George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 14 January 1760]

Monday Jany. 14th. The Wind at No. West, and the Morning being clear and cold but otherwise fine we set out—Mr. Seldon obligingly accompanying us a few Miles to prevent any misapprehensions of the Road. We arrivd about 2 Oclock to the Plantation late Colo. Turners but now Inhabited by an Overseer directly opposite to Port Royal (at this place also Mr. Giberne lodges) and here we were disagreably disappointed of meeting him for a few hours but at length he arrivd almost at the same Instant that Colo. Bassett did. From hence we moved over to Port Royal and spent the Evening at Fox’s with Mr. & Mrs. Bassett.

Mr. Bassett brought me a letter from Captn. Langbourn Inclosing a Bill of Lading for 20 Hhds. pr. the Deliverance Captn. Wm. Whyte. One other was sent by the Ship neither of which signifying to whom the Tobo. was Consignd which is not less strange than that only two Bills shd. be given when 4 and never less than three is customary in War time.

The Wind freshned up as the Evening came on and causd a most intense frost. Indeed no thaw had been the whole day.

Thomas Turner (d. 1758) had lived at Walsingham in King George County. His son Thomas (d. 1757) had been an old friend of GW’s. At the age of 16 GW won 1s. 3d. from the latter in a game of billiards. Rev. Isaac William Giberne was licensed in 1758 and came to Virginia the next year to find a parish. In 1760 he left his bachelor’s quarters at Walsingham to marry a wealthy widow, Mary Fauntleroy Beale, and moved to her home, Belle Ville, in Richmond County, Lunenburg Parish, which he served 1762–95. A hard drinker, an avid cardplayer, and an active Whig, Giberne was generally considered to be the most popular preacher in the colony (FITHIAN description begins Hunter Dickinson Farish, ed. Journal & Letters of Philip Vickers Fithian, 1773–1774: A Plantation Tutor of the Old Dominion. Williamsburg, Va., 1943. description ends , 25n). The original Roy’s tavern at Port Royal was bought in 1755 by Capt. William Fox (d. 1772) and was run by his wife Ann during the captain’s sailing trips between England and Virginia (CAMPBELL [1] description begins Thomas Elliott Campbell. Colonial Caroline: A History of Caroline County, Virginia. Richmond, 1954. description ends , 398).

Capt. William Langbourne (Langborn) (1723–1766) was a ship captain who sailed between Virginia and Bristol, Eng. Langbourne’s home, in King William County, was about three miles up the Pamunkey River from Williams’ Ferry. The bill of lading, for tobacco from a Custis estate in York County, was directed to the Hanbury firm of London. In 1754 Capt. William Whyte was commanding the Deliverance between Virginia and Barbados (Va. Gaz., 19 July and 7 Nov. 1754).

In 1760 the Seven Years’ (French and Indian) War was raging on three continents and in most of the world’s oceans, putting every British merchant ship in danger of being captured or sunk by the French. Thus, commercial communications between America and Britain were usually sent in triplicate or quadruplicate in different ships, so that at least one copy would get through. GW was not overcautious; the Deliverance was, in fact, taken by the French. The tobacco had been insured, and GW reflected that “accidents of this Nature are common & ought not to be repin’d at” (GW to Capel & Osgood Hanbury, 10 Aug. 1760, DLC:GW).

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