George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 31 March 1760]

Monday Mar. 31st. Strong So[uther]ly Wind in the first part of the day with light Showers but Abt. Noon the Wind got No[rther]ly.

Went to Belvoir (according to Appointment on the 28th. past) and drew up and Signd a Report of our Proceedings in Clifton’s affair to be sent with the Accts. to the Genl. Court.

Finishd plowing the Fallowd Ground abt. Sun Setting.

Mr. Walter Stuart who I met with at Belvoir gave me a Letter from Dr. Macleane and another from Bishop.

The Latter very desirous of returning but enlisted in the 44th. Regimt. the Former wrote to Colo. Byrd to ask his discharge of the Genl.

Wrote to Lieutt. Smith to try if possible to get me a Careful Man to Overlook my Carpenters. Wrote also to Harwick ordering down two Mares from thence & desiring him to engage me a Ditcher. Inclosd a Letter from my Brother Jno. to his Overseer Farrell Littleton and directed him what to do if the Small pox shd. come amongst them.

report: The report included a recommendation that all sales by Clifton be set aside in favor of an auction. See entry for 28 Mar.

Dr. Lauchlin MacLeane (d. 1778), of England, served with units of the British army and practiced medicine in Philadelphia 1755–61. MacLeane, Steuart, Bishop, Byrd, and GW had all served together in the Forbes expedition against Fort Duquesne in 1758. GW knew that MacLeane was now in Philadelphia and may have written to Bishop in care of the doctor (see entry for 25 Jan. 1760). The 44th Regiment was brought from Ireland for Braddock’s campaign and may have been Bishop’s old unit. Col. William Byrd III (1729–1777), of Westover, had succeeded GW as commander of the Virginia Regiment, now stationed at Winchester. Bishop did not appear at Mount Vernon until Sept. 1761, when he resumed his service which continued to his death 33 years later.

Lt. Charles Smith, who was given command of Fort Loudoun at Winchester in 1758, had been recommended to that post by GW as an officer both “diligent” and “exceedingly industrious” (GW to John Blair, 28 May 1758, DLC:GW). Having lost an arm in the service, Smith received a life pension from the House of Burgesses on the recommendation of a committee which included GW (JHB description begins H. R. McIlwaine and John Pendleton Kennedy, eds. Journals of the House of Burgesses of Virginia. 13 vols. Richmond, 1905–15. description ends , 1761–65, 179, 185).

ditcher: a man who was employed to build and repair drainage ditches, along field boundaries and elsewhere. The customary boundaries delineating GW’s fields consisted of two parallel ditches with a row of dense hedge along the center ridge. They served the dual purpose of draining wet lands and making it more difficult for livestock to pass through the hedge.

GW’s brother John Augustine Washington (1736–1787), who lived at Bushfield in Westmoreland County, had inherited land in Frederick County which lay near GW’s Bullskin plantation.

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