George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 April 1760]

Saturday Apl. 19th. Crossd at Mr. Possey’s Ferry and began my journey to Williamsburg about 9 Oclock. Abt. 11 I broke my Chair and had to Walk to Port Tobo. where I was detaind the whole day getting my Chair mended—no Smith being with 6 Miles. Lodgd at Doctr. Halkerston’s.

John Posey’s ferry crossed the Potomac River from the lower point of the Mount Vernon neck to Marshall Hall in Charles County, Md., home of Capt. Thomas Hanson Marshall (1731–1801) and his wife Rebecca Dent Marshall (c.1737–1770). By using Posey’s ferry, GW could cut across Charles County, past Port Tobacco, and recross the Potomac, entering Virginia in the Chotank area of King George County. In this way he saved himself from traveling the lower “Potomac Path” on the Virginia side of the Potomac, which crossed a number of swamps and small streams now swollen by a week of hard rains. Robert Halkerston had lived in Fredericksburg during GW’s youth, where he was a founding member of the Masonic Lodge in 1752 and was probably present at the 1753 lodge meetings in which the young GW was initiated, passed, and raised into Masonry.

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