George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 7 January 1760]

Monday Jany. 7th. Accompanied Mrs. Bassett to Alexandria and engagd a Keg of Butter of Mr. Kirkpatrick being quite out of that Article.

Wrote from thence to Doctr. Craik to endeavour if possible to engage me a Gardener from the Regiment and returnd in the dusk of the Evening.

Mrs. Bassett, the former Anna Maria Dandridge (1739–1777), younger sister of Mrs. Washington, in 1757 married Burwell Bassett, of Eltham, New Kent County, by whom she had seven children. Mr. Kirkpatrick was one of two brothers, John or Thomas, merchants and partners in Alexandria. John was GW’s personal secretary, 1755–57. The keg of butter weighed 71 pounds and cost GW £2 13s. 3d., which he paid on 25 Jan. (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio folio 63).

A GARDENER FROM THE REGIMENT: Dr. Craik did not find a gardener, so GW asked Capt. Robert Stewart of the Virginia Regiment, then stationed at Winchester, to locate one and then find a replacement for him in the regiment. Stewart quickly found a replacement, but the chosen gardener—whose surname was Allen or Allan—balked at the terms. An appeal went out to the commandant at Pittsburgh—to no avail. Finally, in Dec. 1762, Allen went to Mount Vernon to be interviewed for the gardener’s position. Apparently he did not take it.

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