George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 4 February 1760]

Monday Feby. 4th. White Frost & So[uther]ly Wind. Sometimes cloudy & sometimes clear. The Frost seemed to be getting out of the Ground.

Dispatchd Foster to Occoquan, to proceed from thence in Bailey’s Vessell to Portobacco for 100 Barrls. of Corn wch. Captn. Possey purchased of Mr. Hunter the Priest for my use. Sent money to pay for the Corn viz.—37 pistoles and a Shilling, each pistole weighing 4 d[ram]s 8 gr.

Breechy’s pains Increasd and he appeard extreamely ill all the day. In Suspence whither to send for Doctr. Laurie or not.

Visited my Plantations and found two Negroes Sick at Williamson’s Quarter viz. Greg and Lucy—orderd them to be Blooded. Stepns. at Wk.

Colo. Fairfax giving me Notice that he shoud send up to Frederick in the Morning, sat down & wrote to my Overseer there.

Father George Hunter (1713–1779) was one of the handful of Roman Catholic priests—all Jesuits—who served the small Catholic populace living in colonial Maryland. As there was no official support (in the form of taxes or glebe land) to provide a living for the Jesuits, the Roman Catholic community of Maryland made use of Maryland’s manor system of land tenure by establishing several manors that were held in trust by the community’s leaders in the name of one or more of the Jesuits residing in the colony. Each manor, like St. Thomas Manor, in Charles County, had a chapel and usually slaves to work the manor’s fields. Port Tobacco, founded in 1728 as the county seat (1728–1895) of Charles County, Md., was literally a small tobacco port on Port Tobacco Creek, which joined the Potomac opposite the Chotank district of King George County in Virginia. The town’s official name, Charlestown, which was seldom used, was legally dropped in 1820 (KLAPTHOR description begins Margaret Brown Klapthor and Paul Dennis Brown. The History of Charles County, Maryland. La Plata, Md., 1958. description ends , 46, 105; W.P.A. [2] description begins W.P.A. Writers’ Project. Maryland: A Guide to the Old Line State. American Guide Series. New York, 1940. description ends , 490). Roman Catholic priests in this period were commonly addressed as “Mister.” In 1760 Mr. Hunter was the superior for the Maryland Mission.

The 37 pistoles and 1 shilling were, according to GW’s ledger, equal to £40 2s. 8d. Virginia currency (General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 63; see entries for 21 Feb. 1760 [1] [2]).

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