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1Editorial Note (Washington Papers)
Editorial note . During the spring of 1748 GW undertook a journey that introduced him for the first time to an area which was to play an important part in his career. In March of that year he had an opportunity to join a party engaged by Lord Fairfax Thomas Fairfax, sixth Baron Fairfax of Cameron (1693–1781), was born at Leeds Castle, County Kent, and educated at Oriel College, Oxford....
Fryday March 11th. 1747/8. Began my Journey in Company with George Fairfax Esqr.; we travell’d this day 40 Miles to Mr. George Neavels in Prince William County. The two dates used by GW are explained by the difference between New Style and Old Style dating. Until 1752 England, Ireland, and the colonies followed the Julian Calendar (Old Style). Under England’s interpretation of the Julian...
3[Diary entry: 11 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday March 11th. 1747/8. Began my Journey in Company with George Fairfax Esqr.; we travell’d this day 40 Miles to Mr. George Neavels in Prince William County. The two dates used by GW are explained by the difference between New Style and Old Style dating. Until 1752 England, Ireland, and the colonies followed the Julian Calendar (Old Style). Under England’s interpretation of the Julian...
4[Diary entry: 12 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Saturday March 12th. This Morning Mr. James Genn the surveyor came to us. We travel’d over the Blue Ridge to Capt. Ashbys on Shannondoa River. Nothing remarkable happen’d. John Ashby (1707– 1797 1789 ) was a member of a prominent frontier family. His father, Thomas Ashby, had settled in Stafford County in 1710 and moved to what is now Fauquier County before 1748. In 1741 John Ashby married...
5[Diary entry: 13 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Sunday March 13. Rode to his Lordships Quarter about 4 Miles higher up the River we went through most beautiful Groves of Sugar Trees & spent the best part of the Day in admiring the Trees & richness of the Land. It has usually been suggested that the party proceeded on 13 Mar. to Fairfax’s land across the Shenandoah—the area known as Greenway Court ( FREEMAN Douglas Southall Freeman. George...
6[Diary entry: 14 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Monday 14th. We sent our Baggage to Capt. Hites (near Frederick Town) went ourselves down the River about 16 Miles to Capt. Isaac Penningtons (the Land exceeding Rich & Fertile all the way produces abundance of Grain Hemp Tobacco &c.) in order to Lay of some Lands on Cates Marsh & Long Marsh. Jost Hite (d. 1760) was born in Strasbourg, Alsace, and emigrated to America about 1710, settling...
7[Diary entry: 15 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Tuesday 15th. We set out early with Intent to Run round the sd. Land but being taken in a Rain & it Increasing very fast obliged us to return. It clearing about one oClock & our time being too Precious to Loose we a second time ventured out & Worked hard till Night & then returnd to Penningtons we got our Suppers & was Lighted in to a Room & I not being so good a Woodsman as the rest of my...
8[Diary entry: 16 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Wednesday 16th. We set out early & finish’d about one oClock & then Travell’d up to Frederick Town where our Baggage came to us. We cleaned ourselves (to get Rid of the Game we had catched the Night before) & took a Review of the Town & then return’d to our Lodgings where we had a good Dinner prepar’d for us Wine & Rum Punch in Plenty & a good Feather Bed with clean Sheets which was a very...
9[Diary entry: 17 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Thursday 17th. Rain’d till Ten oClock & then clearing we reached as far as Major Campbells one of there Burgesses about 25 Miles from Town. Nothing Remarkable this day nor Night but that we had a Tolerable good Bed [to] lay on. Andrew Campbell, who lived northwest of Winchester, was one of Frederick County’s most prominent residents. He served as one of the county’s first justices, as a member...
10[Diary entry: 18 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday 18th. We Travell’d up about 35 Miles to Thomas Barwicks on Potomack where we found the River so excessively high by Reason of the Great Rains that had fallen up about the Allegany Mountains as they told us which was then bringing down the melted Snow & that it would not be fordable for severall Days it was then above Six foot Higher than usual & was Rising. We agreed to stay till...
11[Diary entry: 20 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Sunday 20th. Finding the River not much abated we in the Evening Swam our horses over & carried them to Charles Polks in Maryland for Pasturage till the next Morning. Charles Polk had land under cultivation in the area as early as 1748 ( NORRIS [1] J. E. Norris, ed. History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley . 1890. Reprint. Berryville, Va., 1972. , 68).
12[Diary entry: 21 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Monday 21st. We went over in a Canoe & Travell’d up Maryland side all the Day in a Continued Rain to Collo. Cresaps right against the Mouth of the South Branch about 40 Miles from Polks I believe the Worst Road that ever was trod by Man or Beast. Thomas Cresap (1694–1790) was born at Skipton, Yorkshire, Eng., and emigrated immigrated to America about 1719, settling first in Maryland and later...
13[Diary entry: 22 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Tuesday 22d. Continued Rain and the Freshes kept us at Cresaps.
14[Diary entry: 23 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Wednesday 23d. Rain’d till about two oClock & Clear’d when we were agreeably surpris’d at the sight of thirty odd Indians coming from War with only one Scalp. We had some Liquor with us of which we gave them Part it elevating there Spirits put them in the Humour of Dauncing of whom we had a War Daunce. There Manner of Dauncing is as follows Viz. They clear a Large Circle & make a great Fire in...
15[Diary entry: 25 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday 25th. 1748. Nothing Remarkable on thursday but only being with the Indians all day so shall slip it. This day left Cresaps & went up to the Mouth of Patersons Creek & there swum our Horses over got over ourselves in a Canoe & travel’d up the following Part of the Day to Abram Johnstones 15 miles from the Mouth where we camped. Patterson’s Creek flows into the Potomac about 12 miles...
