George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 6 May 1760]

Tuesday May 6. Visited my Brother’s Quarter, & just calld at my own in my way to Winchester where I spent the day & Evening with Colo. Byrd &ca.

The Court was held to Day at Stephen’s Town but adjournd to Winchester to Morrow.

Because of the smallpox epidemic in Frederick County, the county court was moved, by order of the governor 3 July 1759, to Stephensburg, “during the time the small pox rageth in the town of Winchester.” Stephensburg (later Newton, later Stephens City), founded by Lewis Stephens in 1758, was competing with Winchester to become the seat for Frederick County. By Oct. 1759 the smallpox, according to a petition of the inhabitants of Winchester, “was raging at Stephensburg,” and the court did not meet at all until Feb. 1760 (NORRIS [1] description begins J. E. Norris, ed. History of the Lower Shenandoah Valley. 1890. Reprint. Berryville, Va., 1972. description ends , 121–22). GW is here noting the court’s move back to its regular seat.

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