George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 25 January 1760]

Friday Jany. 25th. Fine warm morning with the wind at So. till abt. 10 Oclock when it came westerly and then No. Wt. blewing exceeding hard till 3 in the afternoon.

Went to Alexandria and saw my Tobo. wch. came from the Mountns. lying in an open shed with the ends of the Hhds out and in very bad order. Engagd the Inspection of it on Monday.

Wrote to Doctr. Ross to purchase me a Joiner, Bricklayer, and Gardner if any Ship of Servants was in.

Also wrote to my old Servt. Bishop to return to me again if he was not otherwise engagd. Directed for him at Phila. but no certainty of his being there.

saw my tob[acc]o: Nicotiana tabacum, tobacco, was GW’s main cash crop during this period but less important to him later (see the Introduction, p. xxx). Tobacco was inspected in tobacco warehouses, established in compliance with the acts of 1730 and 1732 of the General Assembly to prevent the exportation of “bad, unsound, and unmerchantable tobacco” (HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 4:247, 331). FROM THE MOUNTNS.: from Bullskin plantation in Frederick County.

Dr. David Ross (d. 1778) was a merchant in Bladensburg, Md. GW had dealt with him during the French and Indian War, when Ross was a commissary for the Maryland troops. The servants would be white indentured servants emigrating from the British Isles. Thomas Bishop (c.1705–c.1795) came to America with General Braddock in the spring of 1755. Soon after GW was appointed colonel of the new Virginia Regiment he hired Bishop as his personal servant, paying him £10 per year. Seven months after GW retired from military life, Bishop resigned from GW’s service, apparently with the intention of rejoining a unit of the British army. Philadelphia had been since 1757 the eastern headquarters for the frontier expeditions in which GW and Bishop had served.

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