George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 15 January 1760]

Tuesday Jany. 15th. Mr. Gibourne and I, leaving Mr. Bassett Just ready to set out recrossd the River and proceeded to Colo. Carters where we dind and in the Evening reachd Colo. Champes.

Several Gentlemen dind with us at Colo. Carters (neighbours of his) but we spent a very lonesome Evening at Colo. Champes not any Body favouring us with their Company but himself.

The Morning of this day was exceeding cold the Wind still continuing at No. West but in the Evening it died away grew something more moderate and promisd falling weather but no appearance of a thaw.

Charles Carter (1707–1764), of Cleve, King George County, was the third son of Robert “King” Carter. In 1760 Charles was one of the most powerful members of the House of Burgesses.

Col. John Champe (d. 1763), of Lamb’s Creek, King George County, served variously as sheriff, coroner, and justice of the peace. Champe’s daughter Jane became the first wife of GW’s younger brother Samuel.

During the previous summer GW, Colonel Carter, Colonel Champe, and 15 other gentlemen had been commissioned justices for King George County by the governor and council (King George County Order Book for 1751–65, 874, Vi Microfilm). GW was entitled to be a King George justice by virtue of owning Ferry Farm and other property in the county, but he declined to serve, apparently finding the distance from Mount Vernon to the King George courthouse too great to attend the frequent court sessions. Like several others named in the commission, he did not take the required oaths of office, and his name was explicitly deleted from the county’s next commission of the peace, which was issued in 1770 (VA. EXEC. JLS. description begins H. R. McIlwaine et al., eds. Executive Journals of the Council of Colonial Virginia. 6 vols. Richmond, 1925–66. description ends , 6:345). In Sept. 1768, GW was appointed to the Fairfax County Court.

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