George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 20 May 1770]

20. Breakfasted at Mr. Bouchers—dind at Coleman’s & lodgd at Todds bridge.

Jonathan Boucher had been trying for several years to obtain the rectorate of St. Anne’s Parish in Annapolis, Md., which offered a better livelihood than he had in Caroline County. Now, through the influence of Rev. Henry Addison, he was near to achieving that aim. At breakfast on this day, he and GW apparently discussed the matter and agreed that, if the move was made, Jacky would go to Annapolis also and continue his schooling under Boucher there, provided that Mrs. Washington approved. But GW was unwilling to agree with the tutor on another point. Boucher had been recently urging the Washingtons to allow him to take Jacky on an extended tour of Europe beginning about 1772. GW did not dispute the educational advantages of such a tour, but he was concerned that its cost would be more than Jacky’s estate could afford. Any decision about the trip, he told Boucher, would have to wait until he consulted friends in Williamsburg (Boucher to GW, 9 and 21 May 1770, DLC:GW; GW to Boucher, 2–9 June 1770, NN).

This Coleman tavern was probably at Bowling Green, on the main road from Fredericksburg to Williamsburg, about three miles from Caroline Court House (see main entry for 25 June 1770 and Va. Gaz., R, 19 Oct. 1769). The Bowling Green tavern was owned by John Hoomes (d. 1805), “a very wealthy person” who was now living in Sussex County (rice description begins Howard C. Rice, Jr., and Anne S. K. Brown, eds. The American Campaigns of Rochambeau’s Army, 1780, 1781, 1782, 1783. 2 vols. Princeton, N.J., 1972. description ends , 2:98, 176). He had advertised the tavern for lease during the previous October, and apparently a member of the local Coleman family, possibly Francis Coleman of Caroline Court House, had taken it over and had opened it since GW’s last trip to Williamsburg, when he had eaten at the Court House (Va. Gaz., R, 19 Oct. 1769). GW and most other travelers through this area preferred to stop at Bowling Green when the tavern there was open, because going to the Court House required a side trip of several miles.

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