George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 23 January 1760]

Wednesday Jany. 23d. Clear and more moderate than Yesterday—but the g[roun]d & r[iver] still hard frozen. Abt. Noon the wind (what little blew) came Westerly and Inclining South.

My Waggon set of for Frederick with Sundry’s that were wrote for by the Overseer there.

Doctr. Craik left this for Alexandria and I visited my Quarter’s & the Mill. According to Custom found young Stephen’s absent.

GW’s gristmill at this time was on the east side of Dogue Run, about 2 miles northwest of Mount Vernon. Lawrence Washington, acting on behalf of his father, Augustine, had apparently obtained this mill for the family in 1738, when he bought a 56–acre tract of land on the run from William Spencer (deed of Spencer to Lawrence Washington, 1–2 Mar. 1738, Prince William County Deeds, Book D, 110–16, Vi Microfilm). This property was transferred to Augustine and remained his until his death in 1743, when Lawrence was bequeathed the Mount Vernon tract “with the water mill Adjoining thereto or Lying Near the same” (will of Augustine Washington, 11 April 1743, DLC:GW). Lawrence may have improved the mill and the milldam near it, because in 1750 he bought 94 acres of land on the west side of Dogue Run onto which his millpond had overflowed and in the following year bought 22 acres adjoining the “Mill Tract” on the north, probably for the same reason (deed of Henry Trenn to Lawrence Washington, 4–5 Feb. 1750, Fairfax County Deeds, Book C–1, 152–55, Vi Microfilm; deed of Thomas Marshall to Lawrence Washington, 28 Mar. 1751, Fairfax County Deeds, Book C–1, 159–60, Vi Microfilm). Thus, there were now 172 acres around GW’s mill, land which he later called his mill plantation.

Robert Stephens, son of Richard, worked on GW’s Williamson farm in 1760. He apparently left before the harvest, for GW directed the 1760 Williamson farm harvest himself (see entry for 26 Jan. 1760).

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