George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 10 September 1771]

10. Rid to the Mill in the Forenoon. Mr. Thoms. Triplet dind with me. In the Afternoon set of for Fredericksburg and lodgd at Colo. Harry Lees.

The purpose of this trip was to make final arrangements for Mary Washington, now about 63 years old, to move from the Ferry Farm plantation to a house in Fredericksburg, where she could spend her latter years in comfort, free from the cares of the plantation. GW had previously discussed the matter with her, and in May, at her request and his expense, he had made a down payment of £75 on a house of her choice: a commodious white frame residence on Charles Street near the home of her daughter Betty Lewis (GW to Benjamin Harrison, 21 Mar. 1781, DLC:GW; General Ledger A description begins General Ledger A, 1750–1772. Library of Congress, George Washington Papers, Series 5, Financial Papers. description ends , folio 336). Now, in further preparation for his mother’s move to town, GW was ready to begin settling her affairs at Ferry Farm and at Little Falls Quarter, a tract of land about two miles farther down the Rappahannock which she had inherited from her father in 1711 (will of Joseph Ball, 25 June 1711, Lancaster County Wills, Book–10, 88, Vi Microfilm).

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