”
49[Diary entry: 29 November 1799] (Washington Papers)
29. Morning until about 9 Oclock Snowing—but not to lay on the grd. Mer. at 33 and wind at No. Wt. but neither hard nor cold. Afterwards it increased & turned colder. Young D. McCarty came to dinner and Mr. Howell Lewis & wife after dinner. Howell Lewis’s wife was Ellen Hackley Pollard Lewis (1776–1859).
50[Diary entry: 28 November 1799] (Washington Papers)
28. Morning Cloudy—Wind Southerly and Mer. at 32. About 2 oclock it began to rain & continued to do so all the afternoon. Mer. 33 at Night. Colo. & Mrs. Carrington came to Dinner.