George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 8 March 1774]

8. I set of for Berkley &ca. & to Meet Mr. James Mercer at Bull run, on a div[isio]n of that Land between him and his Brothers. Dined at Moss’s & lodgd at Leesburg. GW was a court-appointed trustee for James Mercer’s brother George, who was in England.

GW took the main road from Alexandria to Leesburg. Later that same year Nicholas Cresswell, in taking the same route, found the road to be “very bad, cut to pieces with the waggons.” Cresswell stopped halfway between Alexandria and Leesburg at “Mosses Ordinary, Loudoun County,” which he found to be the only “public House” between those two towns (CRESSWELL description begins Lincoln MacVeagh, ed. The Journal of Nicholas Cresswell, 1774–1777. New York, 1924. description ends , 47–48). In 1759 John Moss had been licensed by the Loudoun County court to keep an ordinary in Leesburg (WILLIAMS [1] description begins Harrison Williams. Legends of Loudoun: An account of the history and homes of a border county of Virginia’s Northern Neck. Richmond, 1938. description ends , 105). By 1774 Moss had probably moved to the ordinary that had earlier been run by James and Richard Coleman, on Sugar Land Run, about halfway between Alexandria and Leesburg. This southernmost section of Loudoun County was added to Fairfax County in 1798 (HARRISON [1] description begins Fairfax Harrison. Landmarks of Old Prince William: A Study of Origins in Northern Virginia. Berryville, Va., 1964. description ends , 326–29).

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