George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 12 January 1760]

Saturday Jany. 12th. Sett out with Mrs. Bassett on her journey to Port Royal. The morning was clear and fine but soon clouded and promisd much Rain or other falling weather wch. is generally the case after remarkable white Frosts—as it was to day. We past Occoquan witht. any great difficulty withstanding the Wind was something high and Lodgd at Mr. McCraes in Dumfries—sending the Horses to the Tavern.

Here I was informd that Colo. Cocke was disgusted at my House, and left it because he see an old Negroe there resembling his own Image.

The ferry at Occoquan Creek, about ten miles south of Mount Vernon, was owned by George Mason of Gunston Hall and run by one of his slaves. At the ferry crossing, the creek was quite shallow and about 100 yards wide, thus being treacherous in high winds. By 1760 Dumfries, on Quantico Creek in lower Prince William County, was losing in its commercial competition with Alexandria. Allan Macrae (d. 1766) was one of the Scottish merchants who built the town on the tobacco trade. He had come to Virginia about 1750 and in 1756 married Elizabeth Pearson (VIRKUS description begins Frederick Adams Virkus, ed. The Compendium of American Genealogy: The Standard Genealogical Encyclopedia of the First Families of America. 7 vols. Chicago, 1925–42. description ends , 5:162).

Catesby Cocke (b. 1702), son of William Cocke (1672–1720), served successively as clerk of Stafford, Prince William, and Fairfax counties. In 1746 he retired and lived in Dumfries near his daughter Elizabeth, who had married John Graham (1711–1787), founder of Dumfries.

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