George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 16 January 1760]

Wednesday Jany. 16. I parted with Mr. Gibourne, leaving Colo. Champes before the Family was Stirring and abt. 10 reachd my Mothers where I breakfasted and then went to Fredericksburg with my Brothr. Saml. who I found there.

Abt. Noon it began Snowing, the Wind at So. West but not Cold; was disappointed of seeing my Sister Lewis & getting a few things which I wanted out of the Stores returnd in the Evening to Mother’s—all alone with her.

my mother’s: the Ferry Farm of GW’s youth. When GW was about three years old the Washingtons moved from his birthplace at Pope’s Creek, Westmoreland County, about 60 miles up the Potomac River to a new home near Little Hunting Creek. There the family lived three years on the plantation that later became Mount Vernon in Prince William (after 1741, Fairfax) County. In Nov. 1738 GW’s father bought 260 acres on the north bank of the Rappahannock River just below the new town of Fredericksburg, and the next month he moved his family to this new home. Although GW, by his father’s will, inherited the farm upon reaching his majority in 1753, his mother remained there until the early 1770s.

Samuel Washington (1734–1781), the eldest of GW’s three younger brothers, left Ferry Farm in the mid–1750s and settled on a 600–acre plantation in the Chotank district of Stafford County that he had inherited from his father. He also had a house in the town of Fredericksburg, which in 1760, with a population of about 2,500, was a flourishing commercial and cultural center, serving most of the Rappahannock valley and a large part of the backcountry.

GW’s sister was Betty Washington (1733–1797), born at Pope’s Creek and raised at the Ferry Farm. In 1750 she married the widower Fielding Lewis (1725–1781), son of John and Frances Fielding Lewis, of Warner Hall in Gloucester County. Fielding Lewis was a second cousin to both GW and Betty. The Lewises, who had seven children that survived to adulthood, lived in Fredericksburg at a home built for Lewis in 1752, later called Kenmore.

In the Fredericksburg stores GW today bought 27½ pounds of German steel, a Dutch oven, and an iron pot (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 63).

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