George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 21 May 1760]

Wednesday May 21. Wrote to Messrs. Nicholas & With for Advice how to act in regard to Clifton’s Land. Sent the Letter by the Post. A good deal of Rain in the Night.

Colo. Fairfax went home. Began shearing my Sheep. ⟨Dalton’s sorrel⟩ Mare coverd.

In their reply of 27 May 1760 Robert Carter Nicholas and George Wythe stated they were “sorry to find you are likely to be involved in so much Trouble” and warned GW that they could advise nothing “with any Certainty” (Nicholas and Wythe to GW, 27 May 1760, anonymous donor). After giving their opinion that Mason had a strong case and that the Privy Council would probably find for Carroll, they referred GW to his local lawyer, George Johnston.

At this point in the diary GW inserts a lengthy paraphrase on the cultivation of lucerne from Jethro Tull, Horse-Houghing Husbandry: An Essay on the Principles of Vegetation and Tillage (London, 1731). This important British work on scientific agriculture ran through several editions—here GW is quoting the 1751 edition—and was still being published in 1829. GW relied heavily on it in his early years as a farmer; later he would turn to the books and personal communications of Arthur Young.

Material in angle brackets has been taken from Fitzpatrick, Diaries description begins John C. Fitzpatrick, ed. The Diaries of George Washington, 1748–1799. 4 vols. Boston and New York, 1925. description ends , 1:164.

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