Monday 17th. Mercury at 34 in the Morning—36 at Noon & 46 at Night.
Day fine & pleasant—wind at South.
Went to and returned from Alexandria to day.
At my return found dispatches from the assembly respecting the Potomack Navigation.
On 22 Jan. 1785 GW wrote to William Grayson, a member of the Virginia House of Delegates for Fairfax County, acknowledging receipt of “your letter, with the Books, Potomac bill and other papers” (DLC:GW). Included in the dispatches was the actual engrossed copy, “spared indulgently from the Clerks office,” of “An act for opening and extending the navigation of Potowmack river” (HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 11:510–25), passed by the Virginia Assembly on 5 Jan. 1785; a “cover” note from the House clerk, John Beckley; several books for enrolling the subscriptions of the private capital authorized to finance the Potowmack Company; and a list of “the James River rate of Tolls” for the newly authorized James River Company, authorized to open navigation on the James River above Richmond (GW to John Fitzgerald and William Hartshorne, 18 Jan. 1785, DLC:GW; HENING description begins William Waller Hening, ed. The Statutes at Large; Being a Collection of All the Laws of Virginia, from the First Session of the Legislature, in the Year 1619. 13 vols. 1819–23. Reprint. Charlottesville, Va., 1969. description ends , 11:450–62).
Also included in today’s dispatches from Grayson was a letter to GW from James Madison (1751–1836), member of the Virginia House of Delegates for Orange County (9 Jan. 1785, ICU). Madison had visited Mount Vernon just before the fall 1784 session of the Virginia General Assembly in which he shepherded the Potomac and James River navigation bills through the lower house. In his letter to GW he enclosed three resolutions regarding internal improvements passed in that session (see MADISON description begins William T. Hutchinson et al., eds. The Papers of James Madison, Congressional Series. 17 vols. Chicago and Charlottesville, Va., 1962–91. description ends , 8:235).