George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 19 February 1785]

Saturday 19th. Mercury at 40 in the Morning, 43 at Noon, and 48 at Night.

Morning lowering, but the Clouds dispelling about Noon, it became warm & pleasant afterwards. The Sun set in a bank.

Little or no wind at any time of the day.

Went to Mr. Tripletts and rectified the mistakes in running the Lines and finished the business respecting the quantities of Land given in Excha. and the partition between him and Mr. Lund Washington.

Finished planting Ivy in front of the Gardens.

My Nephew George Steptoe Washington came here to Dinnr. from the Acadamy at George Town.

George Steptoe Washington (c.1773–1809) was the second of the three sons of Samuel Washington and his fourth wife, Anne Steptoe Washington. He and his younger brother, Lawrence Augustine Washington (1775–1824), were being educated under GW’s supervision and largely at his expense. Samuel Washington had left his estate badly encumbered by debts, and its proceeds were not enough to provide for his children. GW placed George and Lawrence in Rev. Stephen Bloomer Balch’s academy at Georgetown in 1784, but their extravagances led him to remove them in November 1785 to the Alexandria academy. The two boys were to cause problems for GW for several years. During his presidency, GW sent them to the University of Pennsylvania, and in 1792 both went to study law with Atty. Gen. Edmund Randolph, then living in Philadelphia (DECATUR description begins Stephen Decatur, Jr. Private Affairs of George Washington: From the Records and Accounts of Tobias Lear, Esquire, his Secretary. Boston, 1933. description ends , 180, 270). The money that GW expended on behalf of the two nephews was never recovered, but by the terms of his will the debt, amounting to nearly £450, was erased.

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