16[Diary entry: 26 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Saterday 26. Travelld up the Creek to Solomon Hedges Esqr. one of his Majestys Justices of the Peace for the County of Frederick where we camped. When we came to Supper there was neither a Cloth upon the Table nor a Knife to eat with but as good luck would have it we had Knives of [our] own. Solomon Hedges. usually called Squire Hedges, a justice of the peace for Frederick County, was a member...
17[Diary entry: 27 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Sunday 27th. Travell’d over to the South Branch (attended with the Esqr.) to Henry Vanmetriss in order to go about Intended Work of Lots. The Van Meter family was among the earliest settlers in the Shenandoah Valley. John Van Meter, a New York state Indian trader who carried on an extensive trade among the Delaware Indians, visited Virginia about 1725. With his encouragement his sons Isaac and...
18[Diary entry: 28 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Monday 28th. Travell’d up the Branch about 30 Miles to Mr. James Rutlidge’s Horse Jockey & about 70 Miles from the Mouth. On 29 Mar. the party surveyed a tract of land for James Rutledge (surveying notes, DLC:GW ). Rutledge acquired 500 acres in Frederick County in May 1748 (Northern Neck Deeds and Grants, Book G, 56, Vi Microfilm). He was presumably a member of the family that had settled on...
19[Diary entry: 29 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Tuesday 29th. This Morning went out & Survey’d five Hundred Acres of Land & went down to one Michael Stumps on the So. Fork of the Branch. On our way Shot two Wild Turkies. Michael Stump, Sr. (1709–1768), received a grant for Lot No. 3, on the South Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac, on 8 Sept. 1749 (Northern Neck Deeds and Grants, Book G, 227, Vi Microfilm).
20[Diary entry: 30 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Wednesday 30th. This Morning began our Intended Business of Laying of Lots. We began at the Boundary Line of the Northern 10 Miles above Stumps & run of two Lots & returnd to Stumps. On this day the party surveyed tracts for Peter Reid, Anthony Regar, Harmon Shoker, and Elias Cellars (surveying notes, DLC:GW ).
21[Diary entry: 31 March 1748] (Washington Papers)
Thursday 31st. Early this Morning one of our Men went out with the Gun & soon Returnd with two Wild Turkies. We then went to our Business. Run of three Lots & returnd to our Camping place at Stumps.
22[April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday April the 1st. 1748. This Morning Shot twice at Wild Turkies but killd none. Run of three Lots & returnd to Camp. Saterday April 2d. Last Night was a blowing & Rainy night. Our Straw catch’d a Fire that we were laying upon & was luckily Preserv’d by one of our Mens awaking when it was in a ⟨   ⟩ We run of four Lots this day which Reached below Stumps. From 2 to 5 April the party...
23[Diary entry: 1 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday April the 1st. 1748. This Morning Shot twice at Wild Turkies but killd none. Run of three Lots & returnd to Camp.
24[Diary entry: 2 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Saterday April 2d. Last Night was a blowing & Rainy night. Our Straw catch’d a Fire that we were laying upon & was luckily Preserv’d by one of our Mens awaking when it was in a ⟨   ⟩ We run of four Lots this day which Reached below Stumps. From 2 to 5 April the party surveyed tracts for Michael Calb. Liveron (?), Leonard Nass, Michael Stump, James Simpson, Philip Moore, the Widow Wolf, Henry...
25[Diary entry: 3 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Sunday 3d. Last Night was a much more blostering night than the former. We had our Tent Carried Quite of with the Wind and was obliged to Lie the Latter part of the Night without covering. There came several Persons to see us this day one of our Men Shot a Wild Turkie.
26[Diary entry: 4 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Monday 4th. This morning Mr. Fairfax left us with Intent to go down to the Mouth of the Branch. We did two Lots & was attended by a great Company of People Men Women & Children that attended us through the Woods as we went shewing there Antick tricks. I really think they seem to be as Ignorant a Set of People as the Indians. They would never speak English but when spoken to they speak all...
27[Diary entry: 5 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Tuesday 5th. We went out & did 4 Lots. We were attended by the same Company of People that we had the day before.
28[Diary entry: 6 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Wednesday 6th. Last Night was so Intolerably smoaky that we were obliged all hands to leave the Tent to the Mercy of the Wind and Fire this day was attended by our aforesd. Company untill about 12 oClock when we finish’d we travell’d down the Branch to Henry Vanmetris’s. On our Journey was catch’d in a very heavy Rain. We got under a Straw House untill the Worst of it was over & then continued...
29[Diary entry: 7 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Thursday 7th. Rain’d Successively all Last Night. This Morning one of our men Killed a Wild Turky that weight 20 Pounds. We went & Surveyd 15 Hundred Acres of Land & Returnd to Vanmetris’s about 1 oClock. About two I heard that Mr. Fairfax was come up & at 1 Peter Casseys about 2 Miles of in the same Old Field. I then took my Horse & went up to see him. We eat our Dinners & Walked down to...
30[Diary entry: 8 April 1748] (Washington Papers)
Fryday 8th. We breakfasted at Casseys & Rode down to Vanmetris’s to get all our Company together which when we had accomplished we Rode down below the Trough in order to Lay of Lots there. We laid of one this day. The Trough is couple of Ledges of Mountain Impassable running side & side together for above 7 or 8 Miles & the River down between them. You must Ride Round the back of the Mountain